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What does the future hold for translation for text-to-911?

Allowing people to text 911 emergency call centers from mobile phones opened up a new way to contact authorities, but public safety answering points (PSAPs) face a real problem if the texts are in a foreign language.

While texts in any language are still a very low proportion of overall emergency requests, being able to offer translation for all texts sent to 911 will better serve all communities across the country. Since there is a ever-growing need for (and no national program for) translating text-to-911 messages sent in languages other than English, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, and Google hosted a text-to-911 TechFest where they discussed the current and future efficacy of machine translation along with solutions to the problem. Read on for more details.

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