AppTek Bolsters Media Monitoring with Hybrid Machine Translation

In addition to providing coverage of dialects for automated speech recognition, MediaSphere provides AppTek’s hybrid machine translation system for customers.

MediaSphere is a software solution that offers multilingual transcripts of various television and radio stations for many domestic and international news bureaus. To adjust to changes in dialect and language in real-time, MediaSphere makes use of AppTek’s speaker adaptive speech recognition engine. Offering a unified and scalable solution, the updated media monitoring software seamlessly integrates AppTek’s HMT system with its ASR engine.

Cisco Plans TelePresence Translation Next Year

Cisco will add real-time translation to its TelePresence high-definition conference technology next year, enabling people in several different countries to meet virtually and each hear the other participants' comments in their own languages.

The feature is expected to go on sale in the second half of 2009 with an initial set of 20 languages, said Marthin De Beer, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Emerging Technologies Group. It will include speech recognition in the speaker's native language, a translation engine, and text-to-speech technology to deliver the words in a synthesized voice on the other end. Users will also be able to display subtitles if they choose, he said. Both Asian and Western languages will be represented in the initial set, which will later be expanded. 
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Translation systems Speak up

WARS often boost technological development. In Iraq the armed forces have faced a shortage of translators, both from within their own ranks and from bilingual locals whose lives can be put in peril if they are found to be working for the foreigners. This has created a demand for machines that can translate between Arabic and English. Although some experimental devices have proved unreliable, they are now improving.
A number of two-way translating devices have been under development as part of the Spoken Language Communication and Translation System for Tactical Use (TRANSTAC) programme run by the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA. There are three main participants: IBM, BBN Technologies and SRI International.
SRI said recently that it had sold 150 machines to the American government for use in Iraq. IBM has provided troops with 1,000 of its devices which run MASTOR, its multilingual automatic speech translator. Both systems can translate tens of thousands of words between Iraqi Arabic and American English, even when people are speaking outside the laboratory. [click heading for more]

Help learning English pronunciation

Carnegie Speech Co. has developed interactive software it says can improve English spoken-language skills by pinpointing pronunciation errors and giving suggestions as to how to correct them. The software uses speech-recognition and artificial-intelligence technology to detect errors in sound, rhythm and pitch. Users of the NativeAccent software speak into a computer microphone and then are corrected while listening to themselves and a native speaker pronounce the same words. [click heading for more]

Toshiba welcomes new addition to the family

LORD Rees, president of the Royal Society and Master of Trinity College, has officially opened the Toshiba Cambridge Research Laboratory on the science park.

Toshiba has three main areas of research underway in the new building, in quantum physics, speech recognition and computer vision. The speech recognition team is working on a system that will be trialled at next year's Beijing Olympics, where users will be able to speak to a small PC which will translate what has been said in, say, English, into Chinese.