Wednesday, 14 Mar, 2012 Technology

Latest Invention: Software that Translates Text Using the Voice of Its User


Microsoft has come up with new software that allows users not only to translate between 26 languages, but also play the translated text in the voice of its user. In addition, the software uses the inflections that people use when communicating in their own language.

It would be interesting to note that this week the program has been presented at Microsoft's Redmond, Washington, campus. The person who has come up with this invention, Frank Soong, began the test by using the software to play a Spanish text using the voice of Rick Rashid, his boss. Then he used it to allows Craig Mundie, Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer, to speak in Mandarin.

At the moment the program cannot run instantly after being installed. The first step involves the users spending about an hour, training the software to recognize and replicate their voice. After that the system applies the user's speech model to a standard text-to-speech model for the preferred output language.

In the near future the software could help people communicate easier, with less misunderstandings occurring between the conversationalists. In addition, it could help people learn foreign languages.

[via Technology Review]

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