Machine Learning and Computational Linguistics are a fond hobby of mine. Someone ready to sponser money and family permitting time, i want to delve into it any day. I am very excited of Google’s attempt at transliteration so far. It has certainly made writing in foreign languages exciting with on the fly ‘transliteration’ embedded into mostly all of google’s products, gmail, blogger,orkut etc. to name a few. This has added lot of joy and excitement into many native language communicators.
For a nation like the United States or the United Kingdom, such tools will hardly have any impact (Keeping in mind the majority of english speaking/conversing population). But for a country like india, It’s MASSIVE. India has at least 25 –120 regional languages.
I strongly believe that for a civilization to flourish language - ‘bhaasha’ or call it ‘mother tongue’ is the primary and most fundamental tool that humans could have developed. Indians are pioneers in Linguistics and Logic. Given the very fact that a nation of 1 billion today speak so many different languages is a very simple and strong example of the Linguistics and Logic revolution in India.
In a diversified state such as India, Computational Linguistics can play a very significant role. Imagine a child writing a letter to his/her mother in a language that she can converse in. The mother might not know to read or write in a different language, However the child will go to school and learn english, call it modernization or existentialism the language english has bestowed upon us. ‘This is a very simple common day scenario in rural india.’
I am very sure that as we all evolve conversing in english everyday into the 21st century, Research in computational linguistics will only start adding much more values into our ‘diversified’ culture and lives.
Therefore Computational Linguistics can be seen as a ‘fundamental tool’.
Simply because for any language to survive, it needs speakers. Amongst the ubiquitous things we can think ok ‘Culture/Tradition’ alone does not help a language to survive, the moment a language loses it’s speakers, it starts to decay and disappear.
After all, the ‘Vedas’ (a philosophical discourse) says ‘Flowers of different colours will only make the garden bright’. Computational Linguistics tools can only enrich a diversified civilization and get it in equilibrium with the ‘modern’ world.