Zoom to acquire German startup to bring real-time translation to meetings – TechCrunch


As businesses grow all over the world and meet online in tools like Zoom, the language barrier can be a real barrier to getting the job done. Zoom announced its intention to acquire the German startup Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions or Kites in short, to bring real-time machine learning-based translation to the platform.

The companies have not shared the terms of the agreement, but with Kites, the company has a team of top researchers, who can help improve knowledge of machine learning translation within the company. ‘business. “Kites’ talented team of 12 researchers will help Zoom’s engineering team advance the field of [machine translation] to improve meeting productivity and efficiency by providing multilingual translation capabilities to Zoom users, ”the company said in a statement.

The deal appears to be an acquisition as the company adds these 12 researchers to the Zoom engineering group. He intends to leave the team in place in Germany with plans to build a machine learning translation R&D center with additional hires over time as the company devotes more resources to this area. .

While Kites’ website reveals little other than an address, the company About the page on LinkedIn says the startup was founded in 2015 by two researchers who taught at Carnegie Mellon and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology with the aim of creating translation tools for machine learning.

“Kites’ mission is to break down language barriers and make seamless language interaction a reality of everyday life,” the LinkedIn preview said. He claims to be one of a handful of companies, including Google and Microsoft, to have developed “cutting edge speech recognition and translation technologies,” which would suggest that Zoom has acquired some key technologies.

It doesn’t appear that the company has a commercial product, but the site says there is a machine learning translation platform that is used in universities and government. Either way, the fruits of the company’s research will now belong to Zoom.


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