Skype Live Translation Feature Expands to Mobile and Landline Calls
Ron Perillo / 5 years ago
Microsoft has introduced Skype’s real-time live translation feature back in December 2014, initially able to only handle Spanish and English but has since expanded to include French, German, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Arabic, and Russian languages. It has now expanded even further by allowing users to use the live translation feature when calling a landline or mobile phones. This feature was only first available in Skype-to-Skype calls.
The live translation feature works through machine learning, so the more it is used, the better it is at doing its job. The speaker’s input is analyzed and fed into a deep neural network that cross references it with snippets from millions upon millions of samples. It then processes the input to remove extraneous utterances such as ‘uhm’ and ‘eh’ before translating into processed text. A built-in text-to-speech engine then parses the result and plays it back to the receiver.
To use the live translation feature currently, users must be part of the Windows Insider program and will require Skype credits to make the calls. The receiver is notified that the call is being live translated prior to reception. The feature is limited to the Windows Insider program for the moment because it is still technically in beta and Microsoft has not disclosed or officially announced when or if the program feature will be open to the public. The Windows Insider program itself is open to anyone and allows users early access to Windows OS builds, requiring them only to provide feedback to improve the software prior to its non-beta release.