New Translation Software Lets You Speak 26 Different Languages

“The word is just one part of what a person is saying,” he says, and to truly convey all the information in a person’s speech, translation systems will need to be able to preserve voices and much more. “Preserving voice, preserving intonation, those things matter, and this project clearly knows that,” says Narayanan. “Our systems need to capture the expression a person is trying to convey, who they are, and how they’re saying it.”

Siri who? Sorry, eager iOS and Android users, right now only the people who have access to this software are the people at Microsoft Research Asia.

School children sharing answers.

Forget Rosetta Stone — researchers at Microsoft have developed a program that uses speech recognition software to translate what someone is saying into another language using a modified version of the person’s own voice.

According to MIT’s Technology Review, the software can translate any combination of 26 different languages. Researcher Frank Soong demonstrated it at Micrsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington by translating the voice of his boss into Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Italian.
One of the more impressive aspects of the software is how it uses the speaker’s original voice in its translations, which it can pick up after the user spends just an hour with it. Shrikanth Narayanan, a professor at the University of Southern California, explains why that is important:To anyone who’s ever watched Star Trek, the appeal of a “universal translator” is obvious. Soong says it could help travelers communicate while traveling abroad, translate directions for GPS apps to make driving in foreign countries easier and help students who are learning new languages. Leer más “New Translation Software Lets You Speak 26 Different Languages”

USC Brings Together Filmmakers, Engineers, Doctors for Its New Body Computing Center

The implications for this unique collaboration are truly endless, Dr. Leslie Saxon, executive director of the Center for Body Computing, tells Fast Company, ranging from creating realistic virtual reality environments to help treat post-traumatic stress, to creating minuscule implanted devices which can be placed in the body to provide ongoing, accurate health data for patients and their providers. Thanks to the filmmaking aspect, patients will be able to understand this information through data visualization, motion graphics and a dedication to storytelling that helps them engage emotionally with their own wellness — in an experience that’s not unlike going to see a sci-fi film, says Saxon.

“People think about their own health as an ongoing narrative,” says Saxon. “As they interact with increasingly sophisticated devices for medical information they will best understand that information if it’s delivered via engaging visual storytelling.”

BY Alissa Walker |

How can the goofy computer-generated gait of Jar Jar Binks and a smartphone that measures air pollution help the future of health care? The three concepts are more closely related than you think. So close, in fact, that a new cross-disciplinary school established at the University of Southern California hopes to combine technological wizardry of filmmaking with the product-design capabilities of an engineering school to help patients and physicians better understand health and wellness.

The new Center for Body Computing will reside in the school’s Keck School of Medicine and collaborate extensively with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts (which just got fancy new digs thanks to alumnus George Lucas) and the Viterbi School of Engineering. The filmmaking and engineering schools already work closely together on projects for the Institute of Creative Technologies, which is best known for developing products to help train or treat soldiers exposed to extreme situations in combat. We wrote about one of their collaborations, the IED Battle Drill, where theme park engineers and Hollywood producers created a simulated experience of a roadside bomb attack. Leer más “USC Brings Together Filmmakers, Engineers, Doctors for Its New Body Computing Center”

Making Millions on Crowdsourced Homework

How skipping high school helped Student of Fortune founder Sean McCleese find success in the tutoring business

By David Port

The irony isn’t lost on Sean McCleese, a high-school dropout at 14 who now, at the ripe old age of 26, finds himself heading a thriving online tutoring business that specializes in helping students along the very academic path he spurned as a teenager.

“True, I didn’t take the traditional, practically government-mandated academic path,” says McCleese, president and co-founder of the Glendale, Calif.-based online tutorial company Student of Fortune. “But I think the path I took, while it was untrodden and rife with large pitfalls that sometimes weren’t evident ahead of time, navigating through it has helped me as a person and as a business owner.” Leer más “Making Millions on Crowdsourced Homework”