Machine translation may be the most underappreciated technology transforming the news landscape.

I spoke at a Google Cloud event this week to explain how Bloomberg is leveraging automated translation.

While translation has been available for awhile, what’s changed is the speed and accuracy. The quality has improved dramatically and it’s now possible to translate into scores of languages in real time.

Bloomberg now offers the ability to stream our First Word service into half a dozen languages. We think this is game changing for three reasons:

1) It gives non-English speakers access to Bloomberg News, most of which is written in English.
2) It brings breaking news from non-English sources to traders and portfolio managers in real time.
3) It gives reporters and editors tools to monitor breaking news around the world more effectively.

In the 1980s, I read my local newspaper. Now I go online to read local, national and international sources. But, like most people, I only read the languages I speak.

In the not-so-distant future we will read the best news sources on any topic automatically translated and it will be hard to imagine a time when we didn’t do