In the future, not being able to communicate might be a thing of the past. The researchers at Microsoft have managed to develop software that can learn the sound of your voice, and then use it to speak in a different language. And the best part is? You don’t even have to learn the other language! The technology has been designed to make language tutoring software more personal, or to make tools for travelers.
The tool works by using speech recognition, followed by translation, followed by the final text to speech output in a different language – while retaining the user’s original voice. It is said to take about an hour of training to work – a pretty short time compared to the hours that would be required to learn a new language. An excellent tool for people who travel to many different countries, and don’t have the time to spend learning how to talk to the locals.
At the moment it can convert between any pair of 26 languages including Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and Italian. No mention of when this technology will be released to the public, but it’ll definitely make an impact when it does. Perhaps we’ll see it being integrated into Windows Phone next time?