Meta Facebook announced its new ambitious plan involving artificial intelligence/AI research. This AI research aims to create software that is able to translate words into shapes in a virtual world to translate languages in real time.
The project was announced as Meta's effort to leverage AI to accelerate the company's metaverse plans.
In an online presentation, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “The ability to communicate with anyone in any language is a superpower that many people dream of and AI will make it happen in our lives.”
According to Mark Zuckerberg, although the commonly spoken languages such as English, Mandarin, and Spanish are now well understood by translation tools, there are still around 20 percent of the world's population who cannot speak the three languages above.
Meta is also of the view that often underserved languages do not have easily accessible written text sets to train artificial intelligence/AI systems.
For that, Meta said it wanted to overcome this challenge with new machine learning techniques in two specific areas.
The first focus is dubbed No Language Left Behind or ‘no language left behind.' This technique focuses on creating AI models that can learn to translate languages using fewer training examples.
Second is Universal Speech Translator. The goal is to build a system that directly translates speech in real-time from one language to another without a written component as an intermediary.