Tugging at the heart strings is always a sure-fire way to get a point across, and what better way to showcase the Skype Translator’s virtues and potential, than to present a couple of children from different social backgrounds, and from different parts of the world, making a personal connection in a manner that would not have been possible otherwise?
Skype’s killer feature is made possible only through the efforts of Microsoft Research. Like many other algorithms of this ilk, Skype Translator relies on machine learning to improve its accuracy, so it needs a little bit of ‘burn-in’ time.
For the moment, only two spoken languages are available in the first phase of the preview program – namely English and Spanish – but over 40 languages will be made available for instant messaging. The preview program is in part, a way for Microsoft to further hone and refine the nuances of the other languages.
Skype users who have signed up via the Skype Translator sign up page will be able to access these features, provided that Windows 8.1 has been installed. You can still sign up for the program at the mentioned page if you are interested, but there’s already a queue running.
It is immensely tough for the machines to properly archive and learn the full extent of a language’s nuances, so even a competent handling of the basics in a live translate setting would already be a qualified success. But we can only dream, right? Come on, Skype, make it happen...
READ MORE: How Skype translates live speech