I stumbled upon this passage when reading this guide.
Universality theorems are a commonplace in computer science, so much so that we sometimes forget how astonishing they are. But it's worth reminding ourselves: the ability to compute an arbitrary function is truly remarkable. Almost any process you can imagine can be thought of as function computation.* Consider the problem of naming a piece of music based on a short sample of the piece. That can be thought of as computing a function. Or consider the problem of translating a Chinese text into English. Again, that can be thought of as computing a function. Or consider the problem of taking an mp4 movie file and generating a description of the plot of the movie, and a discussion of the quality of the acting. Again, that can be thought of as a kind of function computation.* Universality means that, in principle, neural networks can do all these things and many more.
How is this true? How can any process be thought of as function computation? How would one compute function in order to translate Chinese text to English?