Roblox is today introducing a new AI feature that will translate a user’s real-time text into other languages. Following this, the Roblox team has plans for a feature which will translate voices into different languages with the use of its AI tech.
Today’s addition to Roblox will allow users to type a message in their own language, to then see it translated into other languages supported by the gaming environment instantaneously.
This feature will available within all Roblox experiences that leverage TextChatService.
“For example, a user in Germany can type a chat message in German, and an English-speaking user will see it in English, while at the same time a Korean-speaking user will read and respond to the message in Korean,” the Roblox team explained.
You can see how this will look in action via the clip below.
The Roblox team sees its new text translation feature as a first step towards more, AI-generated, translation opportunities in the future.
“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,” Roblox’s chief technology officer Daniel Sturman said.
“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.”
Roblox’s head of international Zhen Fang said the team is always looking for ways to ensure its platform is both accessible and “truly localised” for its users, saying “the world feels a little bit smaller when we enable features like these at a global scale”.
Of course, this new feature will not be without concern within the Roblox community. Roblox has faced scrutiny about its moderation, as well as the inclusion of sexually explicit content on the platform, in the past. In 2023, it was revealed Sony had actually once blocked Roblox from launching on PlayStation consoles due to concerns about child exploitation. Something evidently changed behind the scenes, however, as Roblox eventually released on PlayStation last year.
As for AI, this has long been a hot topic within the video game industry, with other companies such as Ubisoft and Square Enix all experimenting with the technology in one way or another. However, many remain sceptical about its implementation and subsequent implications on the sector.
“The excitement of what AI can do is perhaps not allowing us to see the pitfalls and appreciate the pitfalls,” Returnal actress Jane Perry told Eurogamer last year. Speaking with our Ed, Perry said while AI may be here to stay and has “great use” across many industries, “it’s about proceeding with caution and care.”
Last year, CD Projekt turned to AI technology to replicate a Cyberpunk 2077 Polish voice actor who passed away in 2021. The late Miłogost Reczek’s voice was reproduced by an AI algorithm for Phantom Liberty – the base game’s recent expansion – for its Polish-language release. This was all done with his family’s permission.