Could Skype be about to blow our minds with its translator?

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Microsoft, which owns Skype, has just released the following advert offering a glimpse of the future:

The clip shows two school kids talking to each other by Skype. So far, so ordinary – but one is speaking English, and the other Spanish… and they can understand and speak in real time, thanks to Skype’s new translation tool.

Now, obviously given this is a glossy promotion we shouldn’t assume it will work quite that perfectly, but there’s a reason to be enthusiastic. Check out this on-stage tech demo from two years ago in which the guy from Microsoft Research is translated into Chinese in real time (skip to about six minutes for the amazing bit).

Assuming Microsoft has managed to jam this tech into Skype, this could be the start of something rather special indeed – could we be about to witness a translation revolution?

James O’Malley