Microsoft Demos Spoken English To Chinese 'Universal Translator'

Microsoft's Rick Rashid demonstrated a speech translation system that listens to spoken English, recognizes the words, translates the words into Chinese, and then speaks the translation out loud in a computer-generated voice similar to that of the user. The demonstration was given in Tianjin, China at Microsoft Research Asiaís 21st Century Computing event.

The translations start around 7:30 in the video below.


(Microsoft's Rick Rashid describes speech translation and recognition)

Just over two years ago, researchers at Microsoft Research and the University of Toronto made another breakthrough. By using a technique called Deep Neural Networks, which is patterned after human brain behavior, researchers were able to train more discriminative and better speech recognizers than previous methods.

During my October 25 presentation in China, I had the opportunity to showcase the latest results of this work. We have been able to reduce the word error rate for speech by over 30% compared to previous methods. This means that rather than having one word in 4 or 5 incorrect, now the error rate is one word in 7 or 8. While still far from perfect, this is the most dramatic change in accuracy since the introduction of hidden Markov modeling in 1979, and as we add more data to the training we believe that we will get even better results.

In my presentation, I showed how we take the text that represents my speech and run it through translation- in this case, turning my English into Chinese in two steps. The first takes my words and finds the Chinese equivalents, and while non-trivial, this is the easy part. The second reorders the words to be appropriate for Chinese, an important step for correct translation between languages.

Though it was a limited test, the effect was dramatic, and the audience came alive in response. When I spoke in English, the system automatically combined all the underlying technologies to deliver a robust speech to speech experienceómy voice speaking Chinese. You can see the demo in the video above.

... we may not have to wait until the 22nd century for a usable equivalent of Star Trekís universal translator...

Star Trek fans well remember the famous lizard man translation from the classic Trek episode Arena (start at about 45 seconds).


(Star Trek Arena trailer)

Note the perfect translation of Lizardese into English, while maintaining the Lizard Man's voice characteristics. As you can see, he is holding the Star Trek Universal Translator.


(Star Trek Universal Translator)

From Microsoft Research .

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/9/2012)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Communication ")

India's Commuters Face Philip K Dick's 'Sales Pitch' Future
'All around him the vague half-defined echoes of ads glittered and gibbered...'- Philip K. Dick, 1954.

Secret Service Wants Sarcasm-Detection Software
There must be some website able to help them.

Skype's Translator Like Gernsback's Language Rectifier
'He immediately turned the small shining disc of the Language Rectifier on his instrument till the pointer rested on French.'- Hugo Gernsback, 1911.

Thailand's Chatterbox Social Media App Influences Content
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better in the dire droning-on of the speech...' Philip K. Dick, 1964.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Vacation
I'll be back next week...

Origami Robot Finally Self-Assembles, Walks On Its Own
Now shipping flat, but better than Ikea, because self-assembling.

A.L.O. Robot Butler Serves You At Aloft Hotel
'Her idea of what a butler-valet combo should look like...'

Mometum Machines Burgerbot
'One of these gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus...'

Google Lobbies For Autonomous Motorcycles
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems.'

No Cages In Future Zoos Is Zootopia?
'The park... twisted through specimens from every inhabited planet of the known universe.'

Navdy HeadUp Display (HUD) For Your Car
'All displays are thrown on a mirror in front of you...'

Computer 'Aesop' Writes Fables With A Moral
'I handed Tony the master tape and he played it into the IBM'

Artificial Wombs - Ectogenesis Technology - Is On The Way
'Magnificent, aren't they? (Lama Su, in Star Wars II)

Robotic Exoskeleton For Shipyard Workers
'Earth's scientists solved the problem... devising rigid metallic clothing not unlike armor...'

Timeful Appointment App Learns, Optimizes Your Routines
'The [Daily Schedule program] suited its tone to his movements and the combined analysis of his psychophysical condition.'

3D Printing Your Science-Fictional Metals
I love science-fictional materials!

Bespoke Clothing In 30 Minutes
'He sat himself down in a sales cubicle and dialed the code number for kilts.'

Low Cost Spray-On Solar Cells
'It turns sunlight into electricity... you spray it on.'

Survival Seed Vault Low Cost Life Bank
'They existed in the Life Bank, as did virtually every plant...'

PoseiDrone Tentacled Undersea Robot Like HG Wells'
'Its motion was so swift, complex, and perfect that at first I did not see it as a machine...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.