Microsoft Skype

Microsoft unveils ‘real-time’ translating function for Skype


By Natalie Mortimer, N/A

May 28, 2014 | 2 min read

Microsoft is set to release a new function for its internet phone service Skype that will translate voices in ‘near-real time’.

Skype Translator, which works through a combination of Skype voice, IM technologies from Microsoft Translator and a “neural network-based speech recognition”, will be released as a Windows 8 beta app by the end of the year.

The new function was announced yesterday at the inaugural Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

In a blog post on the Microsoft site Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president of Skype and Lync at Microsoft, said language barriers have so far been “a blocker for human connection”, and that Skype Translator helps to overcome this.

“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.”

Pall added that the “Star Trek vision for a universal translator isn’t a galaxy away”.

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