Communication for a very long time has been a major area of research and progress. From VoIP software to simple mobile apps, from text-to-speech software to speech-to-text software this field has seen may break-throughs. Yet time and again this field is hit by another marvelous break-through.
Since the time when Skype was bought by Microsoft we have been predicting a break-through and something out of the box to hit the markets. Well, yes that time is here. For quite a while now Rudder, then Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, and Lee, head of Microsoft Research had been a part of a research focusing cross-lingual communication in real-time. They aimed to make it possible for people speaking different languages to easily communicate with each other over the internet.
After Skype was bought by Microsoft this work was delegated to among other people, the Machine Translation team which is based in Redmond and headed by Arul Menezes. On May 27th this year during the Code Conference, for the first time a new and exciting feature of Skype was put to demo. The Skype Translator is a result of a decade of research and hard work jointly by the teams of Skype and Microsoft. This demo showed the real-time audio translation of English to German and vice-versa. Basically this is an outcome of combining the Skype voice and IM service to Microsoft Translator service.
Imagine the communication barrier held for ages due to differences in languages suddenly removed. Imagine the exposure and entirety of this technology. It will revolutionize the world and the means by which it communicates, making communication easy and hassle-free.
Skype Translator is planned to be released later this year first for Windows 8 as a beta version. The Microsoft Machine translator team already is responsible for the ingenious cloud service which is extensively used in a number of Microsoft products. The Microsoft team and Menezes have also focused many times about catering the significant system and user-interface design challenges. By including latency reduction and developing visual feedback so the translation system is self learning and it continuously improves itself thereby giving users the best possible experience possible.
Skype Translator from its wide variety of uses and implications will possibly become one of the most prominent break-throughs of this era and it will change the existing façade of communication.
For more information check out the Microsoft official research website below: