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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old March 14 2012, 08:35 PM   #1
MANT!
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Universal Translator a reality?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...=feeds-newsxml

not exactly, but we are getting closer..
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Old March 14 2012, 08:53 PM   #2
YellowSubmarine
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Re: Universal Translator a reality?

Bigger than a combadge. No seamless multi-party conversations. No deciphering of unknown alien languages on the fly. Lame.
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Old March 14 2012, 09:12 PM   #3
MANT!
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Re: Universal Translator a reality?

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
Bigger than a combadge. No seamless multi-party conversations. No deciphering of unknown alien languages on the fly. Lame.
yeah but you gotta start somewhere..
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Old March 14 2012, 09:38 PM   #4
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Re: Universal Translator a reality?

So basically, voice recognition (including some kind of principal component analysis describing the deviation of the speaker's voice from the model), then translation, then text-to-speech except using the above PCA parameters to try and make the voice synthesis sound like the original speaker?

Seems straightforward enough. That's a lot of potential weak links though.
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Old March 14 2012, 10:56 PM   #5
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Universal Translator a reality?

Give it that old classic "time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana" and see what happens.
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Old March 14 2012, 11:12 PM   #6
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Re: Universal Translator a reality?

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
Give it that old classic "time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana" and see what happens.
Shaka when the walls fell
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Old March 14 2012, 11:46 PM   #7
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Re: Universal Translator a reality?

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
Give it that old classic "time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana" and see what happens.
Or "Out of sight, out of mind."

Forget real-time computer translation -- even basic speech recognition still has a long way to go. Link
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Old March 15 2012, 12:08 AM   #8
Nowhere Man
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Re: Universal Translator a reality?

MANT! wrote: View Post
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...=feeds-newsxml

not exactly, but we are getting closer..
Frank Soong is one of the guys working on this? Could it be?
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Old March 19 2012, 11:41 PM   #9
publiusr
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Re: Universal Translator a reality?

art imitates life, life imitates art.
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Old March 21 2012, 04:17 PM   #10
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Re: Universal Translator a reality?

Well.. the universal translator has some huge logic flaws but a few months ago i saw a report on TV where some guy had a smartphone (don't know if it was Android or iPhone) and tried to strike up a conversation with foreigners.

He spoke into it and a short while later a computer voice spoke the translation.. worked pretty well for French and Spanish, soso for Turkish and Arabic and mostly had problems with Mandarin Chinese.

However fact was that with that app a person could do basic day to day life in a foreign country, for example as a tourist gone shopping or asking for something in the local language.

A few years ago such a software was unthinkable and was pretty rudimentary.. who knows how it will work 10 years from now?
I can see this working quite well for day to day language but may have problems with more specialized words or dialects but it could be a huge help in foreign countries.
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Old March 21 2012, 07:43 PM   #11
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Re: Universal Translator a reality?

There are two things that need to work well here: voice recognition, and translation. We know neither one works perfectly yet.
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Old March 27 2012, 06:36 PM   #12
The Dominion
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Re: Universal Translator a reality?

And of course these are known languages, whereas the key function of the UT is to automatically decipher alien languages on its own.
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Old April 2 2012, 11:36 PM   #13
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Re: Universal Translator a reality?

Which can't ever happen the way it's shown in Star Trek.. even a computer needs data before he can compute something and what works logically in one language might not in another, especially if it has developed entirely independently and even by a different race with its own psychology and history.

There is no frame of reference, no vocabulary and set of rules from which a computer program might build a working database.. it may if it had enough time and enough samples but certainly not in the near simultaneous way as depicted in Trek.
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Old November 9 2012, 05:49 PM   #14
jefferiestubes8
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breakthrough in near-real-time translation

Rashid says the system has an error rate of about one word in seven or eight - not great, but a good 30 percent better than previous attempts.
that's pretty big. It will take years to get the latency down to milliseconds.

Microsoft shows off real-time translation
November 9, 2012
http://www.tgdaily.com/software-feat...me-translation
there is a video at the link demonstrating it..skip to 7:15 in the video for real-time speech-to-text foreign language tranlation.
at 7:35 the audio starts. 20 second delay.

this is an update on the March 2012 article as it mentions
Microsoft's chief research officer Rick Rashid in both articles.

Mr Soong and Mr Rashid work at Microsoft’s HQ in Redmond, Washington.
They created the system with colleagues at Microsoft Research Asia in Beijing, the company's second-largest research lab.
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Old November 12 2012, 02:20 PM   #15
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Re: Universal Translator a reality?

FPAlpha wrote: View Post
Well.. the universal translator has some huge logic flaws but a few months ago i saw a report on TV where some guy had a smartphone (don't know if it was Android or iPhone) and tried to strike up a conversation with foreigners.

He spoke into it and a short while later a computer voice spoke the translation.. worked pretty well for French and Spanish, soso for Turkish and Arabic and mostly had problems with Mandarin Chinese.

However fact was that with that app a person could do basic day to day life in a foreign country, for example as a tourist gone shopping or asking for something in the local language.

A few years ago such a software was unthinkable and was pretty rudimentary.. who knows how it will work 10 years from now?
I can see this working quite well for day to day language but may have problems with more specialized words or dialects but it could be a huge help in foreign countries.
I've used Google's voice translate for such conversations. It is surprisingly good according to the bilingual friends I tested it with.
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