The language barrier could soon be a thing of the past with the news that Microsoft is trialling a real-time translation service for Skype. Users simply speak into the mic and Skype plays back the translated sentence, while also creating a running transcript of the conversation.
The project is eerily similar to the ‘universal translators’ featured in Star Trek and Doctor Who (without the telepathy and Klingons) and is part of Microsoft’s artificial intelligence project.
As more people use the preview, available for Windows 8.1 users, the program will get better at understanding and translating. At launch the program speaks English and Spainish out loud, and over 40 languages over instant messaging.
So the question is: once everyone on the Internet can understand each other, will there be less war, or much much more?