Meta’s research division is working on a universal speech translation system that could streamline users’ interactions with AI within the company’s digital universe.
During a streamed event, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked more about the Metaverse his company has been investing in, including a research division that’s developing a universal speech translation system that will allow users from around the globe to seamlessly interact with each other inside Meta’s digital universe.
“This is going to be especially important when people begin teleporting across virtual worlds and experiencing things with people from different backgrounds”, said Zuckerberg during an event called Inside the Lab: Building for the metaverse with AI.
“Now, we have the chance to improve the internet and set a new standard where we can all communicate with one another, no matter what language we speak, or where we come from. And if we get this right, this is just one example of how AI can help bring people together on a global scale.”
Meta is developing No Language Left Behind, a translation system capable of learning “every language, even if there isn’t a lot of text available to learn from,” according to Zuckerberg. “We are creating a single model that can translate hundreds of languages with state-of-the-art results and most of the language pairs — everything from Austrian to Uganda to Urdu.”
Additionally, Meta wants to create an AI Babelfish. “The goal here is instantaneous speech-to-speech translation across all languages, even those that are mostly spoken; the ability to communicate with anyone in any language,” Zuckerberg promised. “That’s a superpower that people dreamed of forever and AI is going to deliver that within our lifetimes.”
Zuckerberg also showcased an AI concept called Builder Bot which allows users to describe what they want the AI to generate. The CEO shared a demo in which he, as a legless avatar on an island, commanded AI through speech to create a beach then adding clouds, trees, and a picnic blanket.
You can read the lengthy and full blog post that explores the entire plan here if you’re looking for extra details on the technical aspect of what Meta intends to accomplish.