Great question, I’ll take a moment to organize my thoughts before answering – Sure
I have a few clarification questions and some assumptions – Go ahead
- 5 years and infinite resources, I have no constraints in terms of making technology advancements – Yes, no constraint
- I’ll focus on improving the lives of people and changing the ways people use Google Translate and may expand the use to different products.. not just existing interface – Cool
Let’s take a step back and think why people need translation – okay
- For business communication
- To communicate with people who speak a different language, not in business but casually
- Watch movies, plays etc., basically to enjoy and learn the art and culture of different countries with different languages
- Understand signs or menus or books in different languages
- Communicate our feelings and understand someone else’s to/of a person speaking different language
Basically we need translation to communicate and understand different languages.
(Philosophically and passionately) If we could solve this problem we can actually UNITE the world – So what are you proposing (poker face)
Sure I’ll take a little time to jot down some ideas – Okay
Okay, so my proposal for the future of Google Translate is “One World”. The vision of One World is to “Unite the world by removing the language barrier”. Let me explain to you what this product will do – I am excited
- Translate the audio from any language to any language (Not subtitles but dubbing)
- Translate the script of any language to any language (Reading and writing)
- It will have different settings for example business, casual, urban etc. based on who you are communicating with.
Let’s me walk you through the design and a few use-cases of this product. But before that just wanted to check-in and see if there is any confusion – I think I’ll let you explain the use-cases and design and see if I have any question
Sure, so One World will be integrated with headphones, microphones, and eye-glasses. This way you can speak, understand, read, and type different languages. Now imagine:
- You are in China and go to a restaurant. You are wearing One World earphones w/microphones. Server comes to take the order and speak fluent Mandarin, but you don’t hear mandarin, you hear casual American english.. No struggle, no confusion… You respond in English and the server hears Mandarin .. friendly, casual, no confusion… Both of you are using One World products – Interesting
- Someone in a rural part of India.. who only understands or speaks their native language. He can watch any video in any language because he is using One World headset, everything seems natural.. The voice, the dubbing, context.. Emotions, Feelings, Tones don’t get lost in the translation if you use One World
- You go to Italy and have One World eye glasses.. But you don’t see Italian script at the airport or street signs or restaurant menus.. You just see the language you prefer to read..
In essence, One World will remove the barrier of language from the world… When I imagine One World, I think of a world where you are not lost or need any external help as you can read, write, speak, understand, and communicate in any language.
It’s in contact lenses, eyeglasses, sun-glasses, head-phones, wireless ear-plugs., you even have it in your smartphone..
You can read any book or watch any video.. No subtitles required.. The experience will be extremely seamless.. For eg. all the external noise will be canceled and you hear only the language you selected.
You can talk and write using different settings.. Business settings for businesses, Urban setting to communicate with your international friends in school.. so many possibilities
This is the future I see for Google Translate with unlimited resources in next 5 years – It’s actually a bold vision
Yeah but there could be downsides. The downside I think of:
- Latency in translation will nullify the experience.. Reading or listening
- Mistakes in translations during business meeting or even in casual conversations can have very negative consequences for the users
- It has to be perfect… The only incremental release possible is the addition of languages and the feature of hearing the translation in the voice of the person speaking..