Science & technology
Microsoft claims breakthrough in real-time translation
Publish Date: May 29, 2014
Microsoft claims breakthrough in real-time translation
Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, speaks at the launch of the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet computer last week in New York. PHOTO/AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

WASHINGTON - Microsoft has announced what it called a breakthrough in real-time voice translation and said it would offer a test version through its Skype messaging unit before the end of 2014.

The US tech giant demonstrated the new Skype Translator at the Code Conference, saying it fulfills a vision of the "universal translator" in the Star Trek science fiction series.

"The Star Trek vision for a Universal Translator isn't a galaxy away, and its potential is every bit as exciting as those Star Trek examples," said a blog post from Gurdeep Pall, vice president of Skype and Lync at Microsoft.

"Skype Translator opens up so many possibilities to make meaningful connections in ways you never could before in education, diplomacy, multilingual families and in business."

The product, the result of years of research at Microsoft, will be available as a Windows 8 beta app before the end of 2014, Pall said.

At the California conference, the team demonstrated near-simultaneous translation between English and German.

"There have been many attempts over the years, several within Microsoft Research, to demonstrate such aspects of translating human speech," said a Microsoft Research blog post.

"But delivering something that is usable in real life, to fit the voice and utterances of many different users and the nuances of different languages -- all of it built at scale to serve Skype users -- has been considered a nearly impossible task."

Microsoft said project leader Arul Menezes and Microsoft colleagues "have addressed significant system and user-interface design challenges, including reducing latency and developing visual feedback so the translation system is continuously improving itself using user feedback."

"The technology is only as good as the data," Menezes says. "One big focus has been to scale up the amount and kinds of data that go into the machine-learning training of these systems."

AFP


Also related to this story

Users at risk as Microsoft drops Windows XP

China bans use of Microsoft's Windows 8 on gov't computers

Microsoft launches 'Cortana' smartphone assistant

Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Profit squeezed at Sweden
Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets....
Microsoft drops Nokia name from smartphones
Microsoft said it was dropping the Nokia name from its Lumia smartphones, rebranding following the acquisition earlier this year of the Finnish group's handset division....
$100 mn Ebola pledge from Microsoft co-founder Allen
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen said he was boosting his donations to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to $100 million....
Toyota shares rise on record profit report
Shares in Japanese auto giant Toyota advanced in Tokyo trade on Friday following a report it is set to book a record operating profit in the six-month period to September....
Lufthansa close to deal with IBM for IT infrastructure unit
German airline Lufthansa is close to a deal to sell its IT infrastructure unit to IBM, including an outsourcing agreement for the services, as part of a shake-up of its technology activities, it said on Wednesday....
Google launches new email service dubbed
Google has launched an email service called "Inbox" on Wednesday that will better organize emails and display information such as appointments, flight bookings and package deliveries in a more user-friendly way....
Should diplomatic passports issued to ex-govt workers be with drawn?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter