Monday, July 16, 2018

The Google Translate World Cup -- NYT

Getting closer to Star Trek's universal translator...
"The last few weeks in Russia, however, have highlighted a much more significant technological shift, a real-world innovation that has far-reaching ramifications for all of us. The defining image of this World Cup is fans from all over the planet, hosts and visitors alike, holding their cellphones out to each other to conduct conversations in languages they have never learned and would never claim to speak. This has been the Google Translate World Cup.

Across Russia for the last month, fans (and journalists) have used translation apps for everything: asking for directions, chatting with taxi drivers, getting slightly nerve-racking haircuts, checking into hotels, making friends, even flirting. The app’s camera function — which can scan and translate text — has allowed visiting fans to decode menus, decipher signs and read the names of subway stations, even if the Cyrillic alphabet remains a mystery to them."
The Google Translate World Cup -- NYT

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