Amazon might give Alexa more intelligent real-time translation powers

Herbert Rhodes
March 3, 2018

Problems with Amazon Web Services' Direct Connect service took down several customers Friday morning using the cloud leader's creaky U.S. East region, including its Alexa personal assistant. All good stuff, though one potentially game-changing skill that is coming to Alexa is real-time language translation.

Alexa is the brains behind the Amazon Echo range of smart home speakers, but is also available as a smart assistant in a range of phones and Amazon's Fire TV devices. Amazon is looking to make Alexa more useful not just by adding a new feature but adding one that will help tackle language and cultural barriers. Google caused a stir when they demonstrated real-time translation via the Pixel Buds.

Amazon Alexa is already capable of translating short sentences in English into 36 different languages, including Arabic, Hindi, Indonesian and Thai.

Users reported issues with Alexa's voice recognition service on either Amazon Echo devices or third party electronics that run Alexa, reports The Verge.

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Amazon might give Alexa more intelligent real-time translation powers

Alexa would have an understanding of the Japanese culture, which is generally more formal and conservative than American culture and would incorporate its knowledge into translations. "Delighted to have had the opportunity to create and lead Alexa Prize and to experience this legendary Day 1 company from the inside".

The importance of Alexa to Amazon is probably why the company is working on its very own processing chip.

Amazon's Alexa team, meanwhile, knows the challenges of providing the kind of real-time language translation that is often seen in science fiction movies. The ability to translate may be enhancedas the feature becomes even more intelligent.

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Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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