# Activity Problems

ACTIVITY PROBLEMS Copyright: Alexa Little and Lori Levin, except where noted. Can you change ? CORNER MALL ? to CORN MAZE in just SIX moves?! Hint: one move = remove, add, or move a letter ?

1. Remove E 2. Remove R 3. Remove L 4. Remove L 5. Add Z 6. Add E Source: Blake Allen and Patrick Littell HOW DOES AUTOCORRECT WORK? Edit distance is used in computer science to tell how different two pieces of text are. Each time you remove, add, or move a letter, it adds one to the edit distance. In the problem you just solved, for example, the edit distance between CORNER MALL and CORN MAZE was 6. Autocorrect works by identifying misspelled words (by choosing words that dont match the list in its dictionary), then changes them to a similar word that is, a word with a small edit distance. Spell check works this way too, though it gives you a list of options to choose from in the order of smallest to largest edit distance. Autocorrect and spell check need to know more than just edit distance. They also need to know which spelling errors are most likely and which typos are most likely.

Professor Word has invented a machine to read words aloud, but it isnt working right! This sign it just read doesnt make any sense Weiccme to the iccai pcci! Swimming rules: 1. Nc running 2. Nc spiashing 3. The pcci cicses at 7 pm Have fun! Can you figure out which TWO MISTAKES the machine is making? 1. o c 2. l i HOW DOES TEXT RECOGNITION WORK? ALSO KNOWN AS OPTICAL CHARACTER RECOGNITION OR OCR When you type into a computer, the letters are stored as codes in the computers

memory. When you scan a page into the computer, it creates a picture of the words stored as pixels. Text recognition was invented to change pixels in into codes for letters. The computer looks at each black squiggle in the image and tries to match it to one of the letters in its list. S Because a computer cant actually read, though, sometimes it makes mistakes! Unusual fonts and very small letters are a challenge for the program. The puzzle you just solved is based on real mistakes made by a text recognition program! DID YOU KNOW? English is written left-to-right, but not all languages are! Arabic is written right-to-left: And Mongolian is written up-to-down!

Here are some sentences in Quechua, a language spoken in Mexico. Mariya rimashan. Mary is talking. Mariya takishan. Mary is singing. Mariya kutishan. Mary is returning. How would you say Mary is sitting in Quechua? Hint: to sit = tiya Mariya tiyashan. Here are some sentences in Mapudungun, a language spoken in Chile.

Mara dungui. Mary talked. Mara petu dungui. Mary is talking. Fey ayey. He laughed. Fey petu ayey. Fey ani. He is laughing. She sat. How would you say She is sitting in Mapudungun? Fey petu ani.

Here are some sentences in Hindi, a language spoken in India. Jute laal hain. The shoes are red Jute safed hain. The shoes are white. Kameez laal hai. The shirt is red. How would you say The shirt is white in Hindi? Kameez safed hai. HOW DOES COMPUTER TRANSLATION WORK?

The way you solved this puzzle is the same way a computer translator works! Translation systems are trained to notice words and their translations, and the differences in the order of words. Kameez laal The shirt is ha i red After training, the computer makes a translation dictionary like this:

We train them by programming them count many millions of word correspondences like the ones in this example. After they count, they compute probabilities. kameez = shirt safed = white hai = is The real translation dictionary is full of errors, but it contains a probability for each translation. When you put in a sentence, the system translates the words using its dictionary and then puts them in the right order. This way, it can translate sentences it has never seen before, without a human having to write them all down! shirt The is

white. kameez ha i safed Fill in the blanks so that both phrases make sense! MOVIE _T _R_A_ I_L_ E_ PARK R AIR G _ _U _I _T _A_ HERO R ? ROCK _S_T _A _R GAZING

? HOW DO COMPUTERS GUESS WORDS? FOR SPEECH RECOGNITION AND COMPUTER TRANSLATION Sometimes, a computer cant be sure what word we just said, or which version of a translation is the right one. But how do you teach a machine to guess, and guess well?! Computers guess words using probabilities. The program looks at the words before and after the mystery word, then creates a list of all possible words that could go in that blank. Then, it chooses the one that is the most probable with the word before it, and the word after it: Looks good! ROCK STAR GAZING

Unfortunately, even when each word in the chain makes sense with the word before it, the whole chain can end up being gibberish! Linguists and computer scientists are working to teach computers better ways to guess words, and in the meantime we can enjoy all the funny mistakes computers make. HOW DO COMPUTERS GUESS WORDS? FOR SPEECH RECOGNITION AND COMPUTER TRANSLATION Lets look at an example from a state-of-the-art computer translation system. Supplied by Austin Matthews. The red parts of the sentence are each ok on their own, but together they make a grammatical error: the curriculum will be more emphasis on " real life " problems. Compare to: the curriculum will be more advanced.

the curriculum will be more emphasis on " real life " problems. Compare to: the solution will be more emphasis on real life problems. CAN YOU GUESS THE LANGUAGE? HINT #1: Its spoken by nearly 65 million people in Southeast Asia. HINT #2: Its writing system looks like this: HINT #3: Its closely related to Pali, Sanskrit, Lao, and the minority languages of Thailand. Thai Source: www.omniglot.com Maori is a language spoken by the aboriginal (native) people of New Zealand. Some words in Maori, called loanwords, are borrowed from English. Can you match each loanword to its picture?

tuur u A puut u wuur u B C puunu D Source: Patrick Littell

WHY DO LANGUAGES SOUND DIFFERENT? Even when a word is the same in English and another language, it might sound very different! By the time youre six months old, you can already tell the difference between all the sounds of your native language. Not all languages have the same sounds, though! In this puzzle, you learned Maori speakers dont pronounce the letter s, and they need to have a vowel after every consonant. So stool becomes tuuru! Just like the sound s is difficult for Maori speakers to pronounce, some sounds might seem unusual to you: - Nepali speakers use four different kinds of t! - Xhosa has three different clicking sounds that are used as letters! - Some languages in Central Asia can start a word with four consonants! Japanese uses a system of letters known as kanji. Each kanji has a specific meaning and pronunciation(s), and kanji can be combined to make new meanings. = Japan = language

What do you think Japanese means? You are in Kapan in Armenia. You need to get to Ijevan. Can you figure out which way to go just by looking at these Armenian signs? Hint: The sign for Kapan is in Armenian! 1 2 3

4 Gyumri Armavir Gavar HOW DO OTHER WRITING SYSTEMS WORK?

In these puzzles you saw that some languages arent written the same way English is. Linguists divide writing systems into several different categories: Syllabaries use one letter to represent each syllable: Hebrew Japanese (kana) ga li Abjads use sets of letters to write only consonants: English Be n Alphabets use sets of letters to write consonants and vowels:

Abugidas combine consonant symbols with vowel symbols to make each letter: Semanto-phonetic systems have many letters, each with its own sound and meaning: se e in Compared to some of these examples, the 26 letters we use to write English Ch is a really small number! Source: www.omniglot.com DID YOU KNOW? Not all languages have the same sounds! Lets try some sounds not usually found in English. Glottal stop the sound in the middle of uh-oh Retroflex press the bottom of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, then let it go while saying t Click press the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, hard, then let go

? Each of these newspaper headlines can have two different meanings! Can you figure out what they are? A. IRAQI HEAD SEEKS ARMS B. STOLEN PAINTING FOUND BY TREE ? C. KIDS MAKE HEALTHY SNACKS WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR COMPUTERS TO UNDERSTAND US? Even though its funny to imagine the hidden meaning of these sentences, you can probably guess which meaning is correct. We make thousands of those guesses every day -- we dont always say exactly what we mean, but luckily everyones brain can fill in the gaps. Unfortunately, the guesses that are so easy for us are very hard for a computer! In this example, who is smart and who has computers?

[smart students] and [teachers with computers] [[smart students] and teachers] with computers smart [students and [teachers with computers]] smart [students and teachers] with computers This made up example is simple compared to what computers really encounter in Wikipedia, social media, email, and on-line newspapers. Ambiguity of this sort is combinatoric and can fill up a computers memory quickly. People, on the other hand, read over most ambiguity without noticing. Why doesnt it fill up your memory? Thats a good research question! How many different ways can you break this text into words? ? ? theyouthevent the youth event

the you the vent they out he vent ? HOW DO COMPUTERS TELL WORDS APART? In every spoken language there are no spaces between words. Some languages dont use spaces in writing either. Chinese writing doesnt put spaces between words! For example, this Chinese phrase can be broken up two different ways: Nanjing City Long River Grand Bridge

Nanjing Daqiao Mayor Whether its trying to understand spoken English or written Chinese, the computer tells words apart by finding all the possible options, then choosing the one with the highest probability of being correct! Jiang Here are some sentences in Mapudungun, a language spoken in Chile. chedki

daughters son domo chedki daughters daughter laku sons son domo laku sons daughter ______________ Can you fill in the blank? Here are some sentences in Inupiaq, an indigenous language spoken in Alaska. Paniattaaq will not write a book for Aiviq.

Paniattaam maqpiaaliuniaitkaa Aiviq. Paniattaaq will write a book for Aiviq. Paniattaam maqpiaaliuniaaa Aiviq. Paniattaaq will give Aiviq books. Paniattaam maqpiaaksriiaaa Aiviq. How would you say Paniattaaq will not give Aiviq books? in Inupiaq? Paniattaam maqpiaaksriiaitkaa Aiviq. Here are some sentences in Japanese. San ji desu. It is three oclock. Go ji han desu. It is five thirty. Roku ji desu.

It is six oclock. You need to know what time it is, and your friend Erika just told you in Japanese! Can you figure out what she said? San ji han desu. It is three thirty. HOW DOES COMPUTER TRANSLATION WORK? The way you solved this puzzle is the same way a computer translator works! Translation systems are trained to notice words and their translations, and the differences in the order of words. Go ji han desu.

It is five thirty. We train them by programming them count many millions of word correspondences like the ones in this example. After they count, they compute probabilities. san = three ji = oclock han = half desu = is After training, the computer makes a translation dictionary like this:

The real translation dictionary is full of errors, but it contains a probability for each translation. When you put in a sentence, the system translates the words using its dictionary and then puts them in the right order. This way, it can translate sentences it has never seen before, without a human having to write them all down! San ji han desu. (oclock) three thirty (it) is ?

Can you change ? FRESH SALSA to FIRE SALE ? in just SIX moves?! Hint: one move = remove, add, or move a letter ? 1. Add I 2. Remove S 3. Remove H 4. Remove S 5. Remove A 6. Add E Source: Blake Allen and Patrick Littell

HOW DOES AUTOCORRECT WORK? Edit distance is used in computer science to tell how different two pieces of text are. Each time you remove, add, or move a letter, it adds one to the edit distance. In the problem you just solved, for example, the edit distance between FRESH SALSA and FIRE SALE was 6. Autocorrect works by identifying misspelled words (by choosing words that dont match the list in its dictionary), then changes them to a similar word that is, a word with a small edit distance. Spell check works this way too, though it gives you a list of options to choose from in the order of smallest to largest edit distance. Autocorrect and spell check need to know more than just edit distance. They also need to know which spelling errors are most likely and which typos are most likely. CAN YOU GUESS THE LANGUAGE? HINT #1: Its an indigenous language of the United States. HINT #2: Its writing system looks like this:

HINT #3: The name of the language, in the language, is Tsalagi. Cheroke e Source: www.omniglot.com Professor Word has invented a machine to read the newspaper aloud, but it isnt working right! This ad it just read doesnt make any sense Do you love docks? We11 tick-tock, time is running out Sor dock wor1ds spring sale! We have watches, grandSather docks, and so much more! Whether you are a dock co11ector or just buying one Sor Sun, stop by dock wor1d today! Can you figure out which THREE MISTAKES the machine is making?

1. f S 2. l 1 3. cl d HOW DOES TEXT RECOGNITION WORK? ALSO KNOWN AS OPTICAL CHARACTER RECOGNITION OR OCR When you type into a computer, the letters are stored as codes in the computers memory. When you scan a page into the computer, it creates a picture of the words stored as pixels. Text recognition was invented to change pixels in into codes for letters. The computer looks at each black squiggle in the image and tries to match it to one of the letters in its list. S

Because a computer cant actually read, though, sometimes it makes mistakes! Unusual fonts and very small letters are a challenge for the program. The puzzle you just solved is based on real mistakes made by a text recognition program! Here are some sentences in Estonian, a language spoken in Estonia (a country in Northeastern Europe). Kell on ks. It is one oclock. Kell on kaks. It is two oclock. Kell on veerand kaks. It is quarter past one. (quarter toward two oclock) Kell on pool kaks. It is half past one. (half before two oclock) Kell on kolmveerand kaks. It is quarter to two. (three quarters toward two oclock) How would you say Its quarter past four in Estonian?

Hint: five = viis Kell on veerand viis. Source: Babette Verhoeven- Here are some sentences in Hindi, a language spoken in India. Char matchliyan hain. Char ladkiyan hain. Che matchliyan hain. There are four fish. There are four girls. There are six fish. How would you say There are six girls in Hindi? Che ladkiyan hain. HOW DOES COMPUTER TRANSLATION WORK?

The way you solved this puzzle is the same way a computer translator works! Translation systems are trained to notice words and their translations, and the differences in the order of words. Char There are ladkiyan four hain . girls. After training, the computer makes a translation dictionary like this: We train them by programming them count many millions of word correspondences like the ones in

this example. After they count, they compute probabilities. che = six ladkiyan = girls hain = are The real translation dictionary is full of errors, but it contains a probability for each translation. When you put in a sentence, the system translates the words using its dictionary and then puts them in the right order. This way, it can translate sentences it has never seen before, without a human having to write them all down! are There six girls. hain

ch e ladkiya n Fill in the blanks so that both phrases make sense! ? BASEBALL _B A _ T_ CAVE ? POOL _P_A _R _T _Y HAT ? BOOK _C _O _V _E _ UP

R ? HOW DO COMPUTERS GUESS WORDS? FOR SPEECH RECOGNITION AND COMPUTER TRANSLATION Sometimes, a computer cant be sure what word we just said, or which version of a translation is the right one. But how do you teach a machine to guess, and guess well?! Computers guess words using probabilities. The program looks at the words before and after the mystery word, then creates a list of all possible words that could go in that blank. Then, it chooses the one that is the most probable with the word before it, and the word after it: Looks good! BOOK COVER UP

Unfortunately, even when each word in the chain makes sense with the word before it, the whole chain can end up being gibberish! Linguists and computer scientists are working to teach computers better ways to guess words, and in the meantime we can enjoy all the funny mistakes computers make. HOW DO COMPUTERS GUESS WORDS? FOR SPEECH RECOGNITION AND COMPUTER TRANSLATION Lets look at an example from a state-of-the-art computer translation system. Supplied by Austin Matthews. The red parts of the sentence are each ok on their own, but together they make a grammatical error: the curriculum will be more emphasis on " real life " problems. Compare to: the curriculum will be more advanced.

the curriculum will be more emphasis on " real life " problems. Compare to: the solution will be more emphasis on real life problems. Some words in Japanese, called loanwords, are borrowed from English. Can you match each loanword to its picture? takus hii A pengi n aisu kuriimu B C

chiizu D WHY DO LANGUAGES SOUND DIFFERENT? Even when a word is the same in English and another language, it might sound very different! By the time youre six months old, you can already tell the difference between all the sounds of your native language. Not all languages have the same sounds, though! In this puzzle, you learned that Japanese puts a vowel after every consonant (except n). So taxi becomes takushii! Just like the sound x is difficult for Japanese speakers to pronounce, some sounds might seem unusual to you: - Nepali speakers use four different kinds of t! - Xhosa has three different clicking sounds that are used as letters! - Some languages in Central Asia can start a word with four consonants! ?

Each of these newspaper headlines can have two different meanings! Can you figure out what they are? A. POP STAR CHASED BY FAN B. THIEF CAUGHT BY BRIDGE ? C. BIG WIN STARTS SEASON WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR COMPUTERS TO UNDERSTAND US? Even though its funny to imagine the hidden meaning of these sentences, you can probably guess which meaning is correct. We make thousands of those guesses every day -- we dont always say exactly what we mean, but luckily everyones brain can fill in the gaps. Unfortunately, the guesses that are so easy for us are very hard for a computer! In this example, who is smart and who has computers? [smart students] and [teachers with computers] [[smart students] and teachers] with computers

smart [students and [teachers with computers]] smart [students and teachers] with computers This made up example is simple compared to what computers really encounter in Wikipedia, social media, email, and on-line newspapers. Ambiguity of this sort is combinatoric and can fill up a computers memory quickly. People, on the other hand, read over most ambiguity without noticing. Why doesnt it fill up your memory? Thats a good research question! Japanese uses a system of letters known as kanji. Each kanji has a specific meaning and pronunciation(s), and kanji can be combined to make new meanings. = to eat = thing What do you think food

means? Japanese uses a system of letters known as kanji. Each kanji has a specific meaning and pronunciation(s), and kanji can be combined to make new meanings. = outside = country What do you think foreign country means? You are in Addis Abeba in Ethiopia. You need to get to Adama. Can you figure out which way to go just by looking at these Amharic signs? Hint: Amharic is written using the Geez script. In those letters Addis Abeba is spelled

! 1 2 3 4 Harar

Dire Dawa Asaita HOW DO OTHER WRITING SYSTEMS WORK? In these puzzles you saw that some languages arent written the same way English is. Linguists divide writing systems into several different categories: Syllabaries use one letter to represent each syllable: Hebrew Japanese (kana) ga li Abjads use sets of letters to write only consonants:

English Be n Alphabets use sets of letters to write consonants and vowels: Abugidas combine consonant symbols with vowel symbols to make each letter: Semanto-phonetic systems have many letters, each with its own sound and meaning: se e in Compared to some of these examples, the 26 letters we use to write English Ch is a really small number! Source: www.omniglot.com Can you change

? BOBS RAFTS ? to BARBS CRAFTS in just FOUR moves?! ? Hint: one move = remove, add, or move a letter 1. Remove O 2. Add A 3. Add R 4. Add C ?

Source: Blake Allen and Patrick Littell HOW DOES AUTOCORRECT WORK? Edit distance is used in computer science to tell how different two pieces of text are. Each time you remove, add, or move a letter, it adds one to the edit distance. In the problem you just solved, for example, the edit distance between BOBS RAFTS and BARBS CRAFTS was 4. Autocorrect works by identifying misspelled words (by choosing words that dont match the list in its dictionary), then changes them to a similar word that is, a word with a small edit distance. Spell check works this way too, though it gives you a list of options to choose from in the order of smallest to largest edit distance. Autocorrect and spell check need to know more than just edit distance. They also need to know which spelling errors are most likely and which typos are most likely. Professor Word has invented a machine to read the newspaper aloud, but it isnt working right!

This story it just read doesnt make any sense New bond releoses loue song A local bond hos just releosed lts flrst slngle, a loue song wrltten by the gultorlst. The song ls olreody #2 on the chorts. When osked how they feel obout thelr newfound success, the whole bond wos speechless! Thelr full album comes out loter thls month. Can you figure out which THREE MISTAKES the machine is making? 1. a o 2. i l 3. v u HOW DOES TEXT RECOGNITION WORK? ALSO KNOWN AS OPTICAL CHARACTER RECOGNITION OR OCR

When you type into a computer, the letters are stored as codes in the computers memory. When you scan a page into the computer, it creates a picture of the words stored as pixels. Text recognition was invented to change pixels in into codes for letters. The computer looks at each black squiggle in the image and tries to match it to one of the letters in its list. S Because a computer cant actually read, though, sometimes it makes mistakes! Unusual fonts and very small letters are a challenge for the program. The puzzle you just solved is based on real mistakes made by a text recognition program! Here are some sentences in Hindi, a language spoken in India. Chai dijie. Roti dijie. Chawal dijie.

Tea, please. Bread, please. Rice, please. How would you say Water, please in Hindi? Hint: water = pani Pani dijie. Here are some sentences in Japanese. Just like in America, Japanese schools have many different levels. Emi wa chuugakusei desu. Emi is a middle school student. Ken wa daigakusei desu. Ken is a high school student. Sayuri wa shougakusei desu.

student. Sayuri is an elementary school If the Japanese word for I is watashi, can you say what kind of student you are? Watashi wa ___ desu. Here are some sentences in Quechua, a language spoken in Mexico. Pay asin. He laughed (very recently). Pay asiran. He laughed (a while ago). Pay asisqa.

He laughed (a very long time ago). Pay tiyan. Pay tiyaran. She sat down (very recently). She sat down (a while ago). How would you say She sat down (a very long time ago) in Quechua? Pay tiyasqa. HOW DOES COMPUTER TRANSLATION WORK? The way you solved this puzzle is the same way a computer translator works! Translation systems are trained to notice words and their translations, and the differences in the order of words. Pay He/she

-sqa. asilaughed (long ago). After training, the computer makes a translation dictionary like this: We train them by programming them count many millions of word correspondences like the ones in this example. After they count, they compute probabilities. pay = he/she tiya- = to sit -sqa = (long ago)

The real translation dictionary is full of errors, but it contains a probability for each translation. When you put in a sentence, the system translates the words using its dictionary and then puts them in the right order. This way, it can translate sentences it has never seen before, without a human having to write them all down! She sat (a very long time ago). pay tiy a sqa DID YOU KNOW? There are over 7,000 languages spoken around the world.

Over 382 of those languages are spoken in the United Greek Vietnamese States! Navajo Gujarati Polish Hebrew French Creole Spanish Armenian Mon-Khmer Yiddish

Tagalog Laotian Thai Persian Arabic Hmong Source: www.census.gov Fill in the blanks so that both phrases make sense! ? ? CREDIT _C _A _R D _ GAME ICE _C _R _E _A M

_ CHEESE COUCH _P_O_T _A _T _ CHIP O ? Source: Patrick Littell HOW DO COMPUTERS GUESS WORDS? FOR SPEECH RECOGNITION AND COMPUTER TRANSLATION Sometimes, a computer cant be sure what word we just said, or which version of a translation is the right one. But how do you teach a machine to guess, and guess well?! Computers guess words using probabilities. The program looks at the words before and after the mystery word, then creates a list of all possible words that could go in that blank. Then, it chooses the one that is the most probable with the word before it, and the word after it: Looks good! COUCH

POTATO CHIP Unfortunately, even when each word in the chain makes sense with the word before it, the whole chain can end up being gibberish! Linguists and computer scientists are working to teach computers better ways to guess words, and in the meantime we can enjoy all the funny mistakes computers make. HOW DO COMPUTERS GUESS WORDS? FOR SPEECH RECOGNITION AND COMPUTER TRANSLATION Lets look at an example from a state-of-the-art computer translation system. Supplied by Austin Matthews. The red parts of the sentence are each ok on their own, but together they

make a grammatical error: the curriculum will be more emphasis on " real life " problems. Compare to: the curriculum will be more advanced. the curriculum will be more emphasis on " real life " problems. Compare to: the solution will be more emphasis on real life problems. Maori is a language spoken by the aboriginal (native) people of New Zealand. Some words in Maori, called loanwords, are borrowed from English. Can you match each loanword to its picture? haa ma A haap a B

waan a C maati D Source: Patrick Littell WHY DO LANGUAGES SOUND DIFFERENT? Even when a word is the same in English and another language, it might sound very different! By the time youre six months old, you can already tell the difference between all the sounds of your native language. Not all languages have the same sounds, though! In this puzzle, you learned Maori speakers dont pronounce the letter s. So

swan becomes waana! Just like the sound s is difficult for Maori speakers to pronounce, some sounds might seem unusual to you: - Nepali speakers use four different kinds of t! - Xhosa has three different clicking sounds that are used as letters! - Some languages in Central Asia can start a word with four consonants! Here are some sentences in Japanese. Ritsu wa hana ga suki desu. Ritsu likes flowers. Chihiro wa hana ga suki jyanai. flowers. Chihiro doesnt like Asako wa ame ga suki desu. Asako likes candy.

Can you figure out what this Japanese sentence means? Mizuho wa ame ga suki jyanai. Mizuho doesnt like candy. Here are some sentences in Chol, a language spoken in Mexico. Mi kocel. I enter. Mi ?yocel. He enters. Mi kubin. Mi ?yubin. I listen (to it). He listens (to it).

________________ Can you fill in the blank? Hint: The symbol ? stands for a glottal stop the sound you make in the middle of uh-oh! Here are some sentences in Spanish. El perro duerme. The dog sleeps. El perro come. The dog eats. El gato duerme. The cat sleeps. Can you figure out what this Spanish sentence means?

El gato come. The cat eats. HOW DOES COMPUTER TRANSLATION WORK? The way you solved this puzzle is the same way a computer translator works! Translation systems are trained to notice words and their translations, and the differences in the order of words. El perro The dog come . eats.

After training, the computer makes a translation dictionary like this: We train them by programming them count many millions of word correspondences like the ones in this example. After they count, they compute probabilities. el = the gato = cat come = eats The real translation dictionary is full of errors, but it contains a probability for each translation. When you put in a sentence, the system translates the words using its

dictionary and then puts them in the right order. This way, it can translate sentences it has never seen before, without a human having to write them all down! gato El come. th e ca t eats CAN YOU GUESS THE LANGUAGE? HINT #1: Its writing system is called Mkhedruli and looks like this: HINT #2: Its spoken in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and other countries in the South Caucasus. HINT #3: It shares the name of the main country where its spoken.

Georgian Source: www.omniglot.com ? Each of these newspaper headlines can have two different meanings! Can you figure out what they are? A. REWARD OFFERED FOR LOST CAT ? B. NEW MALL OPENS DOORS C. CONVICT BEGINS SENTENCE ? WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR COMPUTERS TO UNDERSTAND US?

Even though its funny to imagine the hidden meaning of these sentences, you can probably guess which meaning is correct. We make thousands of those guesses every day -- we dont always say exactly what we mean, but luckily everyones brain can fill in the gaps. Unfortunately, the guesses that are so easy for us are very hard for a computer! In this example, who is smart and who has computers? [smart students] and [teachers with computers] [[smart students] and teachers] with computers smart [students and [teachers with computers]] smart [students and teachers] with computers This made up example is simple compared to what computers really encounter in Wikipedia, social media, email, and on-line newspapers. Ambiguity of this sort is combinatoric and can fill up a computers memory quickly. People, on the other hand, read over most ambiguity without noticing. Why doesnt it fill up your memory? Thats a good research question! Japanese uses a system of letters known as kanji. Each kanji has a specific meaning and pronunciation(s), and kanji can be combined to make new meanings.

= now = day What do you think today means? Japanese uses a system of letters known as kanji. Each kanji has a specific meaning and pronunciation(s), and kanji can be combined to make new meanings. = middle = school, learning What do you think middle school

means? You are in ANNINO Station in Moscow, Russia. You need to get off at the MITINO stop. Can you figure out which train to board just by looking at these Russian signs? Hint: The sign for ANNINO is in the Russian alphabet! 1 2 3 4

OREKHOVO MARINO PEROVO HOW DO OTHER WRITING SYSTEMS WORK? In these puzzles you saw that some languages arent written the same way English is. Linguists divide writing systems into several different categories: Syllabaries use one letter to represent each syllable:

Hebrew Japanese (kana) ga li Abjads use sets of letters to write only consonants: English Be n Alphabets use sets of letters to write consonants and vowels: Abugidas combine consonant symbols with vowel symbols to make each letter: Semanto-phonetic systems have many letters, each with its own sound and meaning: se e

in Compared to some of these examples, the 26 letters we use to write English Ch is a really small number! Source: www.omniglot.com HOW DO PUZZLES PREPARE YOU FOR COMPUTING? Pattern recognition Multi-step reasoning Thinking in terms of instructions or procedures Thinking of problems as procedures with inputs and outputs Breaking complex tasks into simpler tasks WHY DO COMPUTER SCIENTISTS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LANGUAGE DIVERSITY? Less than half of the Web is in English. Computer programs that work for English might not work for other languages if they are not carefully designed.

Although English is useful in the global economy, local languages preserve identity, cultural heritage, and a legacy of knowledge. Even cultures with low literacy have computational needs: They use oral micro-blogs that they access via cell phone. These micro-blogs help them with health care, agricultural information, and weather alerts. When you are an executive in a high tech company, will you know how to meet the worlds needs? Careers Humanitarian Industry Government Academic Education

Careers Humanitarian Machine translation for disaster relief and humanitarian aid. Translate between aid workers and victims of disease or natural disaster. Technologies such as spelling checkers to help revitalize endangered languages Assistive technologies for people with disabilities Careers Search engines Natural language voice interfaces Talking to machines Summarization Industry Facebook Twitter

Google Yahoo Reuters General Motors Microsoft Amazon because there is more information than people can attend to Sentiment detection Did people like the product or movie? Machine Translation Translate from one language to another Careers National Security: There is more information than human analysts can attend to.

Machine Translation Speech recognition Summarization and information extraction Detection of sentiment and deception Government Careers Computer Assisted Language Learning Automatically detect errors Automated grading of essays Educational Testing Service Analysis of educational dialogue The way you interact affects the way you learn Education

Careers Work at a university Train the next generation Do research on unsolved problems in Natural Language Processing Academic

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