Microsoft creates universal translator

It was only a matter of time, wasn’t it? Star Trek’s universal translator is about to become a reality thanks to Microsoft, which has announced that it has developed a system that automatically translates documents from one language into as many as 7,000 other languages — though we somehow doubt that Klingon will be among them (at least early on). The company’s Translator Hub – introduced at their TechFest 2012 event last week — will help multinational businesses operate more economically and efficiently. According to Information Week, it relies on a translation engine on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and also user input. Users begin by feeding paired documents that have already been translated from one language into another language into the engine, and the Translator Hub takes over from there, automatically “learning” to translate after processing the translation examples. Microsoft Translator Hub can be used free of charge in the cloud.

Meanwhile, also during the TechFest 2012 at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington, Microsoft unveiled something dubbed Monolingual TTS. The system even more closely resembles the Star Trek universal translator, as it enables users to talk into a device in any of 26 pre-installed languages and have their speech read back in another language.

Click HERE to read the full article in Information Week.

New ICT Centre Opens In Ho

An Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Volunteer Centre aimed at bringing individuals, professionals and institutions together to contribute to the development of communities in the Volta Region has been inaugurated in Ho. The establishment of the centre is in line with volunteerism, as constituted by the United Nations, and will collaborate with the Volta Institute of Development Studies (VIDS) and network with like-minded institutions and organisations the world over to train people in ICT, leadership and governance and conflict management. For a start, the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) has presented 10 computers to the centre to commence its activities. Inaugurating the centre, the Volta Regional Minister, Mr Joseph Amenowode, underscored the importance of computers, adding that without them, all engagements, especially on academic endeavours, would be extremely slow. He said the government was constructing information centres in major towns in the regions to provide opportunities for the youth to enhance their ICT potential, adding that the inclusion of volunteer training in the areas of ICT, leadership and governance and conflict management was truly relevant and must be fully explored.

In an address, the Chief Executive Officer of GIFEC, Mr Kofi Attor, declared that ICT was the way forward for all in the contemporary world, regardless of age. He said the government was set in bridging the gap between the urban and rural areas, adding that all 38 colleges of education now had state-of-the-art computer laboratories to enable each village to have computer literate teachers by the next five years. Mr Attor said all vocational and youth centres would be equipped and encouraged to teach and learn ICT to a level that would ensure that the nation witnessed an era of digital inclusiveness, adding, “We are in a hurry to get Ghana on the information super highway.” For his part, the Ho Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Isaac Kodobisa, said the new centre was an innovation and said all assembly members would be considered for enrolment at the centre to improve on their computer literacy. In a welcoming address, the Director of the centre, Mr Courage Dei-Zanga, expressed the hope that the organisation would lead the rural connectivity crusade which would ultimately help Ghana to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

He said it would establish linkages with rural communities to enable them to share all the benefits of ICT through rural Internet connectivity. He said the centre would offer free training and capacity building in the basics of ICT, advanced ICT, gender advocacy and mainstreaming, climate change knowledge and adaptations, disaster management, agro-business, trade and development, leadership and governance, alternative dispute resolution mechanism, human resource development, among others. He said 20 women, comprising queens, assembly women and opinion leaders, in the Ho municipality had started training in basic ICT at the centre. The Chairman for the occasion was the Volta Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service(GES), Mr Gabriel Kploanyi, who underscored the essence of computer skills.

Ghana Telecom University College adjudged 2011 Best Telecommunication University in Africa

Ghana Telecom University (GTUC) has been adjudged the Best Telecommunication University in Africa for 2011 by the Africa-India Partnership Summit Le Matinal Educational Excellence Awards. The award, which is the highest honour given to individuals and institutions that have surpassed several levels of excellence and emerged role models of exemplary leadership in the educational sector in Africa are not for profit oriented bodies or institutions. This was made known by Dr Osei Darkwa, President of GTUC at the university’s 10th Matriculation at the weekend in Accra where 301 students were admitted to pursue diploma and various degree programmes.

Dr Osei Darkwa urged the matriculants to apply themselves to diligent study, hardwork and self-sacrifice to meet the challenges of the new knowledge-based and network economy. “The expectation is that you will use what you learn here to make a difference in the lives of the people of this country and beyond, to help the people of this country become prosperous and healthy,” he said. Dr Darkwa said Ghana’s future, in particular, and the African continent in general, depended on the willingness to harness new information and communication technologies to advance development. “This new economy needs large numbers of scientists, engineers, technologists, entrepreneurs and many technical specialists to support the new global businesses and industries,” he said. In an “Expectations of Matriculation Class speech” read by Master Vincent Kwashie, a level 100 student, applauded the contributions made by the President and academic staff for winning the prestigious award adding, they have succeeded in “bringing the name of the university into the international domain.”

He appealed to the University Council to build more hostels, a bigger library complex and spacious classrooms.
via Ghana Telecom University College adjudged 2011 Best Telecommunication University in Africa : Ghana Business News.