Amazon Wants to Bring Real Time Translation to Alexa

By buying Ring and other smart home start-ups tech's biggest firms try to lure more people into their ecosystems

The intelligent personal assistant is now capable of deciphering single words and phrases, but with these improvements, Amazon hopes that Alexa will work seamlessly in conversations as a real-time translator. Just like Microsoft translator and Google Translate, Alexa could place many language translators out of business.

According to a report by Yahoo Finance, Amazon is "seriously exploring" adding real-time translation to Alexa's suite of capabilities.

Movie fans planning to stay up on Sunday night for the Oscars can do so safe in the knowledge they can have a companion with them in the form of Amazon's Alexa. Presumably, this functionality will be available from Amazon's app and Alexa app, too. Alexa will also be mindful of the Japanese culture, which is more formal and conservative than American culture. Amazon wants Alexa to be a "true multilingual assistant".

There are other devices and services that offer early versions of real-time translation, such as the Google Pixel Buds.

If you're traveling and unsure of how to ask for a table at a restaurant, Amazon wants Alexa to have your back.

Alexa can already translate short phrases and words in Spanish, German, French and Italian but cannot decipher more meaningful or contextual situations that languages often need. "Delighted to have had the opportunity to create and lead Alexa Prize and to experience this legendary Day 1 company from the inside". 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.

In the long run, sources say, Amazon also wants Alexa to be able to translate conversations with multiple people speaking different languages all at once.

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