Microsoft Translator Gets AI-powered Offline Translation

Thanks to the use of AI, Microsoft’s Translator app will soon be able to translate plenty of popular languages offline on your iPhone. This is a welcome addition to the app as most people use a translator when they are traveling where they likely have limited or no network connectivity.

Microsoft already uses AI for its translator app but up until now, that was limited to when the app had network connectivity. Post the latest update, the app will run a slightly modified neural network when offline that would provide a far more human-like translation.

The new neural network translator is accompanied with new translation packs which are significantly better and occupy half the space compared to the existing translator pack. For now, the new language packs are available for Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

“The gap between the neural offline translation and the previous translation quality with our older models is huge,” said Arul Menezes.

While there is a difference between offline and online neural translation, Microsoft says the difference is limited.

Impressively, Microsoft is able to offer offline neural network translation even on older iPhones and Android devices that do not come with a dedicated AI processing chip. The company first started working with Huawei for offline translation on the Mate 10 and Honor 10. But after a lot of careful engineering, it has been able to bring its offline neural translation engine to all devices.

The iOS update to the app is yet to be approved by Apple so the rollout will take some time.

Download: Microsoft Translator

[Via TechCrunch]

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