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Author Topic: A Star Trek Technological leap that I think is almost here.  (Read 3207 times)
KD8MJR
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« on: July 02, 2016, 08:56:28 PM »

I was playing around with my iPhone the other day and I decided to run Siri through another set of tests.  I should first explain that every once in awhile, especially after Apple announces improvements to Siri, I try it myself to see how much better Siri is getting at understanding what I am saying and the intent of my message using a fairly rigorous test.  Well this last time I was really shocked at how much better Siri was than my previous test.  It literally got about 95% of every spoken word correct and even worked properly when I tried to fool it by using an accent, bad context etc.  

Which bring me to the point of what IMHO this really means.  Siri as everyone knows has been crunching the numbers on multiple languages across the globe for almost 5 years and already it is pretty amazing.   I would imagine that in another 2-3 years Apple will have the ability to have two or more iPhone's linked together by Bluetooth with each user putting on the earbud and mic system and the phone will literally become a universal translator.  I know they have gadgets like this already and even some Apple apps, but for the most part they are miserable failures because they try a literal translation of the words or it needs exact input.  What Siri brings to the table is that it really does understand the context and intent of the words even when spoken oddly within a sentence and has a real AI feel about it.

I know that Google has their own system and I don't really know if its better or worst but I was just wondering if other people out there are seeing like I am that in a few years another one of these Star Trek ideas is really coming to fruition in a practical way, and that it will really open up a whole new world of human interaction.

Besides personal conversations when traveling etc IMO it would be so cool to be able to just hook one of these up to your ham radio phones jack and as you spin the VFO no matter what language the operators are talking in, you hear it translated into perfect English.  On top of that you can talk into your Mic and it automatically translates it to their language and sends it out over the air.  It's not hard to imagine that a future version of Siri that is designed from the ground up for translation will also have the ability to sample your own voice and mimic the tone characteristics so that you sound like yourself speaking in German or French etc.


73s
Rob

« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 09:00:29 PM by KD8MJR » Logged

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
W8JX
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2016, 03:39:32 PM »

Siri has to get better to stay viable as it has been behind Google now for some time as well as Cortana.
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2016, 06:16:21 PM »

If Google has better tech than that's great because it will certainly create a competitive atmosphere for a real time translation system.
My one concern is how good is Googles system at understanding the context of the words within a sentence.  It's online text translator is Not very good when it comes to that area.
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“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
W9GB
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2016, 04:11:30 PM »

Rob --

The technology already exists, sorry you missed Crowd Funding earlier this year.

Are you aware of Waverly Labs new product Pilot
It is Star Trek like -- and they raised $1 million this year -- via Crowd Funding !
https://youtu.be/NjjQ5cH_YzI

Scheduled for Christmas 2016 rollout.  Anticipated price?  $129 USD
==
To start off, the earpiece's creators -- Waverly Labs -- will include language packages for English, Spanish, French and Italian, with other languages introduced as paid downloads in the future. The app will initially be required to connect online when it launches this summer (as a basic translator sans Pilot earpieces), but will eventually store its language database offline so users won't have to worry about a constant internet connection fueling Pilot. There's even an option to funnel the translated conversation through a smartphone's speaker so everyone nearby can hear what a foreign speaker is saying.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2016, 04:19:47 PM by W9GB » Logged
W8JX
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2016, 05:07:13 PM »

If Google has better tech than that's great because it will certainly create a competitive atmosphere for a real time translation system.
My one concern is how good is Googles system at understanding the context of the words within a sentence.  It's online text translator is Not very good when it comes to that area.


I have found its voice detection and decoding for questions and operations with Google Now to be near flawless for me for many months now. My daughters have Iphones and they are not happy that some things that Siri will not do that Andriod does it fine.  I have not played with Cortana much but it is supposed to be best of lot with Google a close second and Siri third in performance. (Google is constantly tweaking Google Now) Apple bought Siri some time ago but has not been doing as much to enhance it like others have depending more on Apple koolaid that real world performance to sell it.  MS being late comer has placed a lot of resources on Cortana development.
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2016, 06:19:33 PM »

I found this review of the three of them and the author seems to be stressing the main point I have found with Siri.  It's Siri's ability to understand the context of what is said that and that IMO will lead to a good translator.  I also know that Siri is used and tweaked by millions of users using multiple languages.

http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/siri-vs-google-now-vs-cortana


Anyway it's not who has the better system that is important, it's the fact that the technology is finally here to make a proper portable translator work.
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“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
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