The Boss speaks — in Mandarin!

This is absolutely fascinating. Just when I was gloomily concluding that I would have to learn to speak French, along comes Microsoft Research with software that can learn the sound of your voice, and then use it to speak a language that you don’t. There was a lovely demonstration at Microsoft’s Redmond campus on Tuesday in which Microsoft researcher Frank Soong showed how his software could read out text in Spanish using the voice of his boss, Rick Rashid. Turns out that Rick now ‘speaks’ Italian and Mandarin. Terrific!

(On the other hand, a small still voice reminds me of Heidegger’s observation that “technology is the art of arranging the world so that you don’t have to experience it”.)