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Amazon Trying To Teach Alexa New Trick: Translating Languages In Real Time

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Amazon is planning to teach Alexa how to translate languages in real time, which would be a welcome feature for the voice-activated digital assistant and the Amazon Echo line of smart speakers.

There are other devices and services that offer early versions of real-time translation, such as the Google Pixel Buds. Amazon, however, is apparently looking to throw its hat into the ring due to the near limitless applications of such technology.

Amazon To Turn Alexa Into A Real-Time Language Translator

According to an exclusive report by Yahoo Finance, Amazon's Alexa group is "seriously exploring" how it can make the digital assistant more useful across different languages and cultures. One way that the company is planning to do so is to add the ability for Alexa to translate between languages in real time.

Alexa is already capable of translating words and short phrases between several languages. However, Amazon is said to be pushing to make Alexa into a "true multilingual assistant" that will be able to perform more complicated translations.

To perform the function, Alexa will also have to know the cultural differences between languages. This is because translations often go beyond word-for-word swaps, as there are various contextual and situational elements that need to be considered when speaking in foreign languages.

The sources told Yahoo that Amazon wants to give Alexa the ability to translate between languages on-the-fly from any supported device. Alexa may also, in the future, translate multiple speakers talking in different languages at the same time.

Amazon's Alexa team, meanwhile, knows the challenges of providing the kind of real-time language translation that is often seen in science fiction movies. The technology will likely not be arriving to Amazon Echo smart speakers soon, and sources said that Amazon will not roll it out unless it is working perfectly.

Alexa And Amazon Echo

Whenever Amazon rolls out the real-time language translation feature for Alexa, tens of millions of Alexa-powered devices will be ready to receive the technology.

According to statistics from eMarketer, the Amazon Echo will hold a 67.9 percent share of the voice-enabled speaker industry this year. The Amazon Echo, which serves as the flagship Alexa-powered product, has pushed Amazon to new heights.

The importance of Alexa to Amazon is probably why the company is working on its very own processing chip. The chip is expected to power Alexa's artificial intelligence features, and may be a component for whenever the real-time language translation service will be rolled out.

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