As Microsoft and Google butt heads over whose AI chatbot is better, that isn’t the only use for machine learning and language models. Along with rumored plans to show off more than 20 products powered by artificial intelligence during its annual I/O event this year, Google’s progressing toward its goal of building an AI language model that supports 1,000 different languages. In an update posted on Monday, Google shared more information about the Universal Speech Model (USM), a system Google describes as a “critical first step” in realizing its goals.
Last November, the company announced its plans to create a language model supporting 1,000 of the world’s most-spoken languages while also revealing its USM model. Google describes USM as “a family of state-of-the-art speech models” with 2 billion parameters trained on 12 million hours of speech and 28 billion sentences across over 300 languages.
USM, which YouTube already uses to generate closed captions, also supports automatic speech recognition (ASR). This automatically detects and translates languages, including English, Mandarin, Amharic, Cebuano, Assamese, and more.