Learning a new language isn’t easy, especially when you can’t find the requisite Muzzy video for ordering canapes in a fancy French restaurant. So how do you bridge the glottal gaps in the modern world? Why not turn to these polyglot peripherals for help?
Well, this is hardly a surprise, but apparently the world’s landmark machine translation service is about to get even more scarily accurate. According to an internal report, Google is betting the farm on Deep Learning, neural network technology to master language acquisition for the service within the next few years.
Not to be outdone by Google, Microsoft have started kitting out webchat behemoth Skype with instantaneous translation, with a few languages to start with, including English, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish. The real-time “translate-as-you-talk” model would be a true world first and one step closer to the sort of language translation touted by Star Trek’s universal communicators.
Xerox don’t have quite the stranglehold over the market here as they do across the Atlantic, where their name is literally as synonymous with photocopying as your workmate’s arses at the office Christmas party. That profile could well change, however, should they pull off their current vogue for Easy Translating service, as detailed in the video below. While it isn’t cheap, it sure is impressive.
Probably closest to realizing the Sci-Fi dream is this unit from iLi wearables, which boasts a truly exciting application of the auto-translate technology, and in a compact and streamlined package. In fact, the only negative aspect of the entire product is the truly creepy and weird manner in which it’s been marketed, as in the below video which shows a British horndog literally propositioning Japanese strangers with behavior that goes from tacky to threatening. With its small and compact size, the actor holding the Ili device comes off looking like the biggest tool on display.