One of the most important ongoing tech projects of this century is the creation and refinement of natural language processing software.
Now Google has applied its Google Neural Machine Translation (GNMT) system to the translation software behind Google translate, which can now analyze full phrases at a time, rather than a word by word understanding.
This technique allows for increased accuracy in translation, and as researchers recently found, machine learning software allows the algorithm to produce blind translations, meaning translating between two languages it hasn’t been taught before.
For example, the team behind the software taught it to translate from Portuguese to English and from English to Spanish.
The AI was then able to extrapolate from the input data and translate from Portuguese to Spanish.
The research paper published on the phenomenon says, “To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of true multilingual zero-shot translation.”
But even more surprising than this latest development in AI’s translation abilities, is that it seems the software has created its own language in order to do so.
“Visual interpretation of the results shows that these models learn a form of interlingua representation for the multilingual model between all involved language pairs,” says the paper.
‘Interlingua’ is a language created by artificial intelligence in order to fulfill a purpose. In this case, it was to fill in the gaps between the input it was given in order to fulfill the task of zero-shot translation.
The research team wrote a blog post alongside the publication of the paper which said, “Using a 3-dimensional representation of internal network data, we were able to take a peek into the system as it translated a set of sentences between all possible pairs of the Japanese, Korean, and English languages.”
What this means is that the AI was encoding semantic information present in the languages it was taught in order to figure out how to translate between other languages.
This is a significant development from word to word or even phrase to phrase translation that used to characterize computer translation software.
In the past, when internet users would attempt to translate larger bodies of text from one language to another, it was apparent that the software lacked the ability to interpret semantic input when it suggested words that made little sense in the greater context of the sentence.
Prior to that, even basic syntactical errors were common in translations. The AI’s development and subsequent use of its own interlingua will continue to advance the abilities of computer’s to process and produce language to near human abilities.
Just like the rest of us, the stars of the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s are getting older. While time can be a cruel mistress, some celebrities look exactly the same now as they did in their heyday! Let’s take a step back in time to see some of Britain’s biggest stars of the past, and find out what they’re up to now.
Samantha Fox is a British singer-songwriter, who is also widely known for being one of the UK’s top glamor models of the 1980s. Music was her first love, as she released her first single — “Rockin’ With My Radio” — when she was only 16 years old.
In the same year, she began her modeling career, which contributed to her rising public profile. She retired from modeling in 1986 to focus on her music career and has released six albums in total.
It’s no understatement to say that Katie Price (AKA ‘Jordan’) is a noughties icon. Her career skyrocketed as a result of her glamor modeling work, and whilst her career thrived in the 2000s, she is still in the public eye today.
She is now known for her television work, as she has starred in her own reality show and appeared as a panelist on Loose Women. She has also released her own merchandise including books, clothing, equestrian equipment (really!), and fragrances.
Kelly Brook similarly became known for her appearance, as she launched her modeling career at the age of 16. She won a beauty competition, having been entered by her mother, and this led to a host of successful advertising campaigns.
By the mid-2000s she had become a cultural icon, beloved by many for her bubbly personality and stunning looks. Today, she has diversified her career to become a television presenter, actress, and radio host for London-based station Heart Radio.
In the 1990s, Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Hurley made headlines for dating rom-com star Hugh Grant. You will probably have seen the famous photographs of her at the premiere for Four Weddings and a Funeral, wearing a plunging black dress held together with safety pins!
However, keen to be recognized for her own talents, she launched a successful modeling career and later pivoted into acting. She been the face of Estée Lauder for over 20 years and owns her own beachwear line.
Before she became Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton was an art history student at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Her life entirely changed when she met Prince William at their halls of residence.
As you can imagine, dating a member of the royal family resulted in significant media attention! They married in 2011 and now have three children. Today, she engages in charity work — focusing on issues surrounding young children, mental health, and education.
You will probably know Rowan Atkinson for his buffoonish roles such as Mr. Bean, Blackadder, and misguided spy Johnny English. He was a firm fixture in the British television and film industries of the 2000s, and his showbiz career is still thriving today.
In 2007, Atkinson was listed in The Observer newspaper as one of the 50 funniest actors in British comedy. In 2013, he was appointed a CBE in the Queen’s Honors for his services to drama and charity.
Popstar Emma Bunton made her name as a member of the famous ’90s girl group, Spice Girls. She was given the nickname Baby Spice due to her sweet, bubbly personality, feminine style, and status as the youngest member of the band.
When the group disbanded in 2000, she launched a successful solo career, and she is still releasing music today. In 2019, she released a Christmas single and supported this with a show at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Emma’s bandmate, Geri Halliwell, was known as Ginger Spice due to her flaming red hair and vivacious personality. Despite the group selling over 85 million records worldwide, she was the first to jump ship in 1998, citing mental health issues and creative differences. While fans were devastated, Geri felt a newfound sense of freedom and launched a solo career.
Today, she is known for her charity work, television, and radio hosting. She has also written a series of children’s books.
Born in Nigeria but raised in Essex, England, Sade has been credited as one of the most successful British female artists in history. Her impact on contemporary music cannot be understated, as her soulful sound has influenced countless artists including Beyoncé, Aaliyah, and Missy Elliot.
She was recognized for this in the 2017 Queen’s birthday honors, when she was given the title of CBE. Today, she lives a quiet life in a renovated cottage in the countryside of Gloucestershire, England.
Michelle From Eastenders
Soap fans will remember Michelle from Eastenders, as her character caused trouble in Albert Square from the first episode in 1985 until her departure from the series in 1995. Played by Susan Tully and later, Jenna Russell, the character was at the heart of many dramatic storylines — such as illegal teacher-student affairs, car crashes, and stalking.
Tully gave up acting after her role in the series to work behind the camera and Russell still acts on stage and on screen.
Zoe From Eastenders
Zoe Slater is another beloved Eastenders character, played by Michelle Ryan. In a dramatic turn, it was revealed that Slater’s sister — Kat — was actually her mother. Ryan’s character exited the soap in 2005 after her character swapped Albert Square for Ibiza. Since her Eastenders role, Ryan has been cast in Merlin, Doctor Who, and Death in Paradise.
Her most recent role has been in the independent drama film, The Last Photograph. Released in 2017, Ryan stars alongside Jaime Winstone and Danny Huston.
Ashley From Coronation Street
Ashley Peacock was a character on Eastenders’ rival soap, Coronation Street. He first appeared in 1999 and his character was killed off as part of the show’s 50th birthday celebration in December 2010. It was a dramatic episode, as multiple characters were killed in an explosion, which caused a tram to derail and crash.
Today, actor Stephen Arnold has starred in numerous reputable theatrical productions including Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (where he played Bottom) and Darling Buds of May.
Manchester-born television personality Vernon Kay has been a popular figure in the British entertainment industry for over 20 years. He got his start on television as the host of Channel 4 gameshow, Boys and Girls. He later assumed hosting duties for beloved gameshow Family Fortunes — the UK equivalent of Family Feud.
Today, he has made the jump from host to reality show contestant, as he has recently joined the all-star cast of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.
Canadian singer Nicole Appleton was a mainstay in the UK press in the 2000s. She was a member of the girl group, All Saints — who reached international success thanks to a host of catchy and edgy singles including “Pure Shores,” “Never Ever,” and “Black Coffee.”
She also hit the headlines thanks to her high profile relationships with stars Robbie Williams and Liam Gallagher. She now has a daughter with boyfriend Stephen Haines and has taken a step out of the limelight.
Philippa Charlotte Matthews, also known as Pippa Middleton, graced headlines in 2011 when she appeared as the maid of honor at her sister’s wedding. This was not your average nuptials, as her sister Kate was marrying into the British royal family!
Pippa was a frequent face in the media throughout the 2000s, as she attended various high society events. She has since worked as a columnist for publications including Vanity Fair and The Telegraph, and now runs her own company.
Gareth Gates is known as the angelic, baby-faced crooner from Bradford who was the runner-up of the first series of Pop Idol. Despite losing to competitor Will Young, Gates went on to carve out a successful entertainment career. His covers of “Spirit in the Sky” and “Unchained Melody” were huge chart hits.
He starred in the 2003 comedy film, Seeing Double, alongside pop group S Club 7. Today, he is still performing and was recently part of the ITV documentary, The Big Reunion.
If you’re an Eminem fan, you will recognize Dido’s voice. He sampled her song “Thank You,” to provide a hook for his single “Stan.” She was one of the biggest UK popstars of the 2000s, with her debut album — No Angel — selling millions of copies worldwide.
Despite taking a hiatus from the industry for a few years in order to raise her son, she is back to making music. In 2013, she was reunited with her old pal, Slim Shady, at the Reading and Leeds festival.
Darius Danesh-Campbell is another star that Brits may recognize. He began his career as a reality TV star, entering talent shows Pop Idol and Popstars. Shockingly, he turned down Simon Cowell’s offer of a record deal, teaming up with producer Steve Lillywhite instead. In 2005, he began his West End career in the musical, Chicago.
He made his talent show return in Popstar to Opera Star, winning the series and starring in Bizet’s opera Carmen at the O2 in London.
Boyband heartthrob Duncan James was known for being part of the British group, Blue. They were highly successful between the years of 2002 and 2005, and they briefly reformed in 2009 and 2013. He turned to the acting world in between his breaks from music, starring in popular Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks as Ryan Knight.
He is still very much in the public eye, appearing on multiple television shows such as Jane McDonald and Friends. He also has a large social media following with 350,000 Instagram followers.
The Cheeky Girls
The Cheeky Girls are a sister singing duo who rose to fame in the 2000s following a host of catchy singles such as “The Cheeky Song,” “Take Your Shoes Off,” and “Have a Cheeky Christmas.” They appeared on popular British reality TV shows, Popstars: The Rivals and Model Behavior, causing their public profile to skyrocket.
In 2010, they returned to UK screens as contestants on Britain’s Got Talent. Today, they appear on television speaking on the issue of Romanian immigration.
Reality TV addicts will remember Nikki Grahame from her stint on Big Brother. She was a contestant on the seventh season, finishing in fifth place. She was popular with audiences due to her entertaining outbursts, with many viewers considering her to be a complete drama queen.
She was given her own show Princess Nikki and has since returned to the Big Brother house in the British and Canadian versions. Today, she writes books and campaigns to raise awareness of eating disorders.
British national treasure Cheryl rose to fame in the 2000s as part of the pop group, Girls Aloud. When the group disbanded, she launched a solo career and appeared on-screen as a judge on The X Factor, starting in 2008.
She is still very much part of the showbiz world, due to her popular music career and string of high-profile relationships. In 2018, she gave birth to her first child with One Direction member and former X Factor contestant Liam Payne.
The “Sweet Dreams My LA X” singer seemed to be everywhere in the 2000s. She is most widely known as a member of the pop group, S Club 7 — whose singles “Reach,” “Never Had a Dream Come True,” and “Don’t Stop Movin'” stormed the charts all over the world.
The group briefly reformed for a reunion tour in 2015. Today, she makes occasional appearances on various television shows and raises her two daughters, Amelie and Minnie, with husband Alex Bourne.
Myleene Klass originally rose to prominence in pop group Hear’Say, releasing two studio albums and five singles. However, classical music is her true passion. She is a talented soprano singer and pianist, and has released multiple classical-pop crossover albums.
She is also known for her television and radio work, having presented shows such as Loose Women, CD:UK, The One Show, and Popstar to Opera Star. She also works as a model, stage actress, and fashion designer. Myleene does it all!
Daniel Bedingfield was a huge star, thanks to his emotive and energetic hits — “Gotta Get Thru This” and “If You’re Not the One.” Despite being a big name in the UK, he was actually born in Auckland, New Zealand, and returned to his homeland in 2013 to host its version of The X Factor.
Today, he prefers to stay out of the spotlight and primarily writes music for other artists. He has written for K-pop group Spica, as well as Ben Haenow.
Just like her sibling Daniel, Natasha Bedingfield is a talented singer-songwriter from Sussex, England. Her debut album “Unwritten” was released in 2004 to rave reviews, thanks to her catchy RNB-inspired pop songs. You may recognize her hit “Pocketful of Sunshine” from the soundtrack of Emma Stone rom-com Easy A.
Eight years after the release of her third album Strip Me in 2010, she released another record entitled Roll With Me. It was produced by Linda Perry of the well-known group, 4 Non Blondes.
Michelle Heaton is a popstar turned personal trainer from Gateshead, England. She was incredibly popular in the early 2000s for her role in pop group Liberty X. When the group disbanded in 2007, Heaton turned to the world of television.
She has starred in various reality shows such as I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here Now and Celebrity Big Brother. Today, she dedicates herself to fitness, releasing exercise DVDs and promoting healthy living on Instagram.
‘H’ From Steps
Ian ‘H’ Watkins is famous for being part of one of the top bubblegum pop groups of the 2000s, Steps. He joined the band in 1997, and they experienced a wealth of success, selling over 20 million records worldwide and being nominated for a BRIT Award.
He decided to enter the acting sphere after the band split, enrolling in a musical theater course at the Royal Academy of Music. He has since starred in many pantomime shows and theater productions.
Sarah Ferguson has many monikers. Officially, she is known as Sarah, Duchess of York. However, the UK tabloid press often simply refer to her as ‘Fergie.’ She is known for being married to Prince Andrew, Duke of York, from 1986 to 1996. The pair have two daughters, princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and have remained friends following their split.
Today, she is mostly known for her business activities, writing, and charity work — although some of her career moves have been marred with controversy.
Paul Danan was a favorite of Hollyoaks viewers, thanks to his role as resident bad boy Sol Patrick in the series. After leaving the soap, he became a reality TV star, entering Celebrity Love Island and Celebrity Big Brother.
He has been open about his personal struggles after living in the public eye from a relatively young age. Preferring to stay out of the showbiz world, he now lives in Hertfordshire, England and runs a drama group for young children.
You will most likely recognize Liverpudlian singer Natasha Hamilton for her time in the group, Atomic Kitten. The band released 19 singles and three studio albums, achieving chart success with songs such as “Whole Again,” “The Tide is High,” and “Eternal Flame.”
She has never released any solo albums, despite various rumors over the years that she had been working on music. Today, she occasionally appears on daytime TV and focuses on raising her four children — Josh, Harry, Alfie, and Ella.
Irish singer Samantha Mumba shot to fame at the tender age of 17 with the release of her single “Gotta Tell You.” It has since been listed in Billboard‘s ‘Greatest Choruses of the 21st Century.’
After her music career began to wind down, she made the move into acting, starring in various Irish independent films. She also starred in the 2002 blockbuster, The Time Machine — an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ book. In 2019, Mumba announced her plans to return to music.
Irish music manager and television personality Louis Walsh is perhaps best known for being part of the original judging panel of The X Factor. He has discovered many of the UK and Ireland’s premier pop acts such as Samantha Mumba, Westlife, and Boyzone.
Recently, he has appeared as a judge on Ireland’s Got Talent and as a contestant on Celebrity Catchphrase, as well as The Chase Celebrity Special. He currently manages the solo career of Westlife’s Shane Filan, and duo Myles and Connor.
Many will remember Cat Deeley as the host of entertainment programs SMTV and its spinoff CD:UK. In 2006, she made the move to the USA to host the American reality show, So You Think You Can Dance.
Her career continued to flourish in the U.S., and she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her hosting. In 2019, after many years in LA, she made the move back to the UK with her comedian husband Patrick Kielty and their kids.
Fearne Cotton has had a successful and varied career. She entertained the entertainment industry at the age of 15, as she hosted children’s TV program The Disney Club. She continued to work on television sets, eventually making the move into mainstream TV. She has hosted multiple popular shows and became the first female host of the Radio One chart show in 2007.
Today, she hosts the popular wellness podcast, Happy Place — supporting this with a series of books and live events.
Lee Ryan was known as the bad boy of British boyband Blue. They were hugely successful in the 2000s, and his powerful vocals made him one of the standout members of the group. Today, he has acted on stage and screen, appearing in The Pretender Agenda and Eastenders.
He has also released solo music and represented the United Kingdom during the 2011 Eurovision song contest, coming in 11th place. In 2019, he appeared on the reality TV show, Celebs Go Dating.
Will Young famously beat Gareth Gates in the final of the first series of Pop Idol. He initially studied politics at university but left his course to pursue musical theater and later, enter the talent show that made him famous. He has sold millions of records worldwide and toured all over the globe.
Like many other entertainers, he made a foray into acting, starring in multiple films and stage productions. He is also an author, writing books for LGBTQ+ audiences.
Craig David is one of the most famous figures in the UK garage scene. His album — Born to Do It — is considered to be hugely influential in the genre. He has worked with artists such as Tinchy Stryder, Kano, Jay Sean, and Big Narstie.
Despite being lampooned in spoof TV show Bo’Selecta, David remained a well-respected artist. He resurrected his career in 2014, after many years out of the limelight. He has released seven albums, selling millions of copies worldwide.
Robbie Williams is another national treasure, thanks to his involvement in the boyband — Take That — and his fruitful solo career. He was the first member to depart from the band, leaving fans devastated.
However, after a 15-year hiatus from the group, he reunited with Take That in 2010 for their album Progress. In 2004, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame after being voted the “Greatest Artist of the 1990s.” He is still a popular artist today.
You can’t deny that Kate Moss is a British cultural icon. It’s hard to believe that her modeling career began when she was scouted at the young age of 14. Since then, her life has been a whirlwind of runways, relationships with rock-stars, high-profile photoshoots, and socializing with some of the world’s most rich and famous individuals.
She still occasionally models today, whilst juggling her other responsibilities as a mother, fashion designer, and creative director of Japanese skincare brand Decorté.