Taking to yet another front the battle with Google, Apple and Microsoft for dominance in speech recognition and natural language processing, Amazon announced a new translation service as part of its AWS extravaganza.
As part of Amazon Web Services, Translate will provide text translations for supported languages (Google and Microsoft have been offering these services for years).
Amazon is pitching the new translate service as a way for businesses to expand products and services using its text translation tool.
In a deep dive into how the service works, Amazon explained that the technology was based on language pairing models represented in neural networks.
The model consists of an encoder component which reads sentences from the source language and creates a representation that captures the meaning of the text provided. The model also has a decoder component that formulates a semantic representation used to generate a translation of the text from the source language to the target language. In addition, attention mechanisms are used by the service to build context from each word of the source text provided in order to decide which words are appropriate for generating the next target word.
Amazon is hoping that the translate tool can be combined with other features, like its Polly text-to-speech application; the Elasticsearch tool for searches in multiple languages; the Lex chatbot tool; and content localization services through Amazon Lambda.
As CNBC reported earlier, the new service is likely based on technology Amazon acquired two years ago with its purchase of Safaba. Today’s announcement confirms those earlier reports and brings AWS within striking distance of the translation services on offer from Microsoft and Google.