Microsoft Developing A 'Universal' Speech Translator

March 12, 2012


Seen here looking suspiciously like the lightsaber dildo I found in my roommate's sock drawer (haha -- the truth's out, Derek! NOW CLEAN YOUR CAT'S LITTERBOX) Captain Kirk fantasizes about diddling Uhuru or whatever. Aaaaaaaaand now Microsoft has some relatively functional software that can translate a person's own voice into 26 different languages so that it still sounds like you. Because that's important. I don't want to just sound like some f***ing robot while my phone is translating 'I'm pooping liquid I need to go the the hospital' when I'm traveling internationally.

The system needs around an hour of training to develop a model able to read out any text in a person's own voice. That model is converted into one able to read out text in another language by comparing it with a stock text-to-speech model for the target language. Individual sounds used by the first model to build up words using a person's voice in his or her own language are carefully tweaked to give the new text-to-speech model a full ability to sound out phrases in the second language.

I didn't really understand any of that, but that's okay -- I do all my talking WITH MY EYES. *wink* Know what I'm saying? *wink* "I get that you're winking, but you do realize you're still talking too, right?" That...explains a lot of embarrassing situations.

Software Translates Your Voice into Another Language [technologyreview]
Microsoft's universal translator warps voices into other tongues [dvice]

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