If you are a simple man or woman, English can be your language; first or second. You may think language technologies are of no use and gives low quality. Moreover, if you are a translator by profession, you may think of these technologies as either cause distraction from your translation work or creating distance between you and your business. If your profession is a developer, you will be fascinated by all these non-utilized resources in the field of language technology.
However, these modern technologies are not just fancy gadgets for the geeks or tools. These tools and technologies can bring valuable help to those people who do not have enough language skills or living with some physical disability, unfortunately. In this case, the technology thing can enable communications and may prevent exclusion. As communication is a human right, if there will be a gadget for that, the world will become a bit equal. Now, let us discuss how language technologies can help out with this mission.
1. Speech Synthesis:
This is a technology that converts speech into a written text automatically. This is not considered to be a new innovation because navigators are an example of this. The speech synthesis gives an output that is a bit mechanical. But that time not much far away when this sound will be the same as yours or your friend. The technologies give many potential use cases. If we see from a business point, speech synthesis is used, for example, to enhance phone service, make queues short, but on a personal level, the possibilities are greater. There are some people who are going to lose their voice because of some illness or any other physical reason. Speech synthesis makes them able to save their voice. Similarly, lack of literacy or decreased vision can also be compensated with that artificial speech. Through this way, the special group can easily access the written knowledge and information.
2. Speech Recognition
This is already widely used technology. The technology transcripts voice into written content. The Healthcare sector is testing speech recognition technology for writing medical records. Almost every voice operating the machine is using this technology. There exist TVs and other devices, i.e. Google Glass and Apple’ SIRI. If you are aware of these tools and machines, you may notice that the technology is still imperfect. Maybe there is time waiting for us when we do not need to type our documents via the keyboard rather we speak and the technology will write for us. These types of gadgets also help disable people.
3. Machine Translation
The technology has broken down the language barriers. This can translate text from one source language to another target language automatically. No one of us exactly knows how many languages are in the world, but it is also a fact that there is not a single language that would be understandable by everyone on the globe. So, less educated people suffer more from this language barrier. There are volunteers but they are not enough. So the option left is the only machine translation.
Using these technologies also requires some literacy. This is the reason some beneficial solutions try to combine all the technologies. Tough, the current results are promising, we hope to see fantastic innovations ahead.