dryriver writes: Rick Rashid, Microsoft’s Chief Research Officer, gave a demonstration of the company's new "Instant Translation" technology in Tianjin, China, at Microsoft Research Asia’s 21st Century Computing event. In the demonstration, which is shown in the video embedded on the linked page, Rashid's spoken English words are first transcribed to a video screen above the stage as English text. The Spoken-English-to-Text transcription appears to work flawlessly, and is exact. Then, towards the end of the demo, Rashid's spoken English words are transcribed as Chinese text to another screen. And finally, Rashid's spoken English words are translated into Chinese text AND spoken out-loud by an advanced text-to-speech synthesizer. It doesn't stop there, either. The text-to-speech synthesizer has access to a 1 hour long sample recording of Rashid's English speaking voice. Using the voice-data in that recording, the text-to-speech synth makes the translation of Rashid's words into machine-spoken Chinese sound like Rashid himself is speaking in Chinese. A neat demo overall, with potentially broad implications for any communication that needs to happen between people fluent in different languages.
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