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Meta compares its SeamlessM4T AI model to Babel Fish, the universal language translator in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The company’s software is capable of understanding nearly 100 languages from both speech or text, and can translate on the fly between them in real time in a variety of formats—speech-to-speech, text-to-text, speech-to-text, or text-to-speech. Besides working with far more languages than predecessors, the system is more efficient and less error-prone, according to Meta—and it can even decipher multiple languages mixed together in the same sentence. Meta has made the model open source, which means that researchers all around the world can use its code.

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