Monday, May 28, 2012

Want to change writing style? Do not use Google translator

Every time we give our authorship recognition talk, someone will say, "just run your text through a machine translator, it'd change your style!"
Same comments were made at IEEE S&P after the authorship recognition talk ("On feasibility of internet scale authorship recognition").

One of my lab mates experimented with translation effect on authorship recognition and found that translation cannot be used for writing style change.
The reason is that a good translator would keep the style intact and a bad translator would change the style so much that it would distort the original meaning completely.
A good writing style anonymizer should change the style while keeping the meaning of the text intact.

The paper on translation effect is still under submission.
Mike mentioned this a little in his talk at ccc, 2009.

1 comment:

Nayem rashid said...

The fact that computer translators do not yet posses the capability of properly translating a sentence is a very commonly known phenomenon, nothing surprising there. however the suggestion of translators paraphrasing a sentence properly is rather funny. I couldn't help but state this here.