Amazon is reportedly in the process of developing a brand new translator that will be able to help people speaking different languages hold a normal conversation in real-time. If the company is successful in its endeavor, the new technology could bring everyone closer to obtaining a “universal translator,” much like the ones found on the hit science fiction franchise, Star Trek. In the franchise’s universe, everyone is able to communicate and understand each other while speaking different languages without the need for another person translating.
According to a report from Yahoo! Finance, who cited an anonymous source, Amazon is reportedly using Alexa as its platform for the widespread use of a new translation technology that it is developing. With the new technology, Alexa will reportedly be able to translate conversational sentences on the fly into different languages, essentially allowing people to communicate more naturally with a person speaking a foreign language.
As of the moment, Alexa is able to translate words and phrases from different languages, but the feature does have its limitations. Amazon reportedly wants to take this technology even further by integrating complex software that will be able to distinguish a person’s tone, specific cultural references, and level of formality.
The technology will reportedly “read” between the words that have been chosen and translate them according to how it might properly be used in a specific language. Alex could essentially help travelers and tourists navigate through the intricacies of a foreign culture and its language, making it a vital tool for travel, business, and leisure activities.
Amazon reportedly wants Alexa to be a real-time, universal translator https://t.co/dH7nYj3dqH— Engadget (@engadget) March 1, 2018
A report from Android Authority is, however, skeptical of the company’s success in the particular endeavor given that Google has been working on a real-time translation software for quite a while now. Google initially promised a feature-filled real-time translator that would work with their new Pixel Buds. Unfortunately, the final product wasn’t up to spec and didn’t really work as expected.
Google currently has Google Translate at its disposal, which means that Amazon is at a great disadvantage. Nevertheless, there is still a big chance that Amazon may be able to pull off the impossible and beat Google at its own game with a game-changing new translator that will be able to let people hold a conversation while they are speaking different languages.