Microsoft Has Shattered The Language Barrier

    November 8, 2012

The language barrier is an insurmountable wall for many people. Those of us who have spent three years in high school Spanish and came away with nothing can attest to that. That’s why so many of us have put faith into translation programs like BabelFish and Google Translate. Microsoft now takes it a step further with instant speech recognition and translation.

Microsoft Research shared a video on their YouTube channel today that demonstrates the new technology. Here’s what you’re going to see below:

Chief Research Officer Rick Rashid demonstrates a speech recognition breakthrough via machine translation that converts his spoken English words into computer-generated Chinese language. The breakthrough is patterned after deep neural networks and significantly reduces errors in spoken as well as written translation.

I can’t vouch for how accurate the Chinese translation is, but it’s already incredibly impressive. The software is able to output the spoken Chinese word in the speaker’s voice as if they were the one saying it.

I think it’s safe to say that Microsoft has shattered the language barrier. Language translation software is only going to get better in the future, and we may soon have those futurist gadget that instantly translates anything a person says in the listener’s native tongue.