Google and Babel's phone
Google is working on a software for mobile phones that allows, while we talk, perform virtually instant translations from different languages. We can consider that they are immersed in this development as something logical, taking into account the efforts they are making in voice recognition technology, and in automatic translations.
The news comes from an interview by The Times Franz Och, visible head of Google's translation services. It suggests that the search engine company expects to have a basic system prepared in a matter of two years, and it will not be me who determines if it is late or soon for a functionality of these characteristics, but it is a reality that the company has made great advances in the automatic translation of texts on the network, where most of the 52 Available languages.
More complicated is the facet of speech recognition, which is already being implemented in its latest Android developments and works correctly, but is far from perfect or adequate for the new functionality that we describe.
The line of work seems clear but quite complicated in practice: combine both technologies to get software capable of understanding different voices, in different languages, and reproducing them translated into the listener's language.
The advantage that Google has over the rest is the live database that are constantly generating their technologies on the Internet, the more data, the more quality they can achieve. But some specialists in the field consider it very difficult to achieve what Google intends, since the existence of different accents or tones it is difficult to manage.
The moment this is feasible, many communication barriers will be broken, bringing different cultures closer together in an economical and comfortable way. I think what is really interesting is not that it can be done with extended languages such as English or Spanish, but with less accessible third languages.