Skype Translator Looks to put Human Translators Out of a Job!
Skype Translator works like something out of science fiction. Two people speaking different languages communicate using video chat. As they talk, the translated words appear on the screen, and if that wasn’t cool enough, the translated words are accompanied by a computer-generated voice!
This beta version of Skype Translator was successfully showcased last May at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella introduced the tech to the audience and then watched as two Skype team members video chatted with each other. One team member spoke English, the other German. The two users were able to have a nearly flawless conversation as their words were translated in real time. They were even able to speak in full paragraphs.
The implications of this technology can change the world, as evidenced by everybody’s favorite television series about future technology, Star Trek. Anyone that has ever watched Star Trek for more than a few minutes and critically thought about what they were viewing, has asked themselves this question, “How in the solar system do Klingons know English?”
It’s a fair question. After all, Klingons have their own language, yet, when Captain Kirk is in the midst of a shirt-ripping match with his Rocky-Mountain-range-foreheaded foe, the two interstellar combatants are able to trade verbal jabs, as well as Mek’leth blade stabs. According to Star Trek, closed captioning for the alien-language impaired is made possible thanks to a device called a Universal Translator.
StarTrek.com explains how this futuristic real-time communication device works, “It operates by scanning brainwave frequencies and using the results to create a basis for translation.” Of course, this doesn’t explain how the speaker’s mouth is synced with what the user of the Universal Translator is hearing, but we digress.
Skype Translator doesn’t use brainwaves. Instead, it runs on good old fashioned 21st Century computing power! WorkIntelligent.ly gives us some insight on how Skype Translator does what Satya Nadella calls “magic.” When Skype translates in real time, “graphics processors inside the computers combines thousands of speech micro-segments, and work through up to 66 million connections made by supercomputers which analyze more than 300 hours of human speech training examples.”
All of that is fancy talk to say that you don’t need to hire a translator or frantically type text into Google Translate in order to understand another language. Skype Translator is scheduled to be available as a Windows 8 beta application/add-on before the end of 2014.
This real-time translation technology will open up new markets for your business previously restricted by language. Additionally, a whole new level of possibilities will be available when Skype Translator finds its way to your smartphone, and then we’ll all get Universal Translators and talk with Vulcans! Or, at least that’s the plan.
Let us know what you think about Skype Translator in the comments, and then go to Google Translate. Next, enter your comments into the form. Translate them into some weird language, and then translate that back to English, and then finally, enter the results back into COMPANYNAME’s blog comments!