Microsoft has today posted a video, and complementary explanation of language translation that goes far past what we thought was currently possible.
In the video, the speaker explains and demonstrates improvements made to the machine understanding of his English words, which are automatically transcribed as he speaks. He then demonstrates having those words translated directly into Mandarin text.
This is when the fun begins. Microsoft, he says, has taken in oodles of data, and can thus have that translated Mandarin spoken. And the final kicker: he has fed the system an hour’s worth of his voice, and thus the software will speak in Mandarin, using his own tones.