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Somebody Invented an AI-Powered Instant-Translator Earpiece


An image of Translate One2One (image via Lingmo International)

An Australian start-up has unveiled an Artificial Intelligence-powered earphone able to instantly translate conversations in eight languages, WIRED reports.

Speaking at the United Nations’ AI for Good Summit in Geneva, Sydney-based Lingmo International announced that the earpiece— called Translate One2One— would be available for purchase starting in July, for the relatively affordable price of $179  (£140.)

The device does not need an internet or Bluetooth connection in order to work: it is understood that, as long as both speakers are wearing the earpiece, One2One should provide translation across English, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German and Chinese.

While the idea may sound (babel)fishy, Lingmo has quite a convincing list of high-profile partners to back its claims up. Chief among them is IBM, whose AI technology Watson is at the core of the translating device.

Watson’s natural language processing skills are being put to use for analysing spoken words in real time— taking into account their literal meaning and the wider conversation’s context—thus allegedly enabling the instantaneous translation.  Ligmo said Watson was also crucial to improve accent and dialect recognition.

Whether this new gizmo really has the potential to put interpreters out of business, it is still early to tell.

What is sure is that Lingmo is not the only company having a stab at bringing about the dream of AI-aided instant translations , such as Pilot, designed by Brooklyn-based Waverly Labs. 



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