One thing that I was always grateful to my parents was them telling me to learn another language or two when I was a lot younger.
And it’s something I try to do when travelling just to try to get out of basic situations (because hey – knowing how to say hello, please, thank you and a few other things can really help in life).
However, beyond basic phrases (as well as comprehension of a language), I run out of words rather quickly.
Thankfully, American Airlines is partnering with Google to use a Google Assistant with an Interpreter mode – offering real-time translation in 29 languages for the airline’s Admirals Club customers.
It will be the first airline to test Google Assistant’s Interpreter Mode.
Google Assistant in the lounge, with Interpreter mode in-situ in a lounge – Image, American Airlines
Google Assistant with Interpreter Mode technology will be deployed in the American Airlines airport lounges. It will offer the ability to translate in real-time and allow American’s Premium Customer Service representatives provide more personalised service to customers.
The device will be used to assist customers only when a multilingual team member is not available. Currently, the device can translate 29 languages, including Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
American Airlines began testing the new technology last week at Admirals Club lounges at Los Angeles International Airport in the run-up to CES (where the product was announced).
Maya Leibman, American’s Chief Information Officer said
“The science fiction universal translator is now science fact,”
“Incorporating technology like the Google Assistant’s interpreter mode will help us break down barriers, provide a worry-free travel experience and make travel more accessible to all.”
Bridging a communication gap
As we all know, being able to communicate is important in getting on in the worlds – and using Google Technology to bridge that gap seems to be a way to fill a point where comprehension and understanding may be beyond someone (especially if a language specialist is assisting another customer, or one is unavailable for some reason)
Whilst Google Translate can sometimes lead to “entertaining” results, it’s an interesting step to see the technology now in the front-line.
It’ll be interesting to see what the feedback to it is like when passengers start using it.
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