AT&T’s AVP Of Technical Research Explains The New Watson Speech API

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It was only yesterday that AT&T announced its Watson Speech API, meant to let developers of any kind provide products with real-time translation baked right in.

I got the chance to speak with Mazin Gilbert, AT&T’s AVP of Technical Research, about what this could mean over the next few months and years, and it sounds like useful, seamless translation might finally be in the pipeline.

We’ve seen real-time translation efforts again and again, but no one has ever really nailed it. By opening up an API to developers, AT&T has the numbers on its side, and it’s only a matter of time until someone breaks down the language barrier entirely.

Besides English, six languages are supported including Italian, French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese. All the languages are in different stages of development.

The hope is that, eventually, I’ll be able to make a call to China and speak with someone as comfortably and clearly as I would if I was calling someone in the U.S.