Microsoft has announced that by the end of the year a feature will be launched on Skype that will allow almost-real-time translation of conversations
Soon language barriers may no longer be an obstacle to communication between people. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, in fact presented a new system for translate calls and video calls made via Skype in real time. The announcement was made during a Code Conference meeting, the series of conferences organized by Re / code.
The functionality is still in the testing phase and should be available by the end of the year as application for Windows 8. The roll out will involve tablets and smartphones and will be accessible through the use of the traditional Skype application.
On the state of the art Nadella has specified that the new option for now works with a limited number of languages ??and that, for example, the version translating from English into German and from German into English is being completed. For a more complete product – that goes beyond the basic version that will be released later this year – Microsoft has calculated that they will be needed another two and a half years.
Microsoft's interest in simultaneous translation systems is not new and dates back about 10 years, but at first the possibility of applying this feature to Skype did not seem feasible. Since 2010 the developers have managed to do important steps forward in the translation of phone calls, while in the meantime we also focused on voice recognition systems, their accuracy and the richness of their vocabularies. In 2012, in China, Microsoft had already anticipated a first prototype for real-time translation, through a live demonstration performed during a speech in English that on a screen was subtitled in Mandarin.
The potential of the tool, if made available and effective for all languages ??and for all users of Skype in the world, they would be enormous and could change the way we communicate in a few years, putting an end to the barriers that often, even today, represent a difficult limit. only Microsoft to engage in the study and implementation of real-time translation solutions, but so many more or less known global realities are doing so.
Even Google, for example, has been investing heavily in recent years in trying to improve the Translate features, especially on smartphones.