Posted on April 16, 2012 by matthewdbenson
Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Duncan1890
“How can we get 100 million people translating the web into every major language for free?”
Does this sound like a crazy question? I thought so initially, and I still have a few caveats, but I’m very impressed by the outrageous ambition of the ‘duolingo‘ initiative that follows …
Filed under: Language translation | Tagged: Clay Shirky, collaboration, Crowdsourcing, Duolingo, language learning, language training, languages, Luis von Ahn, TEDx, Translation, Wikipedia | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 3, 2010 by matthewdbenson
I recently read (and retweeted) the tweet above. It made me think what has been achieved in a relatively short space of time (30 years or so, since computers began to reach the public, initially in only a very rudimentary form), and inspired me to develop those thoughts.
As @dna4ever42‘s tweet quotes Stephen Fry (in the Time magazine article ‘The iPad Launch: Can Steve Jobs Do It Again?‘), Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) likens the iPad to the encyclopedia in Douglas Adams’ brilliant ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy‘ (the encyclopedia being that guide), written by Adams, a close friend of Fry, in 1979.
It is indeed a shame that Adams, who Fry describes as being the first person in the UK to own an Apple Macintosh computer, isn’t able to see the iPad (Adams died of a heart attack at the age of 49 on 11 May 2001) – one can be fairly sure that he would have been excited by it.
Filed under: Internet & technology | Tagged: @stephenfry, Amazon, Apple, dna4ever42, Douglas Adams, Google, Google books, iPad, Kindle, Stephen Fry, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Wikipedia | 4 Comments »
Posted on August 11, 2009 by matthewdbenson
In response to an article written by Brian Cathcart in the current issue (Volume 2, Issue 4, Summer 2009) of Economist’s “Intelligent Life” magazine (which, by the way, I find to generally be a very good read). Click here for the article.
The article purports that today’s ability to google the answer to almost any question, and have a near immediate answer, is potentially reducing the extent to which today’s society accumulates, or prides itself, in holding and increasing a broad and deep ‘general knowledge’.
Personally I see that this is in fact a misinterpretation of what Google means for our social development. It is correct that answers to more questions can be found quicker, and that one can choose to short-cut ‘knowing’ a fact, by simply ‘looking it up’, but it was always possible to look up some facts, and yet those that prided themselves in their general knowledge used the available sources to provide them with the facts.
Filed under: Internet & technology | Tagged: Brian Cathcart, Economist, Encyclopedia Britannica, Google, Intelligent Life, Search, Wikipedia | 6 Comments »