An Aided Adaptive Character Reader for Machine Translation of Languages

by Paul Baran, Gerald Estrin


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A description of an elementary procedure for the synthesis of a character-recognition device based on a learning experiment. Using information derived from a significant sample of the set of characters to be read and given identification of the samples by a human operator, a computer defines a set of "filters." These filters may then be used to transform unknown characters having similar type characteristics. During the recognition process a probability matrix for each character in the alphabet is used to compute a figure of merit for the hypothesis that an unknown character is the same as a known character. It is shown that this elementary model may aid in constructing a fast input device for a language translation machine if it was able to make use of frequency distribution characteristics of the dictionary. A possible implementation with a raw character reading rate up to 500 characters a second appears feasible.

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