AT&T tests text-messaging translation

AT&T tests text-messaging translation
Imagine sending a text in Spanish to a non-Spanish speaking person, and the message is automatically translated to English on their device. That is the technology being tested by AT&T right now.

A customer would register their number with a preferred language, and messages that are sent in a different language are automatically translated before they are transmitted to that user’s phone. That customer can then respond in their own language and the message is translated back to the recipients preferred language.

Right now, the technology is only handling translations between English and Spanish, but AT&T is already preparing to expand the project to support another six languages. The program is in a working pilot stage, being tested by AT&T employees. The neatest feature besides the automatic translation is that it works on any device and does not require some application or interface be installed to make it work.

That is a distinction from common online translation portals available from Google, Bing or BabelFish. During the pilot, AT&T will work on a way to signal the recipient that they are receiving a translated message. This will come in handy so any errors that get passed along are understood rather than a misunderstanding perceived as an insult or something.

The text message translation certainly has plenty of practical applications, and would be very handy for those that work with a lot of international businesses or families and friends in different countries with a preference to speak different languages.

source: Technology Review

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