Chances are, when you’re traveling and you need to have things translated on your mobile device, you probably don’t have roaming or Internet connection at that time. Microsoft wants to help solve that problem and after two years of working on it, they are now able to offer AI-powered offline language packs both for end users of the Microsoft Translator app and for developers who need to add it to their own apps. You get neural translation technology regardless of your connectivity status and even if your phone doesn’t have a dedicated AI chip.
Back in 2016, Microsoft actually launched its AI-powered online neural machine translation but since you would need high cloud computing power, it was only available online. Later on it would expand to Android phones with special AI chips but now they are finally able to make it run on any modern device’s CPU and with higher quality translation. They are already available in more than 50 languages for text translation and 10 languages for speech translation. They will be adding more languages regularly.
Developers will also now be able to see a preview of the new local feature so they will be able to quickly and easily add text translation if their app needs it. They will also be able to add offline NMT to their own apps so users can enjoy needed translations even if they don’t have data or WiFi. Developers will just need to add simple code to “silently call” the Translator app and then it will work its magic. The feature will supposedly graduate from preview to stable after 90 days of the preview release.
Neural machine translation seems like an alien thing for regular users but you will feel its power when you use the Translator app and later on when developers apply it to their own services. If you already use the app, let us know if you’ve noticed the changes.
April 19, 2018 at 03:06AM