Imagine two languages that have only these words:
Man = 1, deer = 2, eat = 3, grass = 4
And you would form all sentences possible from these words:
Man eats deer. Deer eats grass. Man eats. Deer eats.
Mensch = 5, Gras = 6, isst = 7, Hirsch = 8
Possible german sentences:
Mensch isst Hirsch. Hirsch isst Gras. Mensch isst. Hirsch isst.
How would you write a program that would figure out which words have the same meaning in English and German?
It is possible.
All words get their meaning from the information in which sentences they can be used. The connection with other words defines their meaning.
We need to write a program that would recognize that a word is connected to other words in the same way in both languages. Then it would know those two words must have the same meaning.
If we take the word "deer" (2) it has this structure in English
In german (8):
We get the same structure (pattern) in both languages: both 8 and 2 lie in first and last position, and the middle word is the same in both languages, the other word is different in both languages. So we can conclude that 8=2 because both elements are connected with other elements the same way.
Maybe we just need to write a very good program for recognizing analogies and we will be on the right track to creating AI?