Universal translator. Useless.


Skype users will soon be able to conduct voice and video calls supported by a near-real time translation technology. And while it can’t yet guarantee that no fine detail will be lost in translation, Microsoft’s new idea for its video chat platform surely feels like something straight out of science fiction.

No longer will our hopes for such a marvel be tagged to imaginary aquatic creatures — the Babel fish from “The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy” — or improbable “telepathic fields”, such as the one cast by Doctor Who’s TARDIS to relay any alien language to its pilot in plain English.

It all sounds, in fact, quite similar to what Klingons in Star Trek use to make their generally belligerent intentions quite clear: an unseen, but ever-present, “universal translator”. (1)

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Living together.
Speaking different languages.
Literally and metaphorically alike.
How can we understand each other?
How can we co-exist?

Every day we try to overcome our differences.
Every day we try to come closer to each other.
Let us all stay together in silence.

You do not really need the translator.
Stop talking.
And you will understand everything…

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