Mind-Blowing: Microsoft Demos Skype Real-time Translated Conversations


At the Recode Code Conference in Palos Verdes, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took stage to talk about Microsoft. During the interview, Microsoft demonstrated a breakthrough technology called Skype Translator. Nadella conducted a conversation with Skype chief Gurdeep Singh Pall, who was speaking German, while Skype provided real-time translation of the German into English and vice versa.

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. Skype Translator is a great example of why Microsoft invests in basic research. We’ve invested in speech recognition, automatic translation and machine learning technologies for more than a decade, and now they’re emerging as important components in this more personal computing era. You can learn more about the research behind this initiative here.

As you saw from my conversation with Diana, it is early days for this technology, but the Star Trek™ vision for a Universal Translator isn’t a galaxy away, and its potential is every bit as exciting as those Star Trek examples. Skype Translator opens up so many possibilities to make meaningful connections in ways you never could before in education, diplomacy, multilingual families and in business.

This Skype Translator is coming as a Windows 8 beta app before the end of 2014.

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