Amazon Wants To Turn Alexa Into A Real-Time Language Translator

Senior Manager of Alexa AI leaves to become Technical Director of AI at Google Cloud

Cultural context is the hardest part of speaking a foreign language. Amazon's Alexa could change that

Amazon hasn't commented on this report as yet so it's unclear how far along the development is on these capabilities and when we can expect them to go live.

Amazon's Alexa AI assistant is down for countless users this morning.

While Amazon doesn't have a status page for its consumer products, Down Detector is reporting a huge spike in Alexa-related complaints over the last hour.

Assuming the sources' claims are accurate, Amazon's Alexa could one day be a cross-culture tool that includes, when necessary, language translations.

Yahoo found that Alexa could soon help a native English speaker attending a meeting with Japanese business partners understand what those people are saying in Japanese.

Alexa can already translate short phrases and words in Spanish, German, French and Italian but cannot decipher more meaningful or contextual situations that languages often need. In 2017, Google boasted that the Pixel Buds ($159 ) were able to perform accurate real-time translation on the go, but the feature was not well received.

The information comes from Yahoo Finance, which explains that sources say Amazon's Alexa team is working on ways to improve the assistant's usefulness in different cultures and languages.

Alexa would have an understanding of the Japanese culture, which is generally more formal and conservative than American culture and would incorporate its knowledge into translations. For example, Alexa can secure your wireless network with McAfee voice commands, send SMS messages through your Android phone, call for backup in Destiny 2, summon an Uber when you need a ride, and even order a pizza.

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