Zoom video conferencing giant buys Kites, an AI translation startup from Germany

Zoom wants to break down the language barrier when doing business online.


Carl Adrian

30 Jun, 2021

Zoom video conferencing giant buys Kites, an AI translation startup from Germany | BEAMSTART News

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Zoom, the popular video conferencing platform that rose to fame during the global pandemic, is set to buy up a fairly new startup company.

The startup company, also known as Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions – kites, GmbH (“Kites”), develops real-time Machine Translation (MT) solutions.

Key Highlights

  • Kites was founded in 2015 by co-founders Dr. Alex Waibel and Dr. Sebastian Stüker, who are from Germany.
  • Upon the acquisition, Kites and its team of 12 research scientists will focus on helping Zoom's engineering team build real-time machine translation into all of their communication and productivity products.
  • Kites claims that its system has an error rate of around 5% when it comes to translation, with approximately 1-second delay behind a person's speech.

Why It Matters

  • Zoom is progressing towards a new era of video conferencing, where the barriers of language could eventually be broken.
  • With real-time machine translation built into Zoom, people all over the world could speak to each other face-to-face, and conduct business meetings more effectively.
  • As of March 2021, Zoom had $4.2 billion in cash, with plans to acquire more companies to strengthen its business over time.

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