Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company’s latest AI model, a project called No Language Left Behind (NLLB), and it can translate 200 languages in real-time.
AI has many applications, with language translation being one of the most practical for day-to-day use. Modern AI models can go much further than a simple smartphone app, relying on complex algorithms and machine learning to create high-quality translations.
Meta’s NLLB has more than 50 billion parameters and was trained using the company’s Research SuperCluster, currently one of the fastest supercomputers in the world. The company plans to use the AI model across its apps, with the goal of facilitating 25 billion translations a day.
In a move that is sure to help NLLB gain widespread adoption, the company has open-sourced the model.
“We just open-sourced an AI model we built that can translate across 200 different languages – many of which aren’t supported by current translation systems,” writes Zuckerberg.
The company has also created a grant program to assist researchers and nonprofit organizations that devise innovative uses of NLLB.
We’re also awarding up to $200,000 of grants for impactful uses of NLLB-200 to researchers and nonprofit organizations with initiatives focused on sustainability, food security, gender-based violence, education or other areas in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Nonprofits interested in using NLLB-200 to translate two or more African languages, as well as researchers working in linguistics, machine translation and language technology, are invited to apply.
Meta sees real-time language translation as something that is not only needed now but is a critical component for the development of the metaverse and the further democratization of the internet.
As the metaverse begins to take shape, the ability to build technologies that work well in a wider range of languages will help to democratize access to immersive experiences in virtual worlds.
In the meantime, NLLB will help users around the world finally access internet content in their native tongue.