Is artificial intelligence about to free us from the curse of Babel?

FROM the very beginnings of recorded history, there has been a desire to create a single language that could unite humankind. Allegorised in the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, as well as in origin myths from cultures around the world, the belief has always been that the diversity of languages – there are over 7000 spoken today – is a problem for which we need to find a solution. This has led, down through the centuries, to many a scheme trying to craft some form of truly universal communication.

To date, however, none of these have properly succeeded. But with…

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