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Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-19, 13:29
by Osias
md0 wrote:The Theory-less Science That Will Doom Us All, will doom asylum seekers soon:
http://www.dw.com/en/automatic-speech-a ... a-37980819


Our dystopian present.

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-19, 19:33
by md0
I realise the problem, but what do you do

You definitely don't do something that doesn't work (or makes things worse), just to say you are doing something.

How would you try to find out who actually deserves the protection, especially considering the number of safe countries they already travelled through?

Using ways that don't give false negatives at such rates. And if it's hard to do, you err on the side of safety (don't deport the gay Yemeni just because he doesn't have the "gay lisp" and so on).
makes me far-right, as I was told in another forum.

That's obviously stupid. It doesn't make you far-right or nationalist or anything.
But it's a measure that fails and will continue to fail because that's how language works.

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-19, 23:54
by vijayjohn
Yeah, I don't blame Germans for wanting a more efficient solution to problems they face. I blame people who make tools like this and claim they solve the problem because IMO, they can and should do better especially when it comes to such serious issues.

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-20, 9:03
by Car
md0 wrote:
I realise the problem, but what do you do

You definitely don't do something that doesn't work (or makes things worse), just to say you are doing something.

That's not what I meant. If 80-90% don't have any papers and the total numbers continue to be high, you obviously have to find a way to find out where those people really are from, so you need to find some solution. How would you try to find out if you don't want to introduce real border controls like in Denmark or Sweden? How do other countries handle this?

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-20, 11:57
by vijayjohn
Car wrote:How do other countries handle this?

Hire people who are familiar with the relevant linguistic differences?

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-20, 22:02
by md0
Car wrote:
md0 wrote:
I realise the problem, but what do you do

You definitely don't do something that doesn't work (or makes things worse), just to say you are doing something.

That's not what I meant. If 80-90% don't have any papers and the total numbers continue to be high, you obviously have to find a way to find out where those people really are from, so you need to find some solution. How would you try to find out if you don't want to introduce real border controls like in Denmark or Sweden? How do other countries handle this?

But I think I already answered it: Do something else.

I posted this in the Linguistics Thread and not in the Politics thread for a reason. I'm really bothered a bogus methodology with the power to destroy lives will become an opaquely automated bogus methodology.
Whether Europe and/or Germany should have open borders or not is outside of the scope of the link I posted.

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-21, 0:25
by Johanna
vijayjohn wrote:
Car wrote:How do other countries handle this?

Hire people who are familiar with the relevant linguistic differences?

Sweden tried, it backfired big time.

OK, our very naïve state hired companies who said they were up to it, and then things got really bad... As in, it turned out that the people in question weren't experts, they mostly knew the basics but couldn't pick out a country divide that should have been a given (North Korea vs South Korea) or in some instances couldn't hear the difference between Amharic and Tigrinya...

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-21, 0:43
by vijayjohn
We don't seem to have much of an idea of how to hire people who actually know their shit. :?

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-21, 0:49
by Osias
This is very black mirror.

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-21, 0:50
by Johanna
vijayjohn wrote:We don't seem to have much of an idea of how to hire people who actually know their shit. :?

Same over there?

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-21, 1:11
by vijayjohn
Johanna wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:We don't seem to have much of an idea of how to hire people who actually know their shit. :?

Same over there?

Idk about refugees, but we definitely have this problem with natural language processing in general and anything that uses it.

My advisor did this with the aforementioned Nigerians, Sierra Leoneans, Roma, and Romanians. From what he said, I take it it was pretty easy for him. Still, as someone who minored in computational linguistics, I find it disheartening (though unfortunately not exactly surprising) that getting reliable information when it really matters is this big of a problem for Germany and Sweden (or really, anyone) because computational linguists are in such a good position to resolve exactly this sort of problem, yet God knows when they'd ever even think of doing it.

Computational linguists know their linguistics, but paradoxically, they never actually use it even though they can use it for a practical purpose more easily than anyone else can. Instead, they're just fascinated with technology that already exists and remain blind to the fact that that technology has flaws - including critical flaws like the ones that would hurt Germany and Sweden in these examples.

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-21, 12:37
by Car
Johanna wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
Car wrote:How do other countries handle this?

Hire people who are familiar with the relevant linguistic differences?

Sweden tried, it backfired big time.

OK, our very naïve state hired companies who said they were up to it, and then things got really bad... As in, it turned out that the people in question weren't experts, they mostly knew the basics but couldn't pick out a country divide that should have been a given (North Korea vs South Korea) or in some instances couldn't hear the difference between Amharic and Tigrinya...

Thanks, that's the kind of answer I was looking for.

@md0: Such as? Lives aren't very likely to be destroyed anyway since it's very hard to deport anyone here.

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-22, 2:12
by vijayjohn
Car wrote:it's very hard to deport anyone here.

Then why is it so important to identify where people come from in the first place? What do you do with that information?

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-22, 9:01
by md0
Car wrote:@md0: Such as?


If we agree that the methodology involving accent analysis gives way too many false results, then it should be scrapped even if alternative methods don't exist.
Like in other fields, it's better to admit that you can't do something, than to keep doing things that don't work. We don't keep homeopathy around just because we don't have a cure for brain cancer yet.

Obviously I can't give any informed suggestions about non-linguistic background checking methods. It's not something I study or have any coherent knowledge about.

And also what vijay wrote. If the results of this test aren't used for anything after all, why do it? Just to show to the citizens that "the government is doing something", even though it is of zero consequence? Then it's like the "benefit fraud checks" they did in the UK, which ended up costing more pounds to implement than the amount wrongly given out to welfare recipients.

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-22, 11:01
by Car
vijayjohn wrote:
Car wrote:it's very hard to deport anyone here.

Then why is it so important to identify where people come from in the first place? What do you do with that information?

It's not that no-one ever gets deported, but you certainly don't get deported just like that. Also, just because someone doesn't get deported doesn't mean they're granted asylum. The results are used. I don't remember reading about that in the press here, so I'm not sure what they exactly plan to do.

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-22, 12:35
by vijayjohn
I know I'm not in a position to decide what it's like to live in a country currently taking huge numbers of refugees in since I don't live in one, but it would still seem to me that for anyone living in such a country, there are a lot more pressing problems to deal with than "how do we make sure we know who to deport even though we very rarely deport people anyway?" That in turn makes it look all the more absurd to say, "Oh, look! There's this approach that doesn't really work. Let's use that!"

If deportations from Germany are rare, but having to find ways to integrate huge numbers of refugees is inevitable, doesn't it make more sense to focus more on how to integrate huge numbers of refugees?

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-22, 13:01
by Car
That really isn't the right thread for it. Like I said, they're not rare, just not that easy. That is also focused on, but not only. It's not one or the other, after all, but both approaches are part of the solution.

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-22, 13:59
by Meera
I'm taking a linguistics course on Coursera and reading Linguistics for Dummies :blush:

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-22, 16:22
by Yasna
vijayjohn wrote:I know I'm not in a position to decide what it's like to live in a country currently taking huge numbers of refugees in since I don't live in one, but it would still seem to me that for anyone living in such a country, there are a lot more pressing problems to deal with than "how do we make sure we know who to deport even though we very rarely deport people anyway?"

It's a huge political issue in Germany. Neglect it and you will face the ire of the electorate. And multiply that ire by 2 if a major terror attack is carried out by some refugees.

Re: Linguistics thread

Posted: 2017-03-22, 20:18
by dEhiN
Car wrote:That really isn't the right thread for it.

It sounds better to me if you say "this (thread) really...". That made me assume you meant something in perhaps another thread or referred to some time ago, which in turn confused me for a little bit.

Meera wrote:I'm taking a linguistics course on Coursera and reading Linguistics for Dummies :blush:

Cool! We can help you with anything you need help on. Is the Coursera course the one that has a picture of a tower on the course page? I considered taking that before, but at this point doing beginner courses bore me more than they help me. Maybe it's time to ask my local university if I can audit their mid and upper year linguistics courses.