- Ph.D. Philosophy, 1998 University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana)
- Candidate of Philosophy, 1986 Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences
- M.S. Physics, 1983 Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Language/Linguistics
Dr. Balashov's new interdisciplinary project is to explore the uneasy, complicated relationship between human and machine translation. In form, the project is a case study of the history and current state of both fields conducted from the complementary perspectives of three theoretical disciplines. The project includes: (i) a theoretical component focused on the representation of linguistic meaning in various human, machine, and hybrid human-machine translation systems; and (ii) a practical component focused on the different forms of human-machine symbiosis in technical (non-literary) translation areas and ways of improving them.
The two aspects of the project are interrelated: a better understanding of the theoretical (cognitive, linguistic, philosophical) foundations of human and machine translation may suggest new ways of leveraging their strengths and overcoming their weaknesses; on the other hand, a close look at how human and machine translation interact in real life may offer new insights into how physical systems represent linguistic meaning and, more ambitiously, what linguistic meaning consists in.
Philosophers have approached the problem of meaning from many angles, but never in the context of recent developments in translation technologies.