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Will Google Glass discontinue the interpreter?




One of the most common questions asked by people involved in translation is whether Google Translate will replace professional translators. The interesting thing about this question is that it has been asked for at least 10 years. Does that mean the question is stupid or the answer is no? Well, the real answer to that question is: not yet. Another possible answer: never. It depends on who you ask. Futurists believe that machine translation technology will improve until professional translators become obsolete. Skeptics / realists feel that MT technology is not good enough or reliable enough to acquire the human language skills and emotions needed to create good translations.

At this year’s 2022 Google I / O conference, Google’s CEO introduced a new prototype of Google Glass, Google’s augmented reality (AR) glasses. First introduced in 2013, nearly 10 years ago, Google Glass has never been commercially successful. This is because (a) the price tag is high and (b) the functionality is limited. Skipping in 2022, Google is promoting Google Glass as an answer to live voice translation, voice-to-speech translation, and as a technology-driven lip-reading device for the hearing impaired.

People in the translation industry should be encouraged by the fact that most of Google’s developer conferences were devoted to new languages ​​and translation features. This included not only the new Google Glass prototype, but also the announcement that 24 new languages ​​were added to Google Translate. But at the same time, some people in the translation industry may be worried that new technologies may mean less work for them.

Will the need for an interpreter be a thing of the past?

If people with Google glasses can talk to people who speak different languages, why do they still need an interpreter? Wear glasses and read real-time translations in your own language. Also, if you don’t need an interpreter, you don’t need a sound booth or headset that the interpreter uses at work. Hospital and court interpreter? Who needs them so that the doctor or judge can wear glasses and understand what is being said?

What about video subtitles and transcriptions?

Currently, there is a lot of demand for video transcription and subtitle translation. Demand for this service has increased over the last few years as the pandemic has normalized virtual conferencing. Will AR-equipped glasses discontinue these services?

Will AR glasses be used more as the cost goes down? Young woman with 3D and iMAX glasses holds a plate of popcorn while watching a movie in the cinema

Anyone who has been to iMax or 3D film knows that they offer 3D glasses at the theater entrance. And people usually return them at the end of the show. Perhaps in the theater, these cheap plastic glasses have been disinfected and made available to new viewers. Will AR glasses be cheap enough for similar uses? It will open up the whole potential use.


First of all, it’s important to note that Google hasn’t announced the release of a new product yet. It’s just that they are releasing a new prototype. The concept is exciting and can be life-changing, but it can get stuck forever in the same state that machine translation has been going on for years-not ready for prime time.




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