Roblox Corporation has unveiled an advanced artificial intelligence translation tool, which is now available to its millions of users worldwide. The metaverse platform’s initiative is poised to revolutionize the way players interact, by breaking down language barriers in real-time chat. The translation service covers an impressive roster of 16 languages, allowing for instantaneous conversion of messages to the player’s native language.
The new feature responds to the communication challenges within the platform, considering that out of the 70 million daily active users, a significant portion engages in cross-cultural interactions. With over 2.4 billion messages exchanged daily across 180 countries, Roblox notes that roughly a third of the conversations occur between users who do not share a common language.
Technical Insights into Roblox’s Translation Feature
To offer near-instantaneous translation, Roblox’s translation AI capitalizes on linguistic similarities between certain languages, ensuring that comparable languages, such as Spanish and Portuguese, are trained in tandem. The technology anchors on a sizable language model that has been trained with open-source data, alongside human-labeled chat translations and typical conversational phrases from the Roblox community.
As described by Roblox’s Head of International, Zhen Fang, the language model has already shown promising effects on the users’ engagement and overall quality of their gaming sessions. He stressed the positive feedback received from their early experiments with the automated translation technology.
Future Horizons for Roblox’s Localization Efforts
The company is not stopping at chat translation. The translation infrastructure is also accessible to Roblox’s community developers, enabling them to integrate translations into other interface components. According to Daniel Sturman, Roblox’s CTO, the ambition extends to fully translating the user experience, including AI-powered voice translation, highlighting a commitment to truly intuitive and personalized player experiences.
The current developments underscore a larger trend in global digital environments, where services are increasingly tailored to meet local preferences and languages, enhancing user satisfaction and inclusivity. Roblox’s rollout of AI real-time translation marks a significant move towards this future, envisioning a metaverse that is not only accessible but also meaningful to every player regardless of language.
Speechly Buyout and Voice Moderation
Last year, Roblox bought voice tech startup Speechly. Roblox’s venture into voice chat-based interactions began with allowing developers to incorporate voice into their games. This transitioned from the traditional text bubbles above avatars to real-time voice interactions. The company’s recent introduction of avatar-based voice calls with facial motion tracking is a testament to its commitment to enhancing user experience.