Translation is like predicting the weather. If you want to do an okay job of predicting the weather, predict either the same as this day last year or the same as yesterday. That will get you something like 60-70% success. Modelling local pressure systems will get you another 5-10% fairly easily. Getting from 80% correct to 90% is insanely hard.
For machine translation, building a database of 3-grams or 4-grams and just doing simple pattern matching (which is what Google Translate does) gets you 70% accuracy quite easily (between romance languages, anyway. It really sucks for Japanese or Russian, for example). Extending the n-gram size; however, quickly hits diminishing returns. Your increases in accuracy depend on a corpus and when you get to the size of n-gram where you're really accurate, you're effectively needing a human to have already translated each sentence.
Machine-aided translation can give huge increases in productivity. Completely computerised translation has already got most of the low-hanging fruit and will have a very difficult job of getting to the level of a moderately competent bilingual human.
That would be great if the government paid for treatment for alcoholics, counseling for family wrecked by alcohol use, covered medical expenses for people who drink, cover damages by drink drivers, paid for medical expenses by people hurt by someone who was drunk, etc
That's a non-sequitur. The cost is born by society. Government is the name of the body that we elect to represent society. If taxing an activity reduces it, which, in turn, reduces a cost that is born by society, then the government has done its job. The point of such taxation is to reintroduce externalities into the costs, so that the market will correctly adjust.
There was a cartoon in a paper many years ago where a collection of self driving cars were assembled into a 'train'. The Doh moment made me laugh.
The advantage of the cars in this model is that they speed up unloading. Go and watch a freight train being unloaded some time, it's a massive endeavour. Now imagine if each of the trucks could just drive off along the roads on its own as soon as the train arrived at its destination.
If you want to be in the business of offering payment services that accept Bitcoins, then you want to be able to do this underwriting. People will be a lot more willing to accept Bitcoins if you can say 'the value of BTC fluctuates relative to USD, but we guarantee that we will always buy them at this exchange rate. If you use this exchange rate for setting your prices then you will never suffer from these fluctuations'. To be able to do this (and not make huge losses), you need to be able to influence the market price by buying and selling in large quantities and by avoiding selling when the price is too low. Having a large initial stash of Bitcoin helps with this.