Published: Sat, March 03, 2018
Tech | By Tabitha Holland

Amazon plans to teach Alexa real-time language translation

Amazon plans to teach Alexa real-time language translation

All of this is probably tied to ongoing troubles with Amazon Web Services - many apps that depend on AWS have experienced downtime earlier today. Someday, we're hoping it will hold a more intelligent and more natural conversation with the translation included as one of Alexa's skills. According to Down Detector, users began reporting problems with Amazon's Alexa and Echo speakers around 11:30 am.

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. For example, asking the virtual assistant, "Alexa, what do I say to the father of the bride at a wedding in Japan?" would solicit a different response and tone from Alexa than if you asked the assistant "What do I say to the master of ceremonies at a wedding in Japan?" Users of Amazon's popular voice assistant may have noticed this morning that Alexa isn't working for them. If Amazon is able to bring that to Alexa, its translation feature may become more useful in real-time moments, as pointed out by Mashable.

Amazon appears to be ambitious when it comes to Alexa.

After all, most people won't have their Echo devices by their side while attending a wedding in a foreign country. That means in addition to facilitating cross-lingual conversations in real time, Alexa would be able to provide answers like what to say to the father of the bride at a wedding in Japan, the Yahoo report says. The Pixel Buds' real-time translation feature received mixed reviews.

Beyond language itself, the company wants Alexa to gain a well-rounded knowledge of the cultures in which the translated languages are spoken.

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