CLOSE
iStock
iStock

Improvements to Google Translate Boost Accuracy by 60 Percent

iStock
iStock

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.

arrow
Afternoon Map
Monthly Internet Costs in Every Country

Thanks to the internet, people around the world can conduct global research, trade tips, and find faraway friends without ever leaving their couch. Not everyone pays the same price for these digital privileges, though, according to new data visualizations spotted by Thrillist.

To compare internet user prices in each country, cost information site HowMuch.net created a series of maps. The data comes courtesy of English market research consultancy BDRC and Cable.co.uk, which teamed up to analyze 3351 broadband packages in 196 nations between August 18, 2017 and October 12, 2017.

In the U.S., for example, the average cost for internet service is $66 per month. That’s substantially more than what browsers pay in neighboring Mexico ($27) and Canada ($55). Still, we don’t have it bad compared to either Namibia or Burkina Faso, where users shell out a staggering $464 and $924, respectively, for monthly broadband access. In fact, internet in the U.S. is far cheaper than what residents in 113 countries pay, including those in Saudi Arabia ($84), Indonesia ($72), and Greenland ($84).

On average, internet costs in Asia and Russia tend to be among the lowest, while access is prohibitively expensive in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain parts of Oceania. As for the world’s cheapest internet, you’ll find it in Ukraine and Iran.

Check out the maps below for more broadband insights, or view HowMuch.net’s full findings here.

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

[h/t Thrillist]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
Logging On to Public Wi-Fi Networks Is About to Get More Secure
iStock
iStock

If you link up to a public Wi-Fi network like the one offered by your local coffee shop, you should know that your connection probably isn't very secure. Free Wi-Fi connections aren't encrypted, so other users on the network can potentially spy on what you're doing and steal your usernames and passwords.

But according to CNET, the Wi-Fi Alliance—a group made up of member companies like Apple and Intel that creates Wi-Fi standards and certifies products—has announced a major change to Wi-Fi security that's coming in 2018. A new security protocol called WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 3) makes networks more secure against hackers, whether it's your computer, smartphone, or Wi-Fi-enabled fridge that's connected (just in case you take your smart fridge to Starbucks).

You're probably already familiar with WPA2, the security system many Wi-Fi networks already run on. This is just an improvement on that system—a much-needed update after a computer scientist discovered a major vulnerability in October 2017—with better data encryption and higher security requirements. According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, it can protect users even if they use terrible passwords. (Which you shouldn’t.)

Right now, there are a few steps you can take to make your online experience more secure while you’re in public, but not everyone takes the time to put them in place. These new Wi-Fi protections don't require the extra step of going into your settings and making sure you've turned off file settings or subscribing to a VPN service.

The change is set to debut sometime in early 2018, according to a representative from the Wi-Fi Alliance. Until then, remember: A VPN really is your best friend. It may not completely protect you from hackers looking to steal your information, but it's a lot safer than surfing on your own.

[h/t CNET]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios