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Improvements to Google Translate Boost Accuracy by 60 Percent

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The accuracy of Google Translate can be hit or miss. It’s often a reliable tool for navigating foreign language websites, but occasionally the tech slips up and confuses terms as different as clitoris and broccoli rabe. In an effort to improve the program, Google has unveiled a new version of Translate called Google Neural Machine Translation or GMNT, Fast Company reports.

The major difference between GMNT and the former phrase-based machine translation system (PBMT) is the way it tackles text. In the past, Translate worked with the individual components of sentences, words, and phrases to translate them separately. The new system looks at whole sentences at a time, improving the technology’s accuracy by roughly 60 percent. This means that even languages as distinct as English and Chinese can be translated to a more precise degree.

GMNT is able to achieve these results by simultaneously running data through multiple cores in computer graphic chips. Each processing layer is allowed limited room for error, which means more layers can be running at once to increase the chances of producing more accurate results (you can read Google’s full paper on the technology here).

Google believes neural networks like this one can be used to expand more than just their translation tool. Researchers at Google Brain have used 11,000 novels to improve the technology’s conversational style and help products like the Google App communicate more fluidly with users.

[h/t Fast Company]

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at tips@mentalfloss.com.

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You Can Now Order Food Through Facebook
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After a bit of controversy over its way of aggregating news feeds and some questionable content censoring policies, it’s nice to have Facebook roll out a feature everyone can agree on: allowing you to order food without leaving the social media site.

According to a press release, Facebook says that the company decided to begin offering food delivery options after realizing that many of its users come to the social media hub to rate and discuss local eateries. Rather than hop from Facebook to the restaurant or a delivery service, you’ll be able to stay within the app and select from a menu of food choices. Just click “Order Food” from the Explore menu on a desktop interface or under the “More” option on Android or iOS devices. There, you’ll be presented with options that will accept takeout or delivery orders, as well as businesses participating with services like Delivery.com or EatStreet.

If you need to sign up and create an account with Delivery.com or Jimmy John’s, for example, you can do that without leaving Facebook. The feature is expected to be available nationally, effective immediately.

[h/t Forbes]

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The Seemingly Simple ‘Math’ Problem That Stumped the Internet
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If you’re a regular Mental Floss reader, you know that we love a good brain teaser. And the one below, which originated on Facebook and has been shared more than 150,000 times, is a great one to test just how sharp you are on a Friday evening at the end of a long workweek.

It’s a seemingly simple enough task: spot the error. Your time starts now…

We’ll give you a minute …

And a little space for you to scroll down to find the answer …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you figure it out?

The “mistake” is that the word “mistake” is misspelled on the instruction sheet on the left. If you missed that completely, you’re not alone: the grid of numbers is what immediately grabs your attention.

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