Andrzej Zydroń is CTO at XTM International and is a well known IT expert on Localization and related Open Standards. Zydroń sits/has sat on the following Open Standard Technical Committees: LISA OSCAR GMX, LISA OSCAR xml:tm, LISA OSCAR TBX, W3C ITS, OASIS XLIFF, OASIS Translation Web Services, OASIS DITA Translation, OASIS OAXAL, ETSI LIS, DITA Localization, Interoperability Now! and Linport.Zydroń has been responsible for the architecture of the essential word and character count GMX-V (Global Information Management Metrics eXchange) standard, as well as the revolutionary xml:tm standard which will change the way in which we view and use translation memory. He is also head of the OASIS OAXAL (Open Architecture for XML Authoring and Localization) technical committee.Zydroń has worked in IT since 1976 and has been responsible for major successful projects at Xerox, SDL, Oxford University Press, Ford of Europe, DocZone and Lingo24.

Andrzej Zydroń

will introduce the debate with…

Neocortical Computing: Next Generation Machine Translation



The 21st century has ushered in significant advances in the understanding of how human intelligence works at the systems level. What is intelligence and how does it work are subjects that have only recently been addressed. The seminal work by Jeff Hawkins, who has been the primary pioneer in these hitherto uncharted waters, has had a profound effect on our understanding of how the human brain actually functions in the computing sense.

Hawkins’ theories have had a profound effect on the next generation of both computer hardware and software engineers. The single pipe Turing architecture has reached its limits. All attempts at building true artificial intelligence based on current ideas and notions have failed to deliver. Deep rural networks and aligned techniques have failed to provide any advance in our attempt at harnessing the potential of creating true artificial intelligence.

Time to take a different approach. This requires reverse engineering what human and mammal brains do effortlessly and current software engineering attempts have failed spectacularly to deliver. Take the simple matter of a young dog running and catching a ball in mid flight. A two year old dog does it effortlessly. To program a robot to do this would require around 50 man years of effort and is currently beyond the scope of any organisation apart from possibly the US Department of Defence.

Human and mammalian brains are extremely slow in comparison with todays processors and yet there capacity to learn and react to their environment is astonishing. Until Jeff Hawkins’ seminal work On Intelligence there were no good or bad theories: there were none. Hawkins has laid out the architectural and computing basis for intelligence and how we can harness this in the next generation of computer architectures which are radically different than the Turing architecture that is used by today’s computers.

The work of Jeff Hawkins has been fundamental in furthering our understanding of intelligence. Its impact on machine translation will be significant. The effects of this new approach will have significant implications over the next 20 years. The current generation of machine translation can be described as an advanced form of Mechanical Turk. No understanding is required of the computer: in fact it cannot have any form of understanding. John Searle’s Chinese Room thought experiment highlighted the limitations of our current approach to automated translation.

Jeff Hawkins’ theories centre on the neocortex, its structure and the way we learn and process the world around us, including language. Cortical computing will have a very profound impact on our daily lives and the way we can use truly sapient machines for translation in the future.