If you are a ‘Game of Thrones’ fan, this app will teach you how to speak in High Valyrian

While only one character can speak native High Valyrian on “Game of Thrones,” viewers nationwide are picking up a few words and phrases from an unlikely source: Duolingo, the free language-learning app. High Valyrian isn’t the only fictional language Duolingo has to offer. That’s not the case when it comes to High Valyrian, where Peterson is a contributor and develops the courses for free. The origins of High Valyrian come from the book that inspired the show, written by George R.R. While users


While only one character can speak native High Valyrian on “Game of Thrones,” viewers nationwide are picking up a few words and phrases from an unlikely source: Duolingo, the free language-learning app. High Valyrian isn’t the only fictional language Duolingo has to offer. That’s not the case when it comes to High Valyrian, where Peterson is a contributor and develops the courses for free. The origins of High Valyrian come from the book that inspired the show, written by George R.R. While users
If you are a ‘Game of Thrones’ fan, this app will teach you how to speak in High Valyrian Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-14  Authors: noah higgins-dunn, source, george kavallines
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, course, valyrian, thrones, speak, peterson, game, teach, created, develop, app, high, feinberg, fan, duolingo, language, languages


If you are a 'Game of Thrones' fan, this app will teach you how to speak in High Valyrian

“Skorverdon zaldrīzoti Daenerys ēza?”

Translation: How many dragons does Daenerys have? It’s not a ridiculous question if you’re a fan of the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones,” which returns for its eighth and final season on Sunday. The language? It’s called High Valyrian, the tongue of the ruined Valyrian Freehold empire, and it’s one of four languages created by linguist David J. Peterson spoken on the show.

While only one character can speak native High Valyrian on “Game of Thrones,” viewers nationwide are picking up a few words and phrases from an unlikely source: Duolingo, the free language-learning app.

Duolingo first offered lessons in High Valyrian in 2017 and, since then, 1.2 million people have started the course. In the last two weeks leading up to the premier of the final season, Duolingo has seen a near 65% increase in people taking the course, said Sam Dalsimer, a spokesman for Duolingo.

High Valyrian isn’t the only fictional language Duolingo has to offer. Star Trek fans can find Klingon, a language constructed by Marc Okrand and centered around spacecraft, warfare and weaponry.

To offer languages on Duolingo, the company usually relies on hundreds of volunteers and employees to develop course material and monitor users’ experiences. That’s not the case when it comes to High Valyrian, where Peterson is a contributor and develops the courses for free.

“We teach over 30 languages and most have thousands of people who speak them and are capable of helping us teach them.” Dalsimer said. “There’s only one person on planet Earth who knows the language, and that’s David Peterson.”

The origins of High Valyrian come from the book that inspired the show, written by George R.R. Martin. Peterson won a contest to develop the more common language used on “Game of Thrones” called Dothraki but was asked to build High Valyrian later in the series. His goal was to create a classic language that could give birth to many others, similar to Romance languages, and Peterson noted it had to fit with the names Martin created for the book, such as Daenerys, Viserys and Rhaella.

There are now 824 words of High Valyrian that users can learn on Duolingo, and that number continues to grow. Peterson said there are now 2,000 words in the full version of the language he maintains.

“With every single language I create I keep working on it for the rest of my life or until I’m not happy with it,” said Peterson, who has created more than 50 languages. “It will basically just be another one of my languages, it’s not like it’s going to get any special treatment.”

When Peterson first encountered Duolingo, he felt it could revolutionize the way people learned languages. It had a great interface, it was free and, as a linguist, it’s the dream for people like him to create languages people would have access to, although he didn’t foresee how popular High Valyrian would become.

Today, High Valyrian has 822,000 active learners, or those who have used the course in the last 12 months. That’s more than Czech, Norwegian, Vietnamese and Hungarian.

“I imagined it would attract casual interest, but I never imagined there would be that many people who would actually be interested in taking the course,” Peterson said.

There is one statistic Peterson is particularly proud of: 44% of users who came to Duolingo to learn High Valyrian went on to practice other languages. While users may not perfect High Valyrian, Peterson sees the language as a “gateway drug” to learners discovering other cultures.

“As we become more economically focused, people view language as a tool as opposed to an art piece in and of itself or cultural history,” Peterson said.

More than 40% of the world speaks one of eight languages, although there are more than 7,000 worldwide. UNESCO, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has labeled 2,680 languages in danger as it celebrates the International Year of Indigenous Languages, designed to raise awareness to disappearing languages.

“It’s nice that the UN is putting this emphasis on indigenous languages because people need to start addressing this issue,” Peterson said. “We’re losing them and we’re losing them quickly, and once they’re lost, they’re lost.”

Duolingo has worked with communities and volunteers like Peterson to develop courses in endangered languages, such as offering lessons in Hawaiian, Irish and Navajo, Dalsimer said.

“Those courses are driven entirely by volunteer contributors and for them it’s more about a desire to preserve their language and their culture because they see it as being endangered, and it is,” Dalsimer said. “Languages die every year and Duolingo can help them preserve it.”

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“I remember thinking that if David Peterson ever taught the ‘Game of Thrones’ language I would definitely check it out,” said Andrew Feinberg, a volunteer for Duolingo who has used the app since its beta version nearly seven years ago.

Except when Duolingo announced it would offer High Valyrian courses, Feinberg thought it was a joke. He helped Duolingo develop its Norwegian and Japanese platforms, and he’s witnessed the company’s pranks in the past, like when it offered pirate and zombie languages.

But Feinberg noticed the only contributor to the course was Peterson. That’s when he realized it wasn’t a joke.

Peterson, dubbed by the Los Angeles Times as “Hollywood’s go-to language guy” has created languages for many film and television projects, including the movies “Thor: The Dark World” and “Doctor Strange.”

“I had sort of stalked him on YouTube and watched all those videos on how he created those languages,” Feinberg said. “I was really excited for it. I knew that he was a serious linguist who had complimented Duolingo before.”

Now Feinberg manages learning groups on Facebook for Japanese, Chinese, Norwegian and, a day after its introduction, High Valyrian, which has amassed over 200 members learning alongside Peterson himself, who encourages people to use and develop the language in conversation with each other even if that means moving beyond what he imagined.

“It’s always a little different since I did create High Valyrian and, in a sense, there is an arbiter to determine what is right and what is wrong,” Peterson said. “But as long as I’m here I feel like not only do I want to, but I should be there to try to help people out.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-14  Authors: noah higgins-dunn, source, george kavallines
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, course, valyrian, thrones, speak, peterson, game, teach, created, develop, app, high, feinberg, fan, duolingo, language, languages


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Here are the top foreign languages that UK employers want you to have

Indeed analyzed the requirements in millions of job advertisements posted on its website, which is searched by more than 250 million people per month. The total number of job roles specifying language skills as a prerequisite increased by almost 3% in the same period. However, Indeed noted that Brexit’s impact on migration could potentially lead to a “language gap” in the British employment market. “English is a global language, but that cannot always offset the need for fluent speakers of other


Indeed analyzed the requirements in millions of job advertisements posted on its website, which is searched by more than 250 million people per month. The total number of job roles specifying language skills as a prerequisite increased by almost 3% in the same period. However, Indeed noted that Brexit’s impact on migration could potentially lead to a “language gap” in the British employment market. “English is a global language, but that cannot always offset the need for fluent speakers of other
Here are the top foreign languages that UK employers want you to have Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-10  Authors: chloe taylor, image, david madison, photographers choice, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, speakers, market, uk, languages, foreign, eu, skills, employers, emerging, language, fewer, migration, job


Here are the top foreign languages that UK employers want you to have

Indeed analyzed the requirements in millions of job advertisements posted on its website, which is searched by more than 250 million people per month.

Demand for German speakers peaked just before the Brexit referendum in June 2016, according to the data.

The total number of job roles specifying language skills as a prerequisite increased by almost 3% in the same period.

However, Indeed noted that Brexit’s impact on migration could potentially lead to a “language gap” in the British employment market. According to the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics, net migration from the EU is now at its lowest level in a decade, which could signal a reduction in the talent pool when it comes to European language skills.

“Many U.K. employers who require multilingual staff are becoming increasingly unsettled as a perfect storm brews — fewer and fewer linguists are emerging from our education system just as Brexit uncertainty looks to be deterring workers relocating here from the EU,” Bill Richards, U.K. managing director of Indeed, said in a press release.

“English is a global language, but that cannot always offset the need for fluent speakers of other languages. While the U.K. market clearly continues to offer many opportunities for those with additional language skills, there is a danger of a shortfall emerging as insufficient supply butts up against rising demand,” he added.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-10  Authors: chloe taylor, image, david madison, photographers choice, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, speakers, market, uk, languages, foreign, eu, skills, employers, emerging, language, fewer, migration, job


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China’s Baidu challenges Google with A.I. that translates languages in real-time

Baidu trained its AI on two million pairs of English and Chinese sentences, Liang Huang, principal scientist at Baidu, told CNBC by phone on Wednesday. This has allowed Baidu’s digital interpreter to do near real-time translation from two languages that have very different sentence structures. Baidu used the example of this sentence in its blog post on Wednesday: “President Bush meets with Russian President Putin in Moscow.” But when translated into English, it becomes the third word in the sent


Baidu trained its AI on two million pairs of English and Chinese sentences, Liang Huang, principal scientist at Baidu, told CNBC by phone on Wednesday. This has allowed Baidu’s digital interpreter to do near real-time translation from two languages that have very different sentence structures. Baidu used the example of this sentence in its blog post on Wednesday: “President Bush meets with Russian President Putin in Moscow.” But when translated into English, it becomes the third word in the sent
China’s Baidu challenges Google with A.I. that translates languages in real-time Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-10-24  Authors: arjun kharpal, vcg, visual china group, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, translation, word, data, languages, chinas, president, ai, english, google, translates, huang, challenges, language, baidu, lag, sentence, realtime, chinese


China's Baidu challenges Google with A.I. that translates languages in real-time

AI tools require huge amounts of data sets to learn.

Baidu trained its AI on two million pairs of English and Chinese sentences, Liang Huang, principal scientist at Baidu, told CNBC by phone on Wednesday. This has allowed Baidu’s digital interpreter to do near real-time translation from two languages that have very different sentence structures.

Baidu used the example of this sentence in its blog post on Wednesday: “President Bush meets with Russian President Putin in Moscow.”

In Chinese, the verb “meets” is at the end of the sentence. But when translated into English, it becomes the third word in the sentence, as is appropriate in that language. Thanks to the training with the data sets, Baidu’s tool is able to predict the word that comes in the English sentence, even before the word is spoken.

“We train our system to predict the English side given the Chinese side prefix,” Huang told CNBC.

“You learn from that data that if Bush or any U.S. president is ever in Moscow, he is likely meeting with somebody,” the scientist added.

This would not be a problem for non-simultaneous translation as the time lag allows for assessing the sentence structure before making the translation. But with real-time interpretation, there cannot be a delay.

The translation tool can also be adjusted for latency, which means a user can set how much lag there is between a word being spoken and its translation. The higher the lag, the better the translation for some languages.

It currently supports Chinese to English, but Huang said it is “language neutral” and will eventually be able to translate other language pairs too.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-10-24  Authors: arjun kharpal, vcg, visual china group, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, translation, word, data, languages, chinas, president, ai, english, google, translates, huang, challenges, language, baidu, lag, sentence, realtime, chinese


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Google’s smart speaker is now bilingual

No need to fiddle with with the settings: Google’s smart assistant and Home speaker are now bilingual, allowing users to issue commands in two different languages interchangeably. Previously, users would have to manually switch back and forth between individual languages. Although different smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana can all be set up to understand and speak a wide range of different languages, Google is the first to support multiple languages at o


No need to fiddle with with the settings: Google’s smart assistant and Home speaker are now bilingual, allowing users to issue commands in two different languages interchangeably. Previously, users would have to manually switch back and forth between individual languages. Although different smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana can all be set up to understand and speak a wide range of different languages, Google is the first to support multiple languages at o
Google’s smart speaker is now bilingual Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-08-30  Authors: jillian donfro, via google
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, google, users, speak, languages, spanish, bilingual, speaker, assistant, smart, different, googles, speakers, understand


Google's smart speaker is now bilingual

No need to fiddle with with the settings: Google’s smart assistant and Home speaker are now bilingual, allowing users to issue commands in two different languages interchangeably. Previously, users would have to manually switch back and forth between individual languages.

It’s a thorny artificial intelligence problem that requires the Assistant to run multiple processes in parallel: It must identify which language a user is speaking while simultaneously parsing their command. (Learn more about how Google made it work here.) Although different smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana can all be set up to understand and speak a wide range of different languages, Google is the first to support multiple languages at once.

This new function may also be a welcome salve for users who’ve been frustrated by their smart assistant’s struggle to understand an accent. People who speak Spanish as a first language, for example, are understood 6 percent less frequently by smart speakers than West Coast English speakers, according to a Washington Post investigation earlier this year. Letting users volley between languages may help thwart misunderstandings.

At roll out, users can set their Assistant to understand any pair of languages within English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese and Google says it will be adding more languages in the coming months. It also says that it is aiming to make Assistant trilingual in the future.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-08-30  Authors: jillian donfro, via google
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, google, users, speak, languages, spanish, bilingual, speaker, assistant, smart, different, googles, speakers, understand


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Olympics attendees in Tokyo may chat with a talking bubble device straight out of a comic book

“We would like to enhance casual conversation between foreigners,” says Yumiko Shinohara, who developed the device. “Especially, for Japanese [people], it is very hard to say hi to foreigners. Sometimes Japanese [people] feel very nervous when speaking to foreigners, so we would like to provide some trigger to start a more friendly, natural conversation.” Fukidashi is still a prototype and can currently translate four languages: Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. In addition to plans to have


“We would like to enhance casual conversation between foreigners,” says Yumiko Shinohara, who developed the device. “Especially, for Japanese [people], it is very hard to say hi to foreigners. Sometimes Japanese [people] feel very nervous when speaking to foreigners, so we would like to provide some trigger to start a more friendly, natural conversation.” Fukidashi is still a prototype and can currently translate four languages: Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. In addition to plans to have
Olympics attendees in Tokyo may chat with a talking bubble device straight out of a comic book Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-03-15  Authors: magdalena petrova, source, magdalena petrova cnbc
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, trigger, straight, comic, languages, book, foreigners, summer, talking, yumiko, olympics, device, attendees, translate, chat, bubble, japanese, shinohara, tokyo


Olympics attendees in Tokyo may chat with a talking bubble device straight out of a comic book

“We would like to enhance casual conversation between foreigners,” says Yumiko Shinohara, who developed the device. “Especially, for Japanese [people], it is very hard to say hi to foreigners. Sometimes Japanese [people] feel very nervous when speaking to foreigners, so we would like to provide some trigger to start a more friendly, natural conversation.”

Fukidashi is still a prototype and can currently translate four languages: Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. However, it’s available for developers to add more languages in the future.

In addition to plans to have the Fukidashi at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Shinohara hopes to one day see the device breaking language barriers in restaurants and airports.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-03-15  Authors: magdalena petrova, source, magdalena petrova cnbc
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, trigger, straight, comic, languages, book, foreigners, summer, talking, yumiko, olympics, device, attendees, translate, chat, bubble, japanese, shinohara, tokyo


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How a centuries old publishing house is making its mark on the digital age

The Oxford University Press (OUP) has been publishing books for hundreds of years. A department of the University of Oxford, the OUP is the world’s biggest university press and publishes works in more than 40 languages. While the organization has been around for centuries, it is not averse to embracing new technology and digital innovation. “One of the things that Oxford’s focussing on is something we call digitally endangered languages,” Grathwohl said. One of the things the OUP had been focusi


The Oxford University Press (OUP) has been publishing books for hundreds of years. A department of the University of Oxford, the OUP is the world’s biggest university press and publishes works in more than 40 languages. While the organization has been around for centuries, it is not averse to embracing new technology and digital innovation. “One of the things that Oxford’s focussing on is something we call digitally endangered languages,” Grathwohl said. One of the things the OUP had been focusi
How a centuries old publishing house is making its mark on the digital age Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-03-07  Authors: anmar frangoul
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, university, centuries, data, languages, grathwohl, house, mark, age, language, digital, making, publishing, oxford, online, oup, old, dictionary


How a centuries old publishing house is making its mark on the digital age

The Oxford University Press (OUP) has been publishing books for hundreds of years. A department of the University of Oxford, the OUP is the world’s biggest university press and publishes works in more than 40 languages.

While the organization has been around for centuries, it is not averse to embracing new technology and digital innovation. It publishes eBooks, for instance, and in the 1980s digitized the world famous Oxford English Dictionary.

But in the age of the internet, where almost every fact, article and quote is available online, do we really need dictionaries? “I’m not sure I’d see a place for a print dictionary in this world, but we’re more a digital dictionary that functions exactly like the print dictionary did,” Casper Grathwohl, president, Global Business Development and Dictionaries Division at the OUP, told CNBC in an interview broadcast on Tuesday.

Change has been a long time coming. Grathwohl went on to explain that he wasn’t surprised that some of the first websites to become popular were dictionary ones. “The dictionary itself is an analogue database, it was… built for digital before digital came and so it was one of the first industries to get really disrupted by this new digital revolution.”

Technology was altering the way people gathered information online, he argued. “In a digital experience you may want to know the meaning of a word, for example, as you’re reading an article,” Grathwohl said.

“We realize now, you no longer need to step out of that experience and consult a dictionary website or look something up,” he added. People can now, for instance, find out about a word in an online article by scrolling or hovering over it with their mouse.

Looking at the bigger picture, the OUP is also attempting to help preserve languages in the digital era. “One of the things that Oxford’s focussing on is something we call digitally endangered languages,” Grathwohl said. “You might have a hundred million speakers of isiZulu and those speakers will be experiencing life in a digital sphere in English or another language,” he added.

One of the things the OUP had been focusing on was building structured, intelligent language data in languages that were not currently making the “digital jump.”

“What we’re hoping as we do this is that by developing that structured language data we will be able to provide that to the tech sector so that it can start to use that data as a foundation to develop software, tools and applications in that native language,” Grathwohl said.

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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-03-07  Authors: anmar frangoul
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, university, centuries, data, languages, grathwohl, house, mark, age, language, digital, making, publishing, oxford, online, oup, old, dictionary


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Twitter expands tweets to 280 characters in most languages

Most languages will now have twice as many characters to say what they want on Twitter. Twitter first experimented with allowing longer tweets in September. However, Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters were not given expanded character limits because it is easier to say something in a succinct space, Twitter said. The company said 9 percent of English letter tweets hit the 140 character limit, which leads to more people editing their tweets or not sending them at all. Not everyone was using


Most languages will now have twice as many characters to say what they want on Twitter. Twitter first experimented with allowing longer tweets in September. However, Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters were not given expanded character limits because it is easier to say something in a succinct space, Twitter said. The company said 9 percent of English letter tweets hit the 140 character limit, which leads to more people editing their tweets or not sending them at all. Not everyone was using
Twitter expands tweets to 280 characters in most languages Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2017-11-07  Authors: michelle castillo, drew angerer, getty images
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, expands, long, character, longer, twitter, limit, 140, space, tweets, characters, languages, 280


Twitter expands tweets to 280 characters in most languages

Most languages will now have twice as many characters to say what they want on Twitter.

The company announced on Tuesday in a blog post that it was rolling out the 280-character limit to all languages where “cramming” characters was an issue. The length is twice as long as Twitter’s current 140-character limit.

Twitter first experimented with allowing longer tweets in September. The change was made to give people more space to express themselves in certain languages where the company felt the 140 restriction was limiting. However, Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters were not given expanded character limits because it is easier to say something in a succinct space, Twitter said.

Users will see the change roll out over the next few days, Twitter said.

The company said 9 percent of English letter tweets hit the 140 character limit, which leads to more people editing their tweets or not sending them at all. When it expanded the limit to 280, only 1 percent of tweets had this issue. It also saw people with the longer character limits have more likes, retweets and mentions, get more followers and spend more time on the platform.

Not everyone was using the extra space: Only 5 percent of tweets were longer than 140 characters and just 2 percent went over 190. It doesn’t expect people’s timelines to change much in the long run, but they might push the boundaries for a bit.

“It’s worth emphasizing again that people in the test got very excited about the extra space in the beginning and many Tweets went way beyond 140,” Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen wrote.

“People did silly (creative!) things like writing 1 character per line to make their Tweets extra large. It was a temporary effect, and didn’t last long. We’ll definitely see some of this novelty effect spike again with this week’s launch and expect it to resume to normal behavior soon after.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2017-11-07  Authors: michelle castillo, drew angerer, getty images
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, expands, long, character, longer, twitter, limit, 140, space, tweets, characters, languages, 280


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Google shows off wireless headphones that it says can translate languages on the fly

Google just announced a new phone, computer, home speaker and more 3 Hours Ago | 01:06Google released a line of new products on Wednesday, including its first pair of premium wireless headphones, which can support live translation between languages. When the Google Pixel Buds are paired with a new handset, the Google Pixel 2, the earbuds can tap into Google Assistant, Google’s artificially intelligent voice-activated product. In addition to the translation of 40 languages, Google Assistant can a


Google just announced a new phone, computer, home speaker and more 3 Hours Ago | 01:06Google released a line of new products on Wednesday, including its first pair of premium wireless headphones, which can support live translation between languages. When the Google Pixel Buds are paired with a new handset, the Google Pixel 2, the earbuds can tap into Google Assistant, Google’s artificially intelligent voice-activated product. In addition to the translation of 40 languages, Google Assistant can a
Google shows off wireless headphones that it says can translate languages on the fly Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2017-10-04  Authors: anita balakrishnan
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, wireless, voiceactivated, pixel, google, including, shows, translation, translate, fly, assistant, payne, volume, languages, controls, headphones


Google shows off wireless headphones that it says can translate languages on the fly

Google just announced a new phone, computer, home speaker and more 3 Hours Ago | 01:06

Google released a line of new products on Wednesday, including its first pair of premium wireless headphones, which can support live translation between languages.

When the Google Pixel Buds are paired with a new handset, the Google Pixel 2, the earbuds can tap into Google Assistant, Google’s artificially intelligent voice-activated product.

In addition to the translation of 40 languages, Google Assistant can also alert users to notifications, send texts and give directions. The translation feature can be conjured by saying “help me speak French,” or any other language, according to The Verge, which got a preview of the device.

The controls, including swiping controls for volume, are built into the right earbud, Google product manager Juston Payne said on stage at the company’s event.

“It’s an incredible application of Google Translate powered by machine learning — it’s like having a personal translator by your side,” Payne said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2017-10-04  Authors: anita balakrishnan
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, wireless, voiceactivated, pixel, google, including, shows, translation, translate, fly, assistant, payne, volume, languages, controls, headphones


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Apple has apparently spent a lot of the last year trying to catch up with Google in AI

During the Monday keynote at the company’s 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference, the company announced a bunch of catch-ups:Siri got the ability to translate languages, something Google has provided through Google Translate since 2006. Apple will let people play audio in multiple rooms while Google works on introducing that feature to all speakers that have Chromecast built in. But Google has put AI at the core of its business, with CEO Sundar Pichai going so far as to call it an “AI-first” comp


During the Monday keynote at the company’s 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference, the company announced a bunch of catch-ups:Siri got the ability to translate languages, something Google has provided through Google Translate since 2006. Apple will let people play audio in multiple rooms while Google works on introducing that feature to all speakers that have Chromecast built in. But Google has put AI at the core of its business, with CEO Sundar Pichai going so far as to call it an “AI-first” comp
Apple has apparently spent a lot of the last year trying to catch up with Google in AI Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2017-06-05  Authors: jordan novet, kevork djansezian
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, lot, apparently, audio, translate, apple, tools, google, developers, spent, trying, company, ai, feature, catch, languages


Apple has apparently spent a lot of the last year trying to catch up with Google in AI

Apple just revealed what it’s been up to in software for the past year … and it’s remarkably Google-y.

During the Monday keynote at the company’s 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference, the company announced a bunch of catch-ups:

Siri got the ability to translate languages, something Google has provided through Google Translate since 2006. For now, Siri can only translate spoken English into five other languages, while Google’s service can work with more than 100 languages, but it’s a start.

A Do Not Disturb While Driving mode, which delivers a different user interface when iPhone users are driving. Google delivered an Android Auto feature for smartphones last year.

Improvements to the AirPlay feature for sharing audio from iOS devices, which one-ups Google’s invasion of home audio speakers through the Chromecast Audio dongle. Apple will let people play audio in multiple rooms while Google works on introducing that feature to all speakers that have Chromecast built in.

Improvements to the Camera app that comes with iOS so it’s able to make loops with the Live Photos video snippets that are automatically created out of each photo. Google introduced this feature in an app called Motion Stills last year.

Siri will soon be front and center on the Apple Watch, just like the Google Assistant has started showing up on Android Wear smartwatches.

A HomePod speaker that plays music and lets you talk to Siri. The Google Home does similar things but comes with the Google Assistant instead of Siri.

More broadly, Apple has built tools for artificial intelligence and augmented reality, and now the company is starting to let outside developers use those tools to enhance their own applications.

The thing is, Google already did the same thing, with the Tango mobile augmented reality system and services running in its cloud.

To be clear, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Snap have all been busy in both AI and AR. But Google has put AI at the core of its business, with CEO Sundar Pichai going so far as to call it an “AI-first” company.

With Apple doing small things to make AI more visible and powerful across more of its devices, the company appears to be acknowledging people’s continued use of impressively smart apps like Google Translate and the Google App.

The message is clear: We’re getting smarter now, so don’t even worry about using the Google stuff. The uncertainties lie in how many Google developers and customers will defect.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2017-06-05  Authors: jordan novet, kevork djansezian
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, lot, apparently, audio, translate, apple, tools, google, developers, spent, trying, company, ai, feature, catch, languages


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Microsoft is studying multilingual speech to humanize virtual assistants like Cortana

A handful of Microsoft researchers in India started Project Mélange, where they are studying the use of code-mixing among Indians online. They are trying to figure out how virtual assistants might be taught to respond to a user switching between, for example, English and Hindi in a conversation. “Compartmentalization of mixed languages (by multilinguals) have gone away with each coming generation,” Kalika Bali, a researcher at Microsoft, told CNBC in an interview. Srinivasan explained that Corta


A handful of Microsoft researchers in India started Project Mélange, where they are studying the use of code-mixing among Indians online. They are trying to figure out how virtual assistants might be taught to respond to a user switching between, for example, English and Hindi in a conversation. “Compartmentalization of mixed languages (by multilinguals) have gone away with each coming generation,” Kalika Bali, a researcher at Microsoft, told CNBC in an interview. Srinivasan explained that Corta
Microsoft is studying multilingual speech to humanize virtual assistants like Cortana Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2017-05-29  Authors: saheli roy choudhury, drew angerer, getty images
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, studying, bali, assistants, multilingual, data, microsoft, users, codemixing, speech, languages, english, assistant, virtual, switch, humanize, cortana


Microsoft is studying multilingual speech to humanize virtual assistants like Cortana

International Data Corporation predicts global spending on cognitive and AI solutions will see significant investments over the next several years, and could achieve a compound annual growth rate of 54.4 percent through 2020.

Microsoft, for example, is turning to an unlikely group to bridge the gap between human-machine interactions: bilinguals. Of specific interest is the practice of code-mixing, which is when speakers switch back and forth between multiple languages in a single sentence or conversation. It’s commonly found in multilingual societies.

A handful of Microsoft researchers in India started Project Mélange, where they are studying the use of code-mixing among Indians online. They are trying to figure out how virtual assistants might be taught to respond to a user switching between, for example, English and Hindi in a conversation.

“Compartmentalization of mixed languages (by multilinguals) have gone away with each coming generation,” Kalika Bali, a researcher at Microsoft, told CNBC in an interview. “So younger people use mixed languages in more and more phases of their lives.”

“To have a digital assistant, something like Cortana, you have to be able to understand (the user base),” she said, adding current systems weren’t trained to pick up multiple languages in a single conversation.

Microsoft’s philosophy is that virtual assistants should not be too intrusive on a user’s space and time, and only show up when they need to, Sundar Srinivasan, general manager of the AI division in India at Microsoft, said in a recent interview. Srinivasan’s team works on Cortana and Microsoft’s search engine Bing at the company’s development center in Hyderabad.

“A personal assistant is only as effective as you want her to be,” he said.

Cortana is available on Windows 10 and in selected smartphones running on the Windows operating software. It has about 140 million monthly active users versus about 500 million devices currently running Windows 10. The program is not available in many regions, but Srinivasan said Microsoft plans to expand it into other markets and onto more devices in the future.

By comparison, Google Assistant is available on both Android and iOS platforms, which support about 99.8 percent of all smartphones in the world.

Srinivasan explained that Cortana was not like other Microsoft products such as Office, where the company could add features as and when needed. Instead, Cortana “needs to really understand human beings, and the bar for that is very high because that means we have to train the assistant with lots of human speech data,” he said.

“It’s going to take us time.”

Bali said the researchers’ code-mixing study was inspired by observations from an anthropologist who was looking at the use of technology among Urdu-speaking youth in Hyderabadi slums. They were found using the internet to befriend and interact with girls from Brazil, who primarily spoke Portuguese. English, however, was the primary language for that communication, which piqued Bali’s interest and she had asked to see the data collected by the anthropologist.

“When I started seeing this data, I saw that not only were they using this very pidgin English kind of thing, but (they were) effectively communicating with each other,” Bali said, referring to the type of code-mixing that was happening in these conversations.

The team looks at every aspect of code-mixing, including text, speech, understanding and recognition. Bali said they also look at generational variations and why people switch between languages in a single conversation — for example, sometimes it’s for humor and at other times it’s to change topics.

But it may take years before a voice-powered virtual assistant can eloquently switch back and forth in multiple languages to respond to users. The biggest challenge now for Bali and the researchers is getting access to adequate data sets for study.

“Trying to solve just mono-lingual natural language processing and understanding has taken years. Now we’re talking about mixed stuff and where are we going to get data from?” Bali said. “Because everything is data-driven. And what are we going to do? It just seemed like a very difficult problem to solve but we were all so excited about this that we just went on.”

Currently, the team uses data collected from Twitter to study how users would switch between languages. Studies, Bali said, already showed Indian men who spoke English and Hindi tended to switch to the latter when they had to express negative sentiments or abuse. Women who are having a conversation in English, however, tended to stick with that language even when the content took a negative turn.

Teaching machines to interpret code-mixing could also potentially lead to developments in areas of opinion mining, customization and a better interpretation of nuances and context, Bali said.

“I think this would definitely help to bridge the gap in the human-computer interaction. The fact that you can actually talk to a machine the way you would normally talk to your friend is something we still need to wrap our heads around.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2017-05-29  Authors: saheli roy choudhury, drew angerer, getty images
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, studying, bali, assistants, multilingual, data, microsoft, users, codemixing, speech, languages, english, assistant, virtual, switch, humanize, cortana


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