Mobile app makes language translation more seamless
International travelers now have a tool to help them communicate better. Vocre, a free translation app for the iPhone and iPad, makes it possible for users to communicate with someone in another language. SmartPlanet's Sumi Das gets a demo from MyLanguage CEO Andrew Lauder.
The problem I see
Perhaps it could be given to intake workers at county Social Service Offices.
PLEASE THINK OF USERS WHO CANNOT HAVE ACCESS TO HIGH-END BROAD-BAND
Please think of people who have mainly access to text and cannot have video because their connectivity does not have the necessary "juice".
This accounts for over 72% of people over the world. If you want people to read and enjoy the posts, it makes sense to make then accessible to the largest possible population.
IBM Cloud Computing on FIshing
It suggests the problem was the fisherman were catching too much fish.. as we know all sorts of fish species have or are about to collapse.
The solution apparently was to use cloud computing to ensure fisherman caught only enough to meet demand. How ridiculous! Demand far outpaces supply when it comes to fish - the only solution is for humans to eat less fish. However, I can imagine cloud computing could support some sort of global quota management system to support the regulation of rampant over fishing. Perhaps good marketing talent is also in short supply.
The problem I see
>> Host: Are you heading to a foreign country and don't speak the native tongue? Vocre is a new translation app for iPhone and iPad that allows users to speak to another person in a different language. Here to show me how the app works is the founder of myLanguage, Andrew Lauder. Thanks so much for joining us.
>> Andrew Lauder: Hi. Thanks for having me.
>> Host: So give me a demo.
>> Andrew Lauder: So basically, Vocre. The first step is setting the language of yourself and the person you are speaking with and for example, I'll say something in German and it'll translate it into English.
>> Host: OK.
>> Andrew Lauder: And so for the iPhone version, you do a rotation. You turn it upside down. You wait for the microphone to appear.
Talking in foreign language
>> Andrew Lauder: You check to see that the text is correct and then you simply rotate the person you're talking to.
>>Vocre: Hello. How are you?
>> Andrew Lauder: For that person to respond, you just rotate down and wait for the microphone to appear.
>> Host: I'm fine. Thanks for asking. How are you today?
>> Andrew Lauder: Check that it's correct and rotate back to the person. So it's as simple as record, review, and translate.
>> Host: Seems pretty seamless. What's the technology that's going on in the background to give us that experience?
>> Andrew Lauder: So the first step is converting the user's voice into text, and for that we're using the same technology that powers Siri. It's powered by Nuance. And they currently have 23 languages. Once we have the text, then we use our own hybrid translation. We actually check to see if we already have a translation that's more appropriate, and we provide it to the user. If we don't, then we can use something like machine translation. Essentially we find a good answer for the user. Once you have a translation, we then convert it back into audio using a company called iSpeech. They have the most human-like voices we've found.
>> Host: So you're taking advantage of technologies that are developed by other companies, Nuance and iSpeech. What is myLanguage's proprietary technology then?
>> Andrew Lauder: So we have two main focuses. One is on making the user experience that is not the focal point of a conversation. We want the conversation to flow and we don't want you to be tapping on the screen and focused on the app. The second focus is on making translation technology that gets better over time. And so we have, we're using a crowd sourcing model where essentially if the user finds something that's bad with the translation, they can provide a suggestion. Also, we hire translators to come in and correct translations. So over time, the translation engine gets much smarter and more accurate.
>> Host: What are the remaining obstacles?
>> Andrew Lauder: Essentially the problem is that language is infinite and you can't really scale computers to be infinite. But you can focus.
>> Host: And it changes.
>> Andrew Lauder: Yes. Language changes over time.
>> Host: It's evolving.
>> Andrew Lauder: With new words and new uses. So our focus is to put it in the conversation because we believe that we will learn from how people say things and how the right thing to say something is as opposed to just a calculation with a machine translator.
>> Host: So if 10 different people are using the slang term of the moment, then maybe it'll start being incorporated into Vocre?
>> Andrew Lauder: Absolutely. So our algorithm is essentially learn from the usage of the application.
>> Host: Andrew Lauder, founder of myLanguage, thanks so much for the demo.
>> Andrew Lauder: Thank you.
>> Host: For SmartPlanet, I'm Simi Douse assumed spelling. Thanks for watching.