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Microsoft Translator, Azure AI receive upgrades in efficiency and quality

Microsoft Translator
Microsoft Translator (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has released a blog post detailing the AI models powering its latest innovations for Translator and Azure AI.
  • These new models utilize NVIDIA GPUs, which segues into Microsoft's other recent news about collaborating with NVIDIA.
  • The new models are helping to improve Translator's translation quality, leading to better outputs of varying degrees depending on the languages involved.

Microsoft's utilizing a new family of AI models dubbed Z-code, which provides the quality and performance of large-scale language models with the added benefit of greater efficiency.

"With Z-code we are really making amazing progress because we are leveraging both transfer learning and multitask learning from monolingual and multilingual data to create a state-of-the-art language model that we believe has the best combination of quality, performance and efficiency that we can provide to our customers," said Xuedong Huang, Microsoft technical fellow and Azure AI chief technology officer.

Part of what makes Z-code special is its ability to derive solutions from model portions rather than the entire thing, which makes Z-code usage scalable and efficient. It's being utilized within Azure AI via the Microsoft Translator app, wherein it's helping expand the capabilities of Translator for less common languages and helping improve results of even the most common translation requests for popular languages such as English and French.

Microsoft Translator Update

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

For specific numbers on how the model family is helping Microsoft, here are hard figures the company provided regarding Z-code's effects on translation: "The models improved English to French translations by 3.2 %, English to Turkish by 5.8 %, Japanese to English by 7.6%, English to Arabic by 9.3% and English to Slovenian by 15%."

In other words, should you want to translate anything to or from English, the odds are Z-code is going to help that process. For more technical details on AI models, check out Microsoft's blog posts on the subject. And if you want to know more about the NVIDIA GPUs helping power these innovations, there's news on that too.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

4 Comments
  • I bet even Microsoft employees are using Google Translate, why even bother
  • because google translate does pretty awful in quite a number of scenarios. at our company, we encounter a lot of Vietnamese-speaking, Chinese-speaking patients and Spanish-speaking patients. and we're constantly finding that Google Translate fails at very basic sentences.
  • Both work well I'm my experience. Additionally, this technology will be used in Skype and Teams live translations
  • I find Translator works great, but the apps don't let you sync your history, which is terrible. Also (IIRC) the Android app isn't pen enabled.