Log #31: Today in English

For Kristine

„Hey, Jürgen, you’ve got an English speaking girlfriend. You should log in English actually!“

I should? Okay, one episode won’t hurt. Brace yourselves! Old, rusty Denglish coming your way.

Let’s start with a pic:

E-Scooter Kumpan 1950 standing in too tall grass overviewing the Rhine River Valley with legendary Drachenfels (Dragon’s Rock) at the back. Okay, I promise it won’t get any cheesier than this.

The best way to instantly translate a website these days is Google Translate built right into Google Chrome. Kristine tells me she can get the gist of what I write but Google just won’t translate some parts properly or at all.

Big Google that has AI working on so many fields.

Seriously, people. AI won’t replace your jobs! Right now best of what it can do is to help me take better pictures with my phone cam. In a couple years it will be able to do monotonous work so you don’t have to. It IS going to make your life better and easier but it is not going to think for you.

Studies show that quite a few, mostly low-skilled jobs are endangered because machines and AI can replace quite a high percentage of functions a worker can do. Does that mean that the entire job related to it will become instinct? I don’t think so.

  • Would you ever let an AI robot cut your hair? Probably not, right?
  • Would you rather talk to a robot each day when you’re old than to an actual human being?
  • Will there be farming machines any time soon, cheap enough and able to cut asparagus, plug cherries from trees, berries from bushes?
  • Would we ever let AI make the final decision on an order of, say, wood cuttings worth 500,000 Euros?

All of this is feasible and imaginable to come into effect but is it likely?

There even is AI in journalism already. At its early stages it is mostly used to create reports around recurring data like amateur sports results, elections or the weather. Well, thanks actually! Regarding amateur sports there haven’t been any reports on 10th division football matches before. I would like those systems to write amateur table-tennis reports, assist me gathering data, auto enhancing (and especially naming) pictures so I don’t have to. But would it be able to do an interview for me? Determine what’s important news based on its gut?

Something tells me that if we keep an open mind and most importantly keep learning, even in an AI world we will be just fine.

On the one hand: Google Maps will soon tell you (in some cities) how crowded your bus or train presumably will be. The information is largely user-based by the way.

On the other hand: Google Maps led 100 drivers from a traffic jam at the motorway to an open field leaving them stuck in the mud. It’s hilarious. 🙂 And Google basically comments: People should always keep an open eye and don’t stop thinking even when being navigated by Maps.

On the one hand: Electronic vehicles need to make a sound. So whom better to work with than with film musician Hans Zimmer, known for scores on movies like „Inception“. Zimmer now works with BMW on better e-car sound designs. Sounds exciting!

On the other hand: A BMW manager just called EVs overhyped. Well…

Uber for one is about to start a boat-hailing service in Lagos, Nigeria. Uber Boat is already active in Mumbay, India and in Croatia. It’s not the same as an e-scooter hop-on, hop-off, but it’s getting close to what we had in mind.

Part II of „The Morning Routine“ is live and it’s – wooh:

Qwant Maps Beta just got live (and it’s basically built around Open Street Map).

Should we give Qwant another chance? Of course we should! Should we all ditch Google and just use non-nosy alternatives like Qwant and DuckDuckGo from now on? I don’t see us doing that any time soon. Simple truth: Google is better, still. And no one is happy with second-best. Plus: People don’t change habits lightly.

Qwant Maps Beta

I am the worst example for that. It was only today after years of co-using both tools that I was finally ready to switch my browser shortcut from translation site LEO to the much better Linguee. Linguee didn’t just have to be better than LEO, it had to be better for a long time for me to do a simple 15-second task of bookmarking a new site and deleting an old one. I’m afraid that’s the same for Qwant and DuckDuckGo. I will keep using both whenever I’m unhappy with Google’s search results (which happens a lot lately). But both will need long breathing in first catching up, then overtaking, then maintaining its lead. Best of luck, I hope you can do it!

Leidcast 0.9: „Shake it up (Ryan Adams version)“. Would have been longer if the voice memo app on my Mac hadn’t crashed on me. Why did it? I need more practice, I get it. 🙂

Weiher’s Eck Hotel burned down, the restaurant has to close, ironically after they just renovated. And as it reads it was a close call to 7 hotel guests. Best of luck, Cemil! Hang in there!

4 Kommentare

    • DeepL ist toll. Die betreiben ja auch Linguee. Ein Kurztest zeigt hier aber auch, dass das nicht perfekt funktioniert, man aber versteht worum es geht.

      „Die versprochenen 33 mache ich auf jeden Fall noch voll!“

      … übersetzt DeepL mit:

      „The promised 33 I make in any case still full!“

      Das klingt etwas seltsam in meinen Ohren…

      Das hier ist schwer bis unmöglich für eine Maschine zu übersetzen:

      „wenn ihr eure Skepsis mal bei Seite lasst und es einfach macht“

      DeepL macht daraus:

      „if you leave your scepticism aside and make it easy.“

      Ich habe „einfach“ hier eigentlich in einer „Just do it“-Art und Weise gemeint. Ein menschlicher Übersetzen hätte das eventuell verstanden oder er hätte nachgefragt, weil es missverständlich formuliert war. Die Maschine musste sich für eine Möglichkeit entscheiden.

      Trotzdem: Tolles Tool, sehe es auf Augenhöhe mit Google Translate. Danke für die Erinnerung. 🙂

  1. Ja, da hast Du recht, bei „schwierigen“ Sätzen sind die Maschinen noch nicht gut. Andererseits, ich mache für den Job öfter mal schnelle Übersetzungen, DeepL ist meiner Meinung nach besser bei Texten, Kontext wird oftmals besser erkannt/verdaut als bei „G“. Interessanterweise oft sogar besser, je länger die Textpassage.

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