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Appendix 5 Machine Translation at the Foreign Technology Division, U.S. Air Force Systems Command In December 1962, the USAF Scientific Advisory Board Ad Hoc Commitee on Mechanical Translation of Languages recommended the implementation of "a limited initial operational capability for mechanical translation of at least 100,000 words of Russian per day using the IBM Mark II translation equipment and Phase II translation system." This system became fully operational in February 1964 at the U.S. Air Force Systems Command's Foreign Technology Division (FTD) at Wright-P atterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Operations at FTD have recently been the subject of a study by Arthur D. Little, Inc., and it is from this study that the following data have been taken: 1. The cost of machine translation (excluding overhead and equipment amortization) is about $36 per 1,000 Russian words. 2. FTD's in-house human-translation cost, excluding overhead, is about $40 per 1,000 Russian words. 3. FTD's contract translation cost is about $33 per 1,000 Russian words, including contractor's overhead. 4. Postediting (31 percent) and decomposition (40 percent) are the main cost components in the machine-translation process, accounting for over 70 percent of the total cost; input processing accounts for only 11 percent. 5. The average total machine-translation processing time is 109 days. The average for high-priority documents is 44 days. 6. During the period June-September 1964, the average output per working day was 103,146 Russian words translated into English. The average output per hour was 7,569 words. The average work- ing day for the computer, therefore, amounts to 13 hours. 7. Input costs to the machine-translation system amount to $4.10 per 1, 000 Russian words . From the A. D. Little data and from the results of a comparison with the work done by the Joint Publications Research Service (see 43
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Appendix 3), one sees that the FTD postedited machine translations are slow, expensive, of poor graphic arts quality, and not very good translations. The FTD machine-translation facility currently has a staff of 43 persons, including the posteditors. Their final product is 100,000 words of poor translation per day. Since JPRS could do the same amount of translation faster and for less than half the price, the Committee is at a loss to understand why the FTD does not rely on the services of the JPRS. 44