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Zuckerberg said he could translate “hundreds of languages…everything from Austrian to Ugandan to Urdu.”
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(Pocket-lint) – During a streaming event, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke more about the Metaverse his company has invested in – including that Meta’s research division is developing a universal system for translating the speech. This system would ideally allow users around the world to seamlessly interact with each other in Meta’s digital universe.
“That’s going to be especially important when people start teleporting through virtual worlds and experimenting with people from different backgrounds,” Zuckerberg said at an event called Inside the Lab: Building for the metaverse with HAVE. “Now we have the opportunity to improve the Internet and set a new normal where we can all communicate with each other, no matter what language we speak or where we come from. And if we succeed, this is just one example of how AI can help bring people together on a global scale.”
Meta has a two-part plan to make this happen. You can read it in detail on the company’s blog, where it also announced its plan on Wednesday.
First, Meta is developing No Language Left Behind, a translation system capable of learning all languages, “even if there’s not a lot of text available to learn”, according to Zuckerberg. Meta’s managing director claimed that it could translate “hundreds of languages with cutting edge results and most language pairs – everything from Austrian to Ugandan to Urdu”.
After that, Meta wants to create an artificial intelligence (AI), with the aim of offering “instant speech-to-speech translation in all languages, even those that are primarily spoken; the ability to communicate with anyone in any language,” Zuckerberg mentioned. “It’s a superpower that people have always dreamed of and AI is going to deliver it in our lifetime.”
Keep in mind that Meta has long been interested in artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and has built a supercomputer for machine learning research.
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Still, Zuckerberg made many lofty claims at the event, and not once did he or Meta researchers offer a timeline, a roadmap, or anything concrete about his ambitious plans. In fact, Meta really just spent the whole event showcasing the potential for universal language translation, especially in the Metaverse.
Written by Maggie Tillman.