writes "If you are a Hitchhiker's Guide fan then this is a Babel Fish; if Star Trek is more to your liking then it is the Universal Translator. The demonstration was given in Tianjin, China at Microsoft Research Asia’s 21st Century Computing event. For some reason it wasn't officially recorded, but an enterprising member of the audience managed to capture it. The demonstration shows the presenter Rick Rashid, Microsoft’s Chief Research Officer, being translated to Chinese text output. At the next stage the voice is converted into spoken Chinese. The audience seems to approve, but personally, not being a Chinese speaker, not only is it impossible to check the translation, it is difficult to know if the qualities of the speaker's voice has been preserved. But this isn’t really the point — real time speech translation using a neural network is science fiction! Deep neural networks are fairly new but the availability of big data and cheap computing is making them the best of AI techniques."