Jul 6, 2022 - Technology

Facebook's AI translator now works with 200 languages

Animated illustration of a speech bubble rotating between different languages, all say "Hello!".
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook parent Meta says an updated version of its machine-learning-based language translation engine can now handle 200 languages.

Why it matters: In a world that is increasingly online, many people are excluded from important information resources because of limited translation availability.

Details: The technology, dubbed NLB-200, is part of Facebook's "No Language Left Behind" initiative. A prior version could translate among 100 languages.

  • Meta will use the system to help with more than 25 billion translations a day, while also open-sourcing both the model and other resources as well as providing grants to nonprofits with ideas for how to use the technology.
  • Meta has also partnered with the Wikimedia Foundation, which is using the technology to translate articles in 20 languages for which few or no machine-language resources exist.

What they're saying: "The AI modeling techniques we used are helping make high-quality translations for languages spoken by billions of people around the world," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.

Go deeper: Meta plans AI-driven universal translator

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