Annals of Science 73 (2):208-223 (2016)

SUMMARYMachine Translation is now ubiquitous in discussions of translation. The roots of this phenomenon — first publicly unveiled in the so-called ‘Georgetown-IBM Experiment’ on 9 January 1954 — displayed not only the technological utopianism still associated with dreams of a universal computer translator, but was deeply enmeshed in the political pressures of the Cold War and a dominating conception of scientific writing as both the goal of machine translation as well as its method. Machine translation was created, in part, as a solution to a perceived crisis sparked by the massive expansion of Soviet science. Scientific prose was also perceived as linguistically simpler, and so served as the model for how to turn a language into a series of algorithms. This paper follows the rise of the Georgetown program — the largest single program in the world — from 1954 to the collapse of MT in 1964.
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DOI 10.1080/00033790.2014.917437
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The Physics of Spin: Sputnik Politics and American Physicists in the 1950s.David Kaiser - 2006 - Social Research: An International Quarterly 73 (4):1225-1252.

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