Sunday, November 11, 2012

New Microsoft Voice Translator Makes Futuristic Star Trek Technology Seem Plausible | VIDEO

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Universal Translator in Star Trek (with Kirk)

By Britney Fitzgerald
The Huffington Post
11-9-12

     Microsoft may boldly go where no one has gone before.

At a demonstration in China on Oct. 25, Microsoft's chief research officer Rick Rashid revealed a new technology seemingly straight out of Star Trek. In the classic sci-fi television show, a gadget known as the "universal translator" (seen here) was used to decipher languages in the 22nd century. And now, Microsoft has created a program that takes spoken English and translates it to spoken Chinese in realtime.

Pretty futuristic, right?

"In the realm of natural user interfaces, the single most important one – yet also one of the most difficult for computers - is that of human speech," Rashid wrote on the company's blog.

Let's let the translator speak (pun intended) for itself. Watch below to hear Rashid's speech translated into spoken Chinese on stage (the fun starts around the 6-minute mark):
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