Machine learning is becoming the latest mantra of Microsoft executives. This week, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner mentioned machine learning once again. This time in the context of establishing eight directions for technological development, he and other Microsoft executives saw the importance of promoting the industry and Microsoft's development. (The other seven directions are: Cloud Computing, Data Mining, Social Computing, Natural User Interface, Mobile/Internet, Consumer IT)
One of the highlights of this week's Worldwide Partner Conference at Microsoft is the paradigm of machine learning as a core technology - Microsoft's Translator Hub.
According to official information, the construction of this platform dates back to the Haiti earthquake in 2010: After the disaster, rescue workers realized that they had another major obstacle, language, and there was no machine translator supporting the local language of Haiti. After five days of sleepless work, the Microsoft machine translation team took the lead in introducing Haitian Creole translation services. They believe that they should not wait for the earthquake to happen before they support minor languages and that they should change – this has led to the emergence of the Translator Hub.
The Hub from Microsoft Research is one of several different Microsoft products and services based on Microsoft Machine Translation technology. There is a translation application programming interface for developers that is available through the Windows Azure Marketplace. There is also a translation application for Windows Phone. Microsoft Machine Translation currently has Bing Translator, Translator widgets, and the latest Translator Hub.
Hub can automatically translate any two languages. It is built around a self-service model, which means that users can train and define their specific needs. Hub is actually a Windows Azure cloud service that allows users to upload language data and build and deploy custom translation models. These are the application programming interface (API) calls that use Microsoft Machine Translator Microsoft Translator.
This Azure-powered Translator Hub platform allows people (including businesses, developers, and partners) not only to translate text, but more importantly, to build and train unique machine translation systems, and even to protect endangered languages.
Inside Microsoft, this translation technology is used by the company's Internet Explorer, Lync, and Windows phone teams. It is also being adopted by other companies, including Facebook, Trip Advisor and Twitter.
Regarding partners, the company stated that "both developers and partners can join the Microsoft Machine Translation Application Programming Interface (API) to build more translation tools and services."