Ok, complete n00b here. I am going to apologize right now if this is a stupid question.
I know next to nothing about teaching or Chinese or teaching Chinese, etc.
So question for those who do, what do you think about the efficacy of real-time translation using machine learning as a substitute for learning English?
The link notes that about 5 months ago Microsoft supposedly achieved a high quality (“with human accuracy”), Chinese>English translation in real time. I suppose the other way is a problem, but I’m not sure.
What I’m saying is, rather than invest in language education why not invest in developing a phone app that provides high-quality, instant translation Chinese<>English? The app would use the phone’s speaker to verbalize and I suppose the app could be developed to provide a copy of the conversation in both languages (although that’s only an assumption on my part). Seems to me that if English language acquisition is a public good for Taiwan, a real-time translator would be faster, cheaper, easier, less frightening, and more accepted by Taiwanese.
I suppose it could generate sales revenue as well, especially if such machine learning could be applied to other languages. Would seem to be a large investment in any case.
Am I missing something here? Has this been done or tried already?