As noted in this Microsoft blog, at the inaugural Code Conference(#CodeCon), Satya Nadella discussed his views on a more personal, more human era of computing, and in the blog there is a demonstration of an exciting new capability Microsoft is developing for Skype. Skype has more than 300 million connected users each month, and more than 2 billion minutes of conversation a day delivering voice and video across PCs,tablets, smartphones and TVs. Skype Translator overcomes the language barrier as a result of years of work by Microsoft researchers involving speech recognition, machine learning, neural networks, and now is being developed jointly by the Skype and Microsoft Translator teams. The demo showed near real-time audio translation from English to German and vice versa. Moreover, I found this idea of transfer learning noted by Satya fascinating where after learning English, then learning Mandarin, it becomes better at English and then adding Spanish, it becomes better at English and Mandarin. You can learn more about the research behind this initiative here. Skype Translator first will be available as a Windows 8 beta app before the end of 2014. If you aren’t already using Skype for voice and video calls, I encourage you to download Skype and create your account. I work with Skype daily and and use the add-on services due to their high value functionality.