Popular online creating and gaming platform Roblox has launched its latest AI feature this week, this time with a focus on connecting players around the world rather than generative content production as was prevalent last year.
The new connectivity comes in the form of empowered communication - namely an AI real-time chat translator with 16 language options.
Built upon Roblox’s "proprietary artificial intelligence technology", this latest tech addition completely removes the language barrier between players (provided they speak one of the 16 supported languages), as the AI can translate messages live.
A good ol’ chinwag, now in the metaverse!
In the year up to September 2023, an average of 70 million users communicated on Roblox every day and a total of 904 billion messages were sent in the 12-month period. Between these figures and Roblox’s userbase spanning 180 countries, it comes as little surprise to see a live translator be integrated into the platform: enabling even more users to seamlessly communicate with one another.
"A user in Korea can type a chat message in Korean, and an English-speaking user will see it in English, while at the same time a German-speaking user will read and respond to the message in German," Roblox clarified.
And the feature seems to be proving popular already - bolstering player engagement as their capacity to interact with others in the metaverse continues to grow. Roblox head of international Zhen Fang noted: "Our early experiments with this new automated chat translation technology showed a very positive impact on time spent, chat engagement, and session quality, so we are very excited to roll it out to further enhance and expand our community’s daily communication."
Automatic chat translation features are available now in any and all Roblox experiences leveraging the platform’s chat engine, TextChatService, with ambitions for Roblox to grow beyond global accessibility and into true localisation.
"Our custom large language model is so fast we're able to do real-time translations from any one of 16 languages to any of the others as people type to help them connect in real time, no matter where they're from," said Roblox CTO Daniel Sturman.
"We started using AI to translate in-experience content at scale, so our community developers can engage more users globally. Now, thanks to our new real-time AI chat translations, we’ve made something possible on Roblox that isn’t even possible in the physical world - enabling people to overcome language barriers and seamlessly communicate with one another in immersive 3D experiences.
"In the future, we envision every part of a user experience on Roblox to be fully translated into their native language, including offering AI-powered voice translation."
Of course, Roblox has also been implementing AI to the advantage of its creators, which has been met with enthusiasm and is still "just at the beginning" of its full potential.