Microsoft is looking to break the language barrier in business and educational presentations by implementing a real-time translator into PowerPoint. From foreign exchange students to international business meetings, language is an extremely important aspect of everyday life. While it would be impossible to expect someone to learn the thousands of languages that exist today, it is not too far-fetched to expect appropriate accommodations for an individual that cannot understand or communicate with you directly. Presentation Translator by Microsoft Garage presents the next step toward the elimination of language barriers in international communication.
How It Works
Presentation Translator can translate 10 different spoken languages into over 60 different text languages. Languages that can be translated into subtitles include English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Russian, Japanese, and Portuguese.
First, users will want to customize speech recognition to their slides in order to avoid any inaccuracies in the translation. By doing so, accuracy can improve by as much as 30%. On the other hand, failure to customize speech recognition may result in inaccuracies when you use industry-specific vocabulary, technical terms, acronyms, and product or place names.
The program itself works by studying and learning from the content displayed on your slides, as well as any slide notes that have been added to the presentation. Presentation Translator uses the knowledge it has gained to be more effective in recognizing the words you might use during your presentation.
The program’s language model uses probability distribution to help the system decide among sequences of words that sound similar, based on the content in your slides and the likelihood that you would use them in your presentation.
Presenters have the option to mute the audience to avoid confusion within the translation. By enabling this setting, the program will only recognize the presenter’s voice, creating a clear and concise message in the subtitled text.
Furthermore, the presenter can allow for audience participation to create a complete transcript of the lecture or presentation. Audience members can also follow along on their own devices by requesting a 5-letter conversation code to sync with the PowerPoint presentation. This option is extremely useful for audiences that include members who speak a plethora of different languages. By following the PowerPoint on your own device, you can translate the entire presentation, including slide content and subtitles, into the language of your choice.
Microsoft continues to make advancements in technology that can bring our world closer together. Presentation Translator is just another step toward global unity.