Archive for the ‘facebook’ Category


Machine Translation making waves and how to make sure you know how to talk about it at the cocktail party

In Books,commercials,Community,computers,culture,facebook,Technology,work on October 5, 2016 by mstevensrev

bn-cz300_google_g_20140528135745In the past month(s) some of the news coming out from major technology companies have caught the media’s attention. At the same time my co-host for the Globally Speaking Podcast, Renato Beninatto , was really pushing us to make our most complex podcast to date on the topic as part of a series on the machines taking over:) Since then I have started doing my research in preparation for our conversations with leaders in the field. At this point I’m likely to help others talk intelligently at a cocktail party.

To date much of the conversation around Machine Translation, which has been around since the 1950s, mainly consisted of statistical and rule-based systems. Rule Based systems as the names signifies is based up linguistic rules that set how words will be translated, words from target language will replace the source language. Statistical machine translation focused on pattern recognition within translation and provided target based on huge amounts of parallel texts. Most of the effective machine engines for a time ended up being a Hybrid machine translation engine that incorporated the best of both methodologies..

Now neural networks are on the scene. To understand the effectiveness and basic outline of this technology check out a this great article, From not working to neural networking. As I understand the strength of the neural network is the depth of the data that is process. Rather then being limited to a number of rules or a corpus of strings to improve the quality. Neural machine translation operates beyond a string and by exposing it to a huge number of examples it will learn without telling it what to look for. There is a sight that even allows you to demo the Neural Machine Translation by LISA, which has been trained on a lot of data from the UN and European Parliament.

So since this has been going on for some time, why the news all of a sudden? For one Alan Packer from Facebook came out and said that the other forms (specifically statistical) of machine translation have reached their usefulness and Facebook is now focusing on the use of neural networks. Check out Rachel Metz’s article, Facebook Plans to Boost Its Translations Using Neural Networks This Year. Then this month Google has come out and said that Google Neural Machine Translation reduces errors by 60 percent, cool. NPR picking it up here, they interviewed a translator naysayer who felt the need to reinforce that professional translators will be needed.

Then during Google’s “Made by Google” Event, the implications of this break thru and artificial intelligence (AI) were discussed by Sudar Pichai during the early part of the event. The part about the implications for voice technology were interest, why do we only have one voice?

With all the excitement it is important to have other voices outside of Google and Facebook, so that we don’t all get caught up in the next wave of hype. For that check out the article, Hyperbolic? Experts Weigh In on Google Neural Translate from Florian Faes at Slater. Overall the opinions are rather favorable, so check it out.

Now you are on the road of looking like a star with your friends and new acquaintances. Glad to hear about other resources you are finding key on getting you up to speed with this great technology, if it’s something we use I’ll be sure to mention it on the podcast!

Sometimes I wish that I could go into a time machine right now and just look at my self and say, ‘Calm down. Things are gonna be fine. Things are gonna be all great. Just relax.’

-Tristan Wilds



Success in localization

In advertising,Bible,Books,business,Community,computers,culture,facebook,faith,leadership,Localization,Uncategorized on September 15, 2016 by mstevensrev


There are a number of models of success in the localization industry.

Each day billions of people use products they would otherwise not have access to because of the translator or editor and supporting services.

Global companies continue to drive higher revenues worldwide, often outside the country that the company was originally founded in.

An author gets his book out to an audience that doesn’t speak his native language.

Communities are being connected and the localization industry has a continued opportunity to onboard new groups of people to this exciting connected world we live in. Through this work we share in the beauty of the worlds growing diversity, and language is at the core of it.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. -Nelson Mandela


Suffering: further thoughts after the school shooting today and a wonderful heartbreaking note I received from a new friend of facebook

In Books,church,Community,devotional,facebook,faith,principles,Theology,Uncategorized on December 15, 2012 by mstevensrev Tagged: , , , ,

Being an information worker events like today are very hard to remove yourself from, there are two many questions and no answers.  It is far to easy to listen to the latest reports or scan facebook to see how others process evil.  This is one attempt to follow up on a note I received related to my previous post, Suffering: a devotional primer, and make some sense of the tragedy from today.  In respect to my friend I will not share the note that inspired these thoughts, but rather will share my response:

Your note lead me to two thoughts.

First, there is great power in the example of Christ. Each week at our church I am reminded of your exact point during the Eucharist and the priest states “On the night he was betrayed.” Jesus put walking in the midst of suffering into practice in a way that we strive for, as scripture reminds us he was faithful…even to death.

Second, the topic of forgiveness is one that I may address at some point but is so very difficult. The easy part is our responsibility in working toward justice for others, when we are witnesses to wrong doing that does not involve us we must take the role of prophet and speak, “Thus saith the Lord…this shit is wrong.”

The hard part is the ongoing posture of forgiveness. My experience in this area is very rocky, there are people who I have worked very hard to forgive in a moment when circumstance in my life change I realize that I need to forgive in that present moment. I’m not sure how much of Dan Allender you have read but his thoughts on this topic have been helpful for me. In the last year I went through a dark period and realized that my forgiveness needed to move deeper.

Tied in there somewhere is wisdom gained from being wounded, often times the Christian way of forgive and forget leads to unhealthy patterns…I am sure you would never go to work for/with that guy again…yes he deserves grace but that does not mean you need to bear the brunt again of his sanctification. I have also worked with people that have done tremendous evil, personally as a steward of God’s Kingdom and of the family God has provided me it is my responsibility as best I can to not submit to evil authority. Jesus only had to go to the cross once, there are appropriate sacrifices and martyrdom…and then there is a unhealthy martyrdom complex that I find with many Christians. (and I myself have bought into during times in my life, suffering comes you don’t have to chose the path)

The word may not be ‘shocked’ by the presence of sin, but there is an appropriate place to call out to God, we pray ‘thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven’. The kingdom again is in the here and now, so today I did cry for those families who’s children are not coming home safe from school, also I sent out my holiday cards for work because that was my way of spreading some good while feeling completely powerless..seemed the only way for me not to run to my daughters school and bring her home:) I really like how you put it ‘be a living example to all men of how to actually live in our daily tempos’, we are different and our lives should reflect that. We have the ability to grieve like no one else and we have the ability to party like no one else.

Obviously I am grateful for the discussion. Feel free to let me know if you have any thoughts.


>Crowdsourcing, movement in translation

In facebook,Localization,Sinometrics,Translation Services on December 31, 2007 by mstevensrev

>This is pretty amazing. I am thrilled for facebook and am very interested in how they will take ont his massive onset of content management. I am trying to find out more of the how, what and where of their process but overall the entire idea thrills me and I hope it goes well. This could really change the way that I do business and business like Sinometrics.


>Hating on Facebook

In facebook,Friends,Technology,Web 2.0 on November 27, 2007 by mstevensrev

> Yesterday one of my favorite bloggers decided that Facebook was finished. Now I don’t know enough to agree or disagree, still trying to get my mind around most Web 2.0 and the direction of technology in general. Though this blog brewed in my head all last night, as I tossed and turned I kept thinking about how I would update my status, seriously. The good news with that is that even if Facebook does go down, I still have twitter.

Anyway I wanted to make a few observations I have noticed and go public with a conversation I have had with one very sharp friend who seems to have a clue regarding these things, who doesn’t work for Facebook or Microsoft. Let me say first I have lost my affinity for Facebook. I really enjoyed it at first, but there is just a level of involvement that I’m not sure I want. I have already filled out what cities I’ve been to, what books I’m reading, and rated bunches of movies. How much more is there in life? With that said I will still spend some part of the time I would have watched TV/movie or just read a book for entertainment on Facebook. That is valuable. Really valuable. Time is the only resource I have that I cannot go out and get more of, and Facebook has moved into the realm of things I do. For how long I am not sure. Like Balmer said of Google, “They are one algorimth away from being obsolete.” Facebook is one better pony show away from being off my list for things that I spend my time doing.

Another observation I have about Facebook is it made my birthday this year more interested. I was blasted, encouraged, checked in with tons more friends than I would have otherwise and that felt good. The connection part of the experience, that feeling, at the risk of sounding like a Mastercard commericial is priceless. I know that many of these friends, no offense to my next statement, are too lazy to actually send a card or pick up the phone for my birthday, but to give these lazy friends a chance to be in the mix on my birthday is nice. With that said how long can that last?

Remember how great email was when we first starting sending and receiving? All that beautiful blue and white text, I would rush to the computer lab at my university just to see if perhaps I got a note from someone. Anyway at that time AOL did something to capture people, it was three words, “You’ve got mail.” Looking back on it we are so sophisticated it is easy to scorn, but tons of people (not the most tech saavy people) flocked to AOL just to hear “You’ve got mail”. It made them feel good. It has such an impact they made a horrible movie based on those words. Taking two great and talented actors and making a big piece of poop, and we are worried about the writers strike, what a joke. Anyway since I first signed up for Facebook the only way I understood it was by saying it is the new AOL. A Web 2.0 AOL, if you will. There is nothing new, and honestly after being on it for awhile nothing that great. Do I still enjoy it? Yes, but to think that it is worth $10-15 billion dollars and will remain a successful business I doubt.

I don’t think Microsoft made a mistake by getting involved with them, besides as long as they are being aggressive I like some mistakes. Yet I think Microsoft in their Web 2.0 venture and desire to dominate advertising on the internet will far exceed what Facebook is currently doing. Some of the changes I’m sensing recently with Microsoft lead me to believe the sleeping giant has been awaken. From a consumer side I love it because I hope to see even more extremely cool and innovative technology being put out there by the amazing people they have.


>My facebook Friends

In facebook,family,Friends on October 30, 2007 by mstevensrev

>To me how I get information is more important then the information I get. For instance, I can listen to preaching about a particular passage of the Bible forever, but it is essential in order for me to understand it I must read it myself and live it. From there the source is very important. I read somewhere recently that Thomas Jefferson did not read the newspaper but rather would ask people around him about it. That way, if you know the person at all, their perspective on the story comes through, often times with broadcast media the perspective is hard to uncover or so shades the story it is hard to believe it at all.

How does this relate to facebook for me. At this time facebook is nothing more than a way for me to communicate with friends. I have twitter on it, so they can know what I am doing at anytime, I post articles and sometimes my own blog. I also read the announcements and other public material my friends are posting. This allows me to not only gather information that is useful coming from my community, but also gives me filters as people comment on what they post. My community no has direct influence on how I learn, the same influence that broadcast media once had. Sure often times this means I get links of ping-pong, or funny commercials, or business time. I am alright with that because even entertainment and humor is influenced by my community. Now as much as I wish it were not true I do not like everyone that I am influenced by, daily I have to deal with opinions and views that might not be in line with mine, but it is important for me to interact and listen to those who I may not agree with or even like. In the same way I am willing to include many in my facebook friends, giving them a voice in my life. It is clear and easy to understand who has the most influence, look at those who I have the most connections with and those who interact the most. Sure facebook could develop some more formal settings or names for those you connect with to make this more clear, but why.

Just for fun or if you haven’t got enough of my rambling on this, check out an post that influenced my thinking on this: