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Old May 27, 2014, 08:10 PM   #1
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Microsoft Demos Skype Translation Tool Coming Later This Year [Updated]




At today's Re/code Code Conference in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Skype chief Gurdeep Singh Pall demoed an real-time language translation tool) that has been built into Skype.

During the demonstration, Pall conducted a conversation with a German-speaking colleague, with Skype providing real-time translation from German to English and vice versa. According to German speaking audience members at the conference, the translation software performed "pretty good" but not perfectly.

Nadella and Pall demo Skype Translator at the Code Conference
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Skype Translator results from decades of work by the industry, years of work by our researchers, and now is being developed jointly by the Skype and Microsoft Translator teams. The demo showed near real-time audio translation from English to German and vice versa, combining Skype voice and IM technologies with Microsoft Translator, and neural network-based speech recognition.
Microsoft hopes to use the huge number of conversations that take place on Skype to improve its translation tools with real language and speech patterns, which could lead to much better back and forth translations. Pall says the company is "working through" potential privacy issues that surround the use of customer calls.

While Microsoft plans to debut Skype Translate on the Windows platform later this year in a beta capacity, the company says that it will expand to other platforms, including OS X and iOS, shortly after the Windows version launches.
Quote:
Microsoft will start with a handful of languages and only for the Windows version of Skype, though Microsoft hopes to quickly add more languages as well as support for the many types of computers and mobile devices that Skype customers use.
At launch, the Skype translator will only work with a small number of languages, those that "it can do well" but Microsoft has plans to continually add additional languages to the app as development progresses.

Update: The full video of the demo has been released by Re/code and available above.

Article Link: Microsoft Demos Skype Translation Tool Coming Later This Year [Updated]
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:14 PM   #2
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So...basically they're going to secretly record our conversations to help "improve" this translation service?


Edit: Reminds me of IBM's Watson, combining this translation tech with Cortana and Watson would be pretty crazy.
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Last edited by lotzosushi; May 27, 2014 at 08:21 PM.
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:14 PM   #3
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Learning a new language will still be relevant, but man, this tech is cool. Huge possibilities in education.
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:14 PM   #4
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now we're getting close to a Universal Translator, though I continue to hold that you haven't heard Shakespeare until you have heard it in its original Klingon.
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:15 PM   #5
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Where is the video!
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:16 PM   #6
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Well played by Nadella. Less focus on his interview as everyone is talking about this. I'm still wondering what Federighi and Cue are going to talk about since they're not going to give away any WWDC stuff.
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:16 PM   #7
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Where is the video!
Re/code is releasing the videos a bit later in the evening, but will update with one as soon as it's available.
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:16 PM   #8
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Jesus. I mean, for once it's immediately very obvious how such a thing could be done, but WOW. This is SO FREAKING INSANE. And maybe a little scary.
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:17 PM   #9
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*stiligFox's eyes sparkle as his Universal Translator dreams are coming true*

Knowing Skype it'll be a buggy mess, but hopefully it'll be worth it!
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Santabean2000 View Post
Learning a new language will still be relevant, but man, this tech is cool. Huge possibilities in education.
Heh, I remember in college (okay... this was like 3 years ago lol) we had foreign partners and used Skype to talk to them in their and our languages. I'm thinking this might make that tricky XD
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by lotzosushi View Post
So...basically they're going to secretly record our conversations to help "improve" this translation service?
I'm guessing that's highly unlikely -- I'm sure it will be an opt-in type of thing if Microsoft even chooses to go in that developmental direction. No company wants to be accused of collecting unnecessary customer data on the down low after PRISM.
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:20 PM   #12
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Nadella's eyes are staring into my soul…


Last edited by AngerDanger; May 27, 2014 at 09:05 PM. Reason: [img]
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:24 PM   #13
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2015, the year when people don't talk face to face anymore, even when in the same building
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:25 PM   #14
danielsutton
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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
Image


At today's Re/code Code Conference in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Skype chief Gurdeep Singh Pall demoed an real-time language translation tool) that has been built into Skype.

During the demonstration, Pall conducted a conversation with a German-speaking colleague, with Skype providing real-time translation from German to English and vice versa. According to German speaking audience members at the conference, the translation software performed "pretty good" but not perfectly.

ImageNadella and Pall demo Skype Translator at the Code Conference
Microsoft hopes to use the huge number of conversations that take place on Skype to improve its translation tools with real language and speech patterns, which could lead to much better back and forth translations. Pall says the company is "working through" potential privacy issues that surround the use of customer calls.

While Microsoft plans to debut Skype Translate on the Windows platform later this year in a beta capacity, the company says that it will expand to other platforms, including OS X and iOS, shortly after the Windows version launches.At launch, the Skype translator will only work with a small number of languages, those that "it can do well" but Microsoft has plans to continually add additional languages to the app as development progresses.

Article Link: Microsoft Demos Skype Translation Tool Coming Later This Year
Apple should similarly develop FaceTime, and release it with translation functionality.
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:28 PM   #15
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Nadella's eyes are staring into my soul…
This man is no fool. He has a vision for MSFT that has been lacking for many years.
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:29 PM   #16
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Many years ago I wrote an AppleScript for the ircle IRC client that queried Google Translate in the background and enabled "live" translation of private IRC conversation (it wasn't fast enough to deal with the whole channel feed.)

Had some fun with it chatting with people from all over the world, though Google Translate was very bad back in the days, which lead to funny results!
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:32 PM   #17
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This man is no fool. He has a vision for MSFT that has been lacking for many years.
To be fair, this tech would have had to be under development prior to his arrival as CEO. However it is his decision to make it a priority and to highlight it.
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:32 PM   #18
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Waste of time. Windows 9 should have been in public beta by now.
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:34 PM   #19
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If this is as bad as the Bing translations they provide for Facebook forget it. Those have literally provided heinous and erroneous things to be added to my wife's timeline that you can't remove without deleting a perfectly legitimate post. If someone chooses to click that translate button they can get a very wrong idea and there is nothing you can do.
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:36 PM   #20
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This man is no fool. He has a vision for MSFT that has been lacking for many years.
Ah, how… relevant to my post.
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:38 PM   #21
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But will it work for aliens?
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:47 PM   #22
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Hope it's better than those Bing translations of written text that Facebook provides.
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Old May 27, 2014, 09:30 PM   #23
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The pendulum swings. Microsoft has done more progressive soul searching and innovation in the last 6 months than Apple has in the last 6 years.
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Old May 27, 2014, 09:37 PM   #24
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2015, the year when people don't talk face to face anymore, even when in the same building
As it is now I see people sitting at the same table texting each other, so this seems like natural progression.
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Old May 27, 2014, 09:46 PM   #25
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just watched the video... that is extremely awesome. Except for the german lady's crazy eyes.
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