Fujitsu Launches Diversity Communication Tool LiveTalk, with Multilingual Translation Functionality Using AI. Facilitating smooth communications between 19 languages with real-time speech recognition and automatic translation
|Figure 1: Example usage of automatic multilingual translation|
|Figure 2: Comparison with previous methods of automatic translation|
TOKYO, Mar 8, 2017 - (JCN Newswire) - Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Social Science Laboratory Limited today announced the addition of multilingual translation functionality to FUJITSU Software LiveTalk, a participatory communication tool for the hearing-impaired. The product, Diversity Communication Tool, is available in Japan starting March 8, 2017.
LiveTalk is software that recognizes what a speaker is saying-in situations such as a corporate meeting or a lesson in school-and instantly displays the spoken words as text on multiple devices, enabling real-time communication for everyone, including those with hearing impairments.
The previous version of LiveTalk only supported the Japanese language, but now, with multilingual speech recognition and support for an AI-equipped translation engine, Fujitsu Social Science Laboratory's proprietary technology includes functionality to immediately display translations as text on screen. With this addition, LiveTalk enables real-time communication not only for communicating with people with hearing disabilities, but also between multiple languages.
Fujitsu and Fujitsu Social Science Laboratory are making LiveTalk available in order to facilitate communication between diverse groups in a variety of situations, including information booths at international event venues and tourist sites, or business meetings where multiple languages are spoken.
Since LiveTalk was launched in May 2015, it has been adopted as a communication-support tool for people with hearing disabilities by some 100 businesses, hospitals, government offices, and educational institutions, in order to provide reasonable accommodation(1) for people with hearing disabilities. In November 2016, Fujitsu strengthened the functionality of LiveTalk in order to increase usability, adding support for mobile devices, so that it could more easily be used anywhere, and by adopting a cloud-based speech recognition engine with a high degree of recognition accuracy.
As Japan looks to host a variety of international events in the coming years, there is growing interest in ways to remove barriers to communication between languages. Likewise, companies are doing more business on a global level, and have a growing need for products and services that support communication among international staff.
In this context, Fujitsu and Fujitsu Social Science Laboratory have expanded the functionality of LiveTalk with multilingual speech recognition and an AI-equipped translation engine, newly providing it as the Diversity Communication Tool.
About the New Features
1. Speech recognition and automatic translation for 19 languages
- Including Japanese, LiveTalk now supports speech recognition and automatic translation for a total of 19 languages: English, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Korean, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese, German, Italian, Polish, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Catalan.
- In ten of these languages-Japanese, English, Chinese (simplified), French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese, German, and Italian-support for an AI-based translation engine enables more accurate translations.
- Users can simply set their preferred display language for their own device, and the speaker's words will be displayed, translated into that language. The speaker's language does not need to be set, and there are no limits on the number or combinations of languages that can be used in a group conversation.
- The system can distinguish and translate speakers even if multiple participants speak at the same time.
- The system allows for keyboard input as well as speech input, so that hearing-impaired people can participate fully, alongside speakers of other languages.
Figure 1: Example usage of automatic multilingual translation
2. Proprietary technology that displays translation results concurrently with speech, enabling smooth communications
- Fujitsu Social Science Laboratory developed a proprietary technology (patent pending) that displays translation results concurrently with speech, so people can interact at a natural conversational tempo.
- This technology provides a low-stress communication environment compared with existing translation tools, which have a time lag between when a speaker stops speaking and when the translation appears, by eliminating the time lag.
Figure 2: Comparison with previous methods of automatic translation
Fujitsu and Fujitsu Social Science Laboratory are considering making LiveTalk available globally starting in 2017. As a first step, the companies will be exhibiting LiveTalk at Fujitsu World Tour 2017 with Fujitsu North America Technology Forum 2017 in Santa Clara, California, opening March 9, 2017, as well as at CeBit 2017, the world's largest information-technology exposition opening March 20, 2017, in Hannover, Germany.
Both companies are committed to using ICT to help solve communications problems that divide people, and to helping their customers communicate across boundaries.
Availability: March 8, 2017
Sales Target: 400 clients per year
(1) Reasonable accommodation
"'Reasonable accommodation' means necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms" (Source: Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 2: Definitions).
(2) Other products
Japanese-language speech recognition requires the purchase of AmiVoice SP2 or Amivoice Cloud speech-recognition software from Advanced Media, Inc.
Multilingual translation capabilities require a separate contract for Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services - Bing Speech API (multilingual speech-recognition engine) and Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services - Translator Text API (multilingual translation engine), from Microsoft Japan.
About Fujitsu Social Science Laboratory
Since its establishment in 1972, Fujitsu Social Science Laboratory Limited (Fujitsu SSL) has polished its ability to create the most advanced solutions and to integrate systems for building totally reliable systems. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com/jp/group/ssl/en/.
About Fujitsu Ltd
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 159,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702; ADR:FJTSY) reported consolidated revenues of 4.7 trillion yen (US$41 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.
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Source: Fujitsu Ltd
Fujitsu Limited Public and Investor Relations Tel: +81-3-3215-5259 URL: www.fujitsu.com/global/news/contacts/
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