Microsoft reveals instant Skype translator

Both Star Trek and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy have approached the idea of instant translators in very different ways, but now Microsoft is showing that the science fiction is on the cusp of becoming a reality.

Microsoft, who bought Skype for £5.2bn ($8.5bn) in 2011, unveiled the Skype Translator at the Code Conference in California earlier this week in a demonstration that involved Gurdeep Pall having a live conversation with a German speaker named Diana, which was translated as they spoke.

The technology is not yet perfect but by following a neural network approach rather than a mathematical one, Microsoft’s scientists have taken a huge leap forward in providing instantaneous technological translation.