The parent company of Facebook, and owner of Instagram and WhatsApp- Meta made an intriguing announcement this week. The announcement was about its new AI-based ambitious research project. Meta is aiming to create a translation software that would work for “everyone in the world.”
The announcement of this project was as a part of an event focusing Meta’s benefits.It entailed the wide range of benefits they believe Artificial Intelligence could offer to the plans of Metaverse. CEO Mark Zuckerberg specified how people all around the world dream of being able to communicate with anyone, in any tongue. He promises how AI will be able to fulfil these dreams in everyone’s life.
According to the company, languages commonly spoken like English, Spanish, French and Mandarin are already integrated into its tools. However, about 20% of the earth’s population still isn’t well-versed with the language falling under the system’s category. Meta aims to eradicate these limitations by introducing new learning techniques into the machine.
The AI-based translator would primarily have two focusses. The first would be dubbing “No language Left Behind” concentrating on the AI model learning to translate using lesser examples, Secondly, “Universal Speech Translator” would aim to structure a system that would directly translate from one language to another without a written component. The announcement came in a blog post from Meta, where researchers did not specify a timeframe for it completion.
“Eliminating language barriers would be profound, making it possible for billions of people to access information online in their native or preferred language,” they write.
Most importantly, Meta views this as an opportunity to greatly benefit its already popular popular ideas. The translation software would add on to the qualities of the planned ‘AR Glasses’ and remove limitations in Metaverse’s VR and AR reality spaces. With AI’s wide use, such as Google and Apple using it as translation tools, Meta’s idea would be vastly accepted.
However, the technology is said to possess its share of problems too. It is expected to cause issues such as gender bias, missing nuances that are critical for human speakers, and other absurd errors possible. Many people who speak one of those uncommon languages, fear that they could lose their culture. The dependence solely on a big tech to be able to translate those words comes across as threatening to their speech.
Translations on Instagram, Facebook, etc. are proof that wrong translations could prove to be dangerous as well. Such as, a Palestinian man being arrested in 2017 by the Israeli Police owing to Facebook wrongly translating “good morning” in Arabic. The software had translated it as “hurt them” in English, along with “attack them” in Hebrew.