Then there are recent advances in data storage and miniaturised processing power, for example a technique to write data to single atoms (Natterer et al. 2017), and the newly created ‘LI-RAM’ microchips promising supercomputer-like power inside tiny devices. In-ear technology is already available, of course. So what if that unwieldy headset was instead little more than a glint in your eye and a bud in your ear, Black Mirror style? Not so awkward anymore. And if it featured reliable live translation and Face2Face , suddenly Babel disintegrates completely in a puff of pixelated smoke.
The article goes on to consider what this might mean for current debates about speakers of minority languages. These groups tend to face communication barriers in a world of dominant global languages, but those barriers might be alleviated by such tech advances. And the same day this article was published, Slashdot reported progress already happening on one of the article's predictions, namely machines accurately mimicking people's voices. This could all be old news pretty quickly!