Cómo estás Alexa? Amazon Rolls Out Real-Time Translation

Amazon is launching a new feature for all Echo devices that will translate the language in real time.

The update allows people to communicate in real-time in multiple languages.
The new Alexa feature works just like professional translation services, with each side speaking naturally in their language, leaving room for sentence-by-sentence translation.

No More Language Barriers

Alexa's Direct Translation service now supports translation between English and French, Spanish, Hindi, Portuguese (Brazil), German or Italian. The new feature is based on Alexa's AI-powered natural voice syntax analysis capabilities, along with neural machine translation technology to provide natural and intuitive transformation regardless of language barriers.

Starting with the Live Translation service requires a simple voice command. Users can start the translation by saying "Alexa, translate German" then speaking as usual – even leaving natural pauses between sentences.

Translations currently only work between a selected language and English. With more language support coming up, it will only be a matter of time before multilingual conversations become feasible.

The new feature launches on December 14 and will arrive with Alexa-equipped devices worldwide in the coming days.

Amazon Makes Alexa Even More Indispensable

Direct translation is one of many romantic science fiction ideas that stimulate most tech nerds (I totally cover). The idea that anyone in the world can talk to anyone else and get real-time accurate translations from a tiny computer is pure Star Trek.

Reading the accompanying blog to this release on amazon.science only serves to heighten that excitement. The post explains the measures taken to obfuscate the many steps it takes to provide a natural translation service, going into enough detail to convince almost anyone that this is incredibly difficult to do – but they are improving all the time.

Among many parts of motion, neural language patterns are key here. Can analyze syntax, understand and translate the voice and the conversation is the holy grail of machine translation. If Amazon's development team is happy to release their work to the world, it must meet standards that can be checked by the public.

Everything Alexa does with voice is likely to improve, as access to its everyday voice is unprecedented. If you're willing to ignore the security impacts of connected technology and the shady behavior of big tech corporations, then this is an exciting time to have a device equipped with Alexa.

Live Translation? Google Did It!

Bringing translation to devices equipped with Alexa is long overdue and a great step forward for general accessibility, but don't forget that this is a Feature of Google from the beginning of 2019. Google's variant, called Interpreter Mode, works on most Google devices, from smartphones to presenters.

Without a doubt, the ability to use the home assistant to translate speech in real time brings tremendous value to the concept of home support technology. It weights the argument that the technology of large corporations no matter how invasive can bring net benefits to our lives.