Amazon Wants to Bring Real Time Translation to Alexa

03 March, 2018, 00:42 | Author: Kristen Mcgee
  • Amazon Echo Dot Mute

The artificial intelligence battle between Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant may have just heated up a notch as Ashwin Ram, previously the Senior Manager of Alexa AI, has joined Google as the Technical Director of AI at Google Cloud. The intelligent personal assistant is now capable of deciphering single words and phrases, but with these improvements, Amazon hopes that Alexa will work seamlessly in conversations as a real-time translator. To get a culturally aware translation, the user must be a little more specific when talking to Alexa.

A report from Yahoo Finance suggests that Amazon is looking to amp up Alexa's translation skills, by also including how to respond to cultural norms. Alexa will also be mindful of the Japanese culture, which is more formal and conservative than American culture.

Yahoo found that Alexa could soon help a native English speaker attending a meeting with Japanese business partners understand what those people are saying in Japanese.

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Amazon does not have a page that tracks the status of consumer products and complaints. It can already do the basic but it still has potential to become smarter. In 2017, Google boasted that the Pixel Buds ($159 ) were able to perform accurate real-time translation on the go, but the feature was not well received. Though Amazon hasn't confirmed the plans yet, the sources indicate Alexa's translation abilities would greatly exceed mere word and short phrase translations. It's not exactly the most popular today as it directly rivals the Google Assistant but it has a following and a market.

Beyond language itself, the company wants Alexa to gain a well-rounded knowledge of the cultures in which the translated languages are spoken.

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