Zoom to add multi-language translation feature with Kites acquisition

By Akshay Kedari  Date: 2021-07-01

Zoom to add multi-language translation feature with Kites acquisition

Zoom recently announced that it intends to acquire a German startup Kites, that has created a real-time machine translation (MT) platform. Zoom's technical team will be joined by the startup’s team of 12 research scientists as the business seeks to boost meeting efficiency with multi-language translation capabilities for its users.

The deal is most likely an “acqui-hire” as Zoom will add those 12 researchers to its engineering team. It plans to retain the team in Germany and establish a machine-learning translation R&D center with new hires further down the road as the firm invests more resources in the area.

While the Kites website provides an address and very little information about the company, the business's LinkedIn About page states that the company was created in 2015 by two scholars who taught at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon with an aim to develop machine-learning translation tooling.

According to the LinkedIn overview, the Kites’ goal is to break language barriers and make cross-language communication seamless in everyday life. It claims to be among the few businesses, such as Microsoft and Google to have built leading speech recognition and translation technology, implying that Zoom has purchased certain crucial technologies.

Although the company does not appear to have a commercial product, the website does mention a machine-learning translation platform that is used by academics and the government. Regardless, Zoom will now own the results of the company's research.

Early assessments of the product, however, revealed the technology had trouble recognizing speakers' words, particularly if they talked in complex phrases or with an accent. The difficulty comes down to the fact that no matter how advanced artificial intelligence is, understanding human speech is tough.

As per credible sources, Kites' technology can allegedly translate spontaneously spoken language with high accuracy and minimal latency, boasting of a 5% error rate for conversational speech and a 5.5% error rate for human translation.

Source Credit- https://www.zdnet.com/article/zoom-acquires-real-time-translation-startup-kites-gmbh/

About Author

Akshay Kedari     aeresearch.net

Akshay Kedari

A qualified computer engineering graduate, Akshay Kedari takes pride in having his way with words. Following his passion for content creation, he writes insightful pieces on aeresearch.net and a few other portals. Also endorsed with a short-term experience in web deve...

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