Amazon reportedly wants to turn Alexa into a real-time universal translator

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Amazon is looking to make Alexa a real-time universal language translator, according to Yahoo Finance.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Yahoo Finance reports that Amazon’s Alexa group is “seriously exploring” various ways to make Alexa more useful across different languages and cultures.

One of the ways the group intends on doing this is by introducing the ability for Alexa to translate languages, beyond simple words and short phrases. The sources state that Amazon wants to turn Alexa into a multilingual assistant that can help in a variety of situations.

One of the examples given was that Alexa would have an understanding of Japanese culture and how to address someone formally versus speaking to someone more casually. The voice assistant can tell an English speaker what to say so that they can hold a conversation in Japanese.

“The cross-culture, cross-language piece is going to be big for Amazon and Alexa, and it has a lot of potential,” said a source familiar with the plans.

Amazon wants real-time language translations to work on any Alexa-enabled device on-the-fly. In addition, the online retail giant wants Alexa to one day be able to translate conversations with multiple people speaking different languages simultaneously.

Amazon does have a lot of competition in this space, however. Google’s Pixel Buds can translate languages, with the help of Google Assistant. Meanwhile, Samsung’s Bixby Vision is capable of translating written phrases and Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana can translate words and phrases from English into less than a dozen languages.

Source: Yahoo Finance


  • Dean Daley

    Dean is a graduate from Durham College's journalism program. He loves all sorts of Android devices and video games.