tech2 News StaffNov 29, 2017 21:15:25 IST
Microsoft has launched a Chinese language learning app on the App Store. The iOS app is called Microsoft Learn Chinese and it comes with an always available AI language learning assistant. The AI assistant is expected to teach the language to users without any help from a personal tutor or a teacher.
According to Microsoft Blog the app helps those who even after taking classroom lectures, watching language learning videos and flipping flash cards are not able to converse with native speakers. Yan Xia, the senior developer lead at Microsoft Research Asia in Beijing said “You think you know Chinese, but if you meet a Chinese person and you want to speak Chinese, there is no way you can do it if you have not practised,”. “Our application addresses this issue by leveraging our speech and natural language processing technology.” he added.
The language learning app by Microsoft is based on a suit of AI tools to recognise the language of the user and evaluates the pronunciation. It gives feedback in the form of scores and also highlights words that need improvement. A link to a sample audio to hear pronunciation is also provided by the app. The Learn Chinese app has lessons for both beginners and Intermediate level users. Beginners are provided new words and short sentences whereas the Intermediate level users are given interactive lessons to practice the language.
The blog post also mentions that the app has been trained on by taking data from native speakers as well as with the labs state-of-the art text-to-speech synthesis technology. It has been developed as a part of the ongoing innovation incubation project in Beijing. Researchers are also collaborating with human foreign language teachers to understand best practices to deploy the language learning technology that augments the teachers' approach.
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