THE POETRY OF AL JAZEERA

A DARPA-backed project is now giving real-time translations of Al Jazeera and other Arabic-language TV channels.But like just about every voice-recognition program, this one is buggy."In a demonstration the company recently conducted over the Web, the system produced somewhat cryptic English sentences that gave the viewer an extremely rough idea of what the Al Jazeera newscasters were describing," reports the New York Times' John Markoff."It's more like poetry than prose," said Bradley Horowitz, founder of Virage, the translation firm. "It evokes the right things, but it's hardly accurate."

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