The Ambassador, the future of translation?

I have recently been interested in the usefulness of using implants that function as hearing aids, either through implants or somewhat less invasive. But recently, I read about a device called "The Ambassador", a device of a small size that can be put in the ear like a headset and, through the mobile, translate what they are saying to your language.

It is really useful, and if its use were extended, we could talk to each other without learning another language. Obviously, my idea is to take this invention to its maximum expression. To what extent is it possible to incorporate such a technology into our body? Can the implants in the ears make the sound bounce from our mobile to an amplifier, and from them to the implant, listening, without the need of the hearing aid, what they are telling us, in a completely strange language? I had thought of the idea that a user of the forum had said recently, that is, a small external device attached to the back of the ear, the hairless area. I think that if the device in question is made very, very small and in the specific way of our head, we could stick it to that area and hear the sound transmitted by the device.

Does it sound like too much science fiction?


  • Not at all. I think some version of this idea is inevitably one of the next steps. And it's totally within reach too
  • No, that would be very possible to do with current technology. There's several different ways I see of doing it depending on how fully incorporated/invasive you want it to be.

    For a completely implanted solution, the receiver would be fairly straight forward to do--you could simply implant a wireless bone conduction device similar to with a cochlear implant. The main problem I see would be implementing a microphone as the most obvious way of doing so would require a transdermal implant which has a whole host of problems that you'd need to first solve. However, there recently has been some research into implantable microphones for cochlear implants as an alternative to the external microphones currently used. It does seem promising but is probably a bit too complicated for the majority of us here. So unless you can solve the issue of the microphone, then you'd still be stuck using an external device anyway.

    Assuming it doesn't have to be fully implantable though, then you could do it with any earpiece and a microphone, or you could take a hybrid approach and have an implanted audio receiver but external microphone. After that, it's essentially just incorporating speech recognition and then feeding the recorded data through a neural machine translation or statistical machine translation model to translate it at which point you can then have the resulting translation read out using text to speech and played via the earpiece. It may sound somewhat complicated, but that part should actually be fairly simple to implement as you can just use pre-existing packages and models for it. So it's the implantable device that would be the complicated and difficult part to do.

    However, if I'm honest, I don't really see much point in it unless you are making a fully incorporated and implantable device. As if you still need to use an external device for it, then I think you might as well just use a pre-existing solution like The Ambassador instead as it will most likely be more accurate and advanced then anything any of us could create here. So I think that, for it to be worth it, you need to have made a major improvement on that device like having your version be completely implantable to make up for the lesser accuracy. Otherwise, you would kind of essentially just be making a lesser version of it. I have to add though that, even if you can't do a fully implantable one, I think the hybrid approach of an implantable earpiece and external microphone could still possibly be worth exploring as you would still be able to use the earpiece for a lot of things other than just translation.

Sign In or Register to comment.