Microsoft's universal translator warps voices into other tongues

Not everybody can be hyperpolyglot and master dozens of languages in short periods of time. Soon you won't have to make much effort because Microsoft is developing a software that can translate your voice into another language. Hello Star Trek Universal Translator!

Using sophisticated language software that can detect a person's voice and then replicate it in another language, Frank Soong's software could one day revolutionize communications and break down language barriers.

In one demo, Soong's software translated his boss's voice from English into Spanish, Italian and Chinese (Mandarin). The voice recordings (you can find them on TechnologyReview do sound a little coarse and aren't perfect replications of Soong's boss's voice, but it's still very much recognizable).

Soong claims the software can translate a person's voice into 26 different languages. But does it know Klingon?

As with any synthetic software that learns and adapts, the software isn't without its limitations and still requires "training time" in order to provide accurate results. TechnologyReview says it takes "around an hour of training to develop a model that can read text in a person's own voice."

Soong believes his software could be used to aid students in learning a new language or for developing advanced translation software. More daring users would probably use this to nab some digits for a hot date.

Via TechnologyReview

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