Breakthrough in speech translation technology

This video is fascinating.  It shows  Rick Rashid, Microsoft’s Chief Research Officer explaining how existing speech recognition technology works, and what Microsoft have been working on.  I recommend watching the video from about 6 minutes as the real-time translation is particularly impressive.

Microsoft Research shows a promising new breakthrough in speech translation technology

From my perspective, whilst this is an incredible leap forward for the way we’ll communicate and do business in the future, it’s not a substitute for learning the language.  Organisations such as the diplomatic service, national security agencies, and NGOs will always have a use for bilingual staff members due to the nature of their work (as will many other organisations I’d imagine).

Merseyside Police Commissioner

I’ve only just found out that my former lecturer Kiron Reid stood for the Merseyside Police & Crime Commissioner post.  It’s a great shame he didn’t get elected; as a specialist in criminal law and police powers he’d have made an excellent independent commissioner.

This small post doesn’t do his other work justice.  For much more information about what Kiron has done for the people of Merseyside, see:


I thought I’d start off with a link to a book that I’m reading by Khoi Tu called Superteams: The Secrets of Stellar Performance From Seven Legendary Teams.  The book devotes a chapter to each team, with one of the teams featured being the British Red Cross delegation that went to Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake in 2010.

I’ve opted for the Kindle edition as I’m not a big fan of hardback books.  But perhaps the best bit?  Khoi Tu will donate all his royalties from the sale of Superteams to the British Red Cross, which works both in the UK and overseas.