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
E-cigarettes have 10 times carcinogens: Japan researchers
E-cigarettes contain up to 10 times the amount of cancer-causing agents as regular tobacco, Japanese scientists said Thursday, the latest blow to an invention once heralded as less harmful than smoking....
Twitter takes note of other apps on smartphones
Twitter on Wednesday said it would begin tracking which other applications people have installed on their mobile devices in a bid to better target ads and content....
BlackBerry courts iPhone users with cash
Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry is wooing Apple customers with a cash offer for trade-ins of iPhones for its new square-screened, keyboard-equipped Passport....
Spotify turns up volume as losses fall
The world's biggest music streaming service, Spotify, announced Tuesday its revenue grew by 74 percent in 2013 while net losses shrank by one third, in a year of spectacular expansion....
Samsung sells defence, petrochemical units for $1.7 bn
Samsung Group announced Wednesday the sale of stakes in four petrochemical and defence affiliates for $1.7 billion as the South Korean giant steps up restructuring efforts ahead of a generational ownership succession....
Sex traffickers
Gangs are using social media sites such as Facebook to lure young women into crime and prostitution....
Should Govt lease parts of Lake Victoria to private developers?
Its Ok
No Way
Not Sure
follow us
subscribe to our news letter