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Tech Giant Google Announces its First Speech-to-speech Translation System

Lately, Google has been working aggressively on its translation systems

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FILE - A woman walks past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2018. VOA

Google has announced its first direct speech-to-speech translation system called “Translatotron” that can convert verbal communication from one language to another while maintaining the speaker’s voice and tempo.

“Translatotron” is based on a sequence-to-sequence network which takes source spectrograms — a visual representation of frequencies — as input and generates spectrograms of the translated content in the target language, Ye Jia and Ron Weiss, software engineers at Google Artificial Intelligence (AI) wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

The model makes use of two other separately trained components — a neural vocoder that converts output spectrograms to time-domain waveforms and a speaker encoder that can be used to maintain the character of the source speaker’s voice in the synthesised translated speech.

For now, the results of Google’s demonstration of the translation system lag behind a conventional cascade system, but the search engine giant said it has “demonstrated the feasibility of the end-to-end direct speech-to-speech translation”.

“By incorporating a speaker encoder network, ‘Translatotron’ is also able to retain the original speaker’s vocal characteristics in the translated speech, which makes the translated speech sound more natural and less jarring,” Jia and Weiss said.

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

The company said that “Translatotron” is the first end-to-end model that can directly translate speech from one language into another.

“We hope that this work can serve as a starting point for future research on end-to-end speech-to-speech translation systems,” the blog-post noted.

Lately, Google has been working aggressively on its translation systems.

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Adding more languages to its real-time translation feature, earlier in 2018, the company introduced accents in Google Translate with a variety of languages in region-based pronunciations.

In February, Google extended the “Interpreter” mode on its Assistant to Home speakers and other third-party devices to help users have real-time conversations with compatible devices and translate them into 26 listed languages. (IANS)

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New Google Pixel 4 Face Unlock Works even if Eyes are Closed

Google claims that the Pixel 4 Face Unlock meets the security requirements as a strong biometric and it is one of the most secure face unlock solutions

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Google Pixel 4
The US based search engine giant was so sure about its Face Unlock's security that the company had removed all the fingerprint sensors from the Pixel 4 handsets. Pixabay

 Google has recently launched its latest Google Pixel 4 series smartphones with face unlock for biometric authentication in New York. But this feature comes with a major flaw, as it could unlock the phone even if users were not looking at it.

According to BBC reporter Chris Fox, the face unlock mechanism works even when the device owner has his eyes shut. He tried this with different users and the same thing happened.

“The Pixel 4 facial recognition works even if you’re asleep/dead. That seems problematic #madebygoogle #pixel4,” Chris tweeted along with a video.

The US based search engine giant was so sure about its Face Unlock’s security that the company had removed all the fingerprint sensors from the Pixel 4 handsets.

Google seems to be aware of the problem, stating on a Pixel 4 help page that: “Your phone can also be unlocked by someone else if it’s held up to your face, even if your eyes are closed. Keep your phone in a safe place, like your front pocket or handbag.”

Google Pixel 4
The Google Pixel 4 comes with a starting price tag of $799 and Pixel 4 XL for $899. The phones will ship globally from October 24 (Representatinal Image). Pixabay

Google claims that the Pixel 4 Face Unlock meets the security requirements as a strong biometric and it is one of the most secure face unlock solutions.

The Google Pixel 4 comes with a starting price tag of $799 and Pixel 4 XL for $899. The phones will ship globally from October 24.

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In terms of specifications, Pixel 4 features a 5.7-inch Full HD+ Smooth 90Hz display. The Pixel 4 XL, on the other hand, comes with a 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Smooth 90Hz display.

Both the devices are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset. (IANS)