Google uses AI to add 110 new languages to Translate

Google uses AI to add 110 new languages to Translate

While Google Translate is far from perfect, it’s still a helpful way to gain information or engage in conversation. Now, that option is expanding as Google uses AI to give Translate 110 new languages, such as Cantonese, Punjabi (Shahmukhi) and NKo. About a quarter of the languages come from Africa and Google claims that all the new ones together represent 614 million speakers — about eight percent of the global population.

Google credits its LLM, PaLM 2, as “a key piece to the puzzle, helping Translate more efficiently learn languages that are closely related to each other, including languages close to Hindi, like Awadhi and Marwadi, and French creoles like Seychellois Creole and Mauritian Creole.” Isaac Caswell, Senior Software Engineer, Google Translate, adds: “As technology advances, and as we continue to partner with expert linguists and native speakers, we’ll support even more language varieties and spelling conventions over time.”

Google Translate got its last big influx of languages in May 2022 with the help of Zero-Shot Machine Translation. Zero-Shot allows a model to learn a new language even though it doesn’t view examples. Later that year, Google announced the 1,000 Languages Initiative, which aims to create AI models that can support — you guessed it — the 1,000 most common languages spoken globally.


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