Experts in artificial intelligence have responded with amazement, and some scepticism, to Google Brain’s recent assertion that before the decade is up, it will have cracked the linguistic Holy Grail of understanding what the fuck residents of Newcastle are talking about.
Professor Simone Williams, a neurolinguistics expert working for the project, was adamant the prospect of being able to translate Geordie into English was no longer a pipe dream.
She went on, “After we bought AlphaGo we hooked it up to looped episodes of Geordie Shore. It went dark and after two full years, we were about to give up. But six months ago it finally made a breakthrough and conclusively proved that ‘scran’ was a phoneme used to denote a condition of hunger.”
Professor Williams admitted the project was always seen as a moonshot, particularly by financial backers.
“A lot of people didn’t believe in it. We had to go against decades of conventional thinking that Geordie wasn’t technically ‘speech’ but a method of echolocation gone horribly wrong due to alcohol abuse. And we were constantly being told there was no commercial value in knowing what a ‘canny broon’ is.
“But for linguists like myself, Geordie is the last great frontier. Once we crack it, the prospect of a sci-fi universal translator becomes very real.”
Professor Williams did say it would be at least three years before simple messages like texts could be fully translated and another two years to reach a B2 CEF level.
Until then, trade with Geordies would still have to rely on basic object recognition or getting surly residents of Gateshead to act as interpreters by pretending to agree with their ridiculous claim that they’re not a suburb of Newcastle.