Roblox today released an AI-powered real-time chat translation system for its popular gaming platform. The new feature now allows Roblox's over 70 million daily active users to seamlessly communicate with one another in 16 different languages.
Roblox engineered a custom transformer-based model trained specifically for its platform’s distinct vernacular. The system can translate conversations between all 16 supported languages bi-directionally in less than 100 milliseconds.
Daniel Sturman, Roblox's CTO, stated that the model was designed not just for translation accuracy but for the “speed and scale” necessary to handle over 5,000 parallel chats per second.
A key advantage of the tailored model is its fluency in the platform's unique lingo. The system understands commonly used abbreviations like “obby” and “afk” as well as a constantly updated lexicon of trending slang terms in each language.
The single unified model replaces the need for 256 separate models and allows for more efficient training. Linguistic similarities between languages also enable quality improvements not possible with standalone models.
Roblox envisions seamless communication across experiences, devices, and modalities. It plans to continue updating the model and collect user feedback to address inaccuracies. And while today the system is limited to text chats, it hopes to one day bring automatic voice chat translations. For now, the chat translation system marks a important step toward that goal.