Microsoft researchers claimed Wednesday they have created the first machine translation system that can translate sentences from Chinese to English as accurately as humans.
A Microsoft blog post said a research team at the company's Asia and U.S. labs claimed their system has achieved human parity on a commonly used test set of news stories.
"Hitting human parity in a machine translation task is a dream that all of us have had," said Huang Xuedong, in charge of Microsoft's speech, natural language and machine translation efforts, calling the system a milestone in one of the most challenging natural language processing tasks.
"The pursuit of removing language barriers to help people communicate better is fantastic," he said.
Arul Menezes, research manager of Microsoft's machine translation team, said the team proved its system could perform as well as a person when it used a Chinese-English language pair.
Academic and industry researchers have recently achieved substantial breakthrough in translations by adopting an artificial intelligence (AI) technology called deep neural networks. This has made it possible to create more fluent, natural-sounding translations than the traditional approach known as statistical machine translation.