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Zoom plans to expand its support for automatic live transcriptions with the addition of live translation, and turn its whiteboard feature into a more of a fully-featured app, among several other changes the company announced at its Zoomtopia conference on Monday.
Automatic live transcriptions / closed captions in English were announced to be coming to free Zoom accounts in February 2021. Now Zoom says it “plans to provide real-time transcription for (as many as 30 additional languages) by the end of next year.” As part of that push, Zoom will also offer translation services for paid accounts, with the plan “to support real-time translation across as many as 12 languages by the end of next year.” Zoom wasn’t able to share details about which languages will be supported and when, but did say these improvements are a direct result of the machine learning know-how it gained by acquiring German translation company Kites.
Zoom is holding its fifth annual Zoomtopia event today, where it announced many improvements and expansions coming to Zoom. Zoom became a leader in the video solutions space since the acceleration of video call solutions and hybrid/remote workflows during Covid-19. Zoom has matured significantly in many ways, including security and privacy, since it was thrust into the spotlight at the pandemic’s beginning. Since then, I have been watching Zoom very closely and wanted to unpack some of the new innovations that Zoom has to offer in the video call solutions space. Let’s dive right in.
Zoom held its annual Zoomtoopia conference today, providing a glimpse at some of the features it’s working on bringing to its video conferencing software. There are almost too many enhancements to count, but some of the more notable ones have the potential to change how you use the service.
The first of those is an expansion of Zoom’s automated closed captioning system. At the start of the year, Zoom announced it was making the feature available to all of its users by the fall of 2021. Now, the company plans to make it work in a total of 30 languages. It’s also adding live translation support for 12 languages. Both expansions will occur over the next year and come after the company bought a startup that specializes in real-time translation.
Upgrades include live, multilanguage transcription and translation for Zoom calls. The platform will use machine learning and natural language processing to first transcribe the spoken language, and then each participant will be able to translate it to their own language, Zoom executives said during a press call. A beta will be available this month, and the feature should be generally available by the end of the year. The list of languages is not yet final, there will be 30 transcription and 12 translation options by the end of 2022, they added.