Microsoft details neural network powered Translator app for Huawei devices

Earlier this week, we reported that Huawei’s latest flagship devices Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro will come pre-installed with a specialized version of Microsoft Translator app. Microsoft today provided more details about this new version of Translator app custom built for Huawei devices. It is the world’s first fully neural on device translation app, thanks to the power of Huawei’s new NPU (Neural Processing Unit) hardware.

Until now, due to the processor requirements of neural machine translation, it was not possible to do full Neural Machine Translation (NMT) on-device. But in Huawei’s Mate 10 devices, Microsoft takes advantage of the NPU hardware for accelerating AI processes. Microsoft says that users can enjoy online quality level translations even when they don’t have access to internet. According to their internal study, this new Translator app will offer up to a 23 percent better offline translation quality over competing best-in-class offline translator packs, and it will be very much comparable to Microsoft’s state-of-the art online neural translations. Apart from the quality, this new app can also do translations faster than regular Translator app on other high-end devices.

The new Mate 10 exclusive neural translation packs are available for the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai. And these translation packs are 50 percent smaller than current Translator packs available for other smartphones.

Hopefully, soon all other smartphone OEMs will start to include NPU inside their devices for AI-based apps like Microsoft Translator.

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