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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)

Next Story

Here’s What 1.1 mn Children Learn About Santa Claus From Google Every Year

Additionally, search data reveals that there are on average 186,900 searches for 'How old is Santa' and 182,300 for 'Where is the North Pole' every year

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Santa Claus
FILE - A man dressed as Santa Claus rides his sleigh, pulled by a reindeer, as he prepares for Christmas on the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, northern Finland, Dec. 19, 2007. VOA

A recent report on Internet found that 1.1 million children learn online that Saint Nick is a fictitious character, as the first article in the search says ‘as adults we know Santa Claus is not real.’

When searching ‘Is Santa real’ the first article that is displayed comes from Quartz, which provides parents with advice on how to answer the question, dailymail.co.uk reported on Wednesday.

‘As adults we know Santa Claus isn’t real,’ an introductory sentence of the article reads.

Stephen Kenwright, Technical Search Engine Optimization Director at Rise at Seven, states that ‘Google is ranking this article on Quartz as the no.1 result based on the authority of the domain and reliability of the content.

‘Google’s algorithms choose the answer which best answers the question searched, taking safety into consideration all whilst being factually accurate.’

Santa Claus
Santa Claus dressed for Christmas. Wikimedia Commons

As per report, the results found that voice search technology responses are more creative when it comes to their responses to the query.

Alexa will reply with: ‘All I know is that someone has been eating mince pies and Father Christmas looks like the type.’

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“That’s something I am not allowed to disclause. I mean…disclose,” Siri replied.

Additionally, search data reveals that there are on average 186,900 searches for ‘How old is Santa’ and 182,300 for ‘Where is the North Pole’ every year. (IANS)