When it comes to learning languages, there are various apps for that which makes learning on the go and by oneself easier. However sometimes having a little help or guidance can go a long way, which is why Microsoft has since launched a new app aimed at those who are trying to learn Chinese.


So what makes Microsoft’s app so different from the other language-learning apps out there? According to Microsoft, it is thanks to the use of artificial intelligence which powers the app. According to Yan Xia, senior develop lead at Microsoft Research Asia in Beijing, “You think you know Chinese, but if you meet a Chinese person and you want to speak Chinese, there is no way you can do it if you have not practiced. Our application addresses this issue by leveraging our speech and natural language processing technology.”

With the use of AI and deep neural networks, the app can understand what the user is trying to say and from there, they will be able to correct the speaker’s pronunciation, which is especially important in the Chinese language as one character can be pronounced in four different tones and inflections, with each tone/inflection meaning something else entirely.

The neural network is taught by Microsoft’s researchers by feeding it data from native speakers as well as text-to-speech synthesis technology. The app is capable of giving the users feedback as well as a score, and also highlight words that might need some improvement. As it stands the app is only available on iOS devices, so head on over to the iTunes App Store if you’d like to check it out.

Filed in Apple >Cellphones >General. Read more about AI (Artificial Intelligence), Apps, iOS and Microsoft.

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