BBC: An international team of researchers has created a computer program that they believe can be used to help reconstruct the long-extinct precursors of modern languages. They used a database of 142 000 words and pronunciations from a collection of currently spoken Asian and Pacific languages and calculated probabilities of sound changes to calculate the parent language from which the current languages evolved. When compared to a parent language reconstructed by hand by linguists, 85% of the words in the computer generated language were within one sound difference of words in the linguist-constructed language. The benefit of the software is the large amount of data it can analyze quickly. However, that has to be balanced against its inability to recognize various quirks of language that make it less accurate than professional linguists.