Roblox adds real-time AI chat translation using its own language model

It recognizes Roblox-specific slangs and abbreviations.


Currently serving over 70 million daily active users, Roblox is still going strong since its September 2006 launch — almost 18 years ago. The development team is now taking one step further to boost the platform's massive community, by way of providing real-time AI chat translation to connect gamers around the world. According to CTO Daniel Sturman, his team needed to build their own "unified, transformer-based translation LLM (large language model)" in order to seamlessly handle all 16 languages supported on Roblox, as well as to recognize Roblox-specific slangs and abbreviations (this writer just learned that "obby" refers to an obstacle course in the game).

As a result, the chat window always displays the conversation in the user's own tongue — with a small latency of around 100 milliseconds, so it's pretty much real time. You can also click on the translation icon on the left of each line to see it in its original language. Sturman claims that thanks to the language model's efficient architecture and iterative training, it "outperforms commercial translation APIs on Roblox content." The development team will later roll out a feedback tool to help improve translation quality, in addition to its ongoing updates with whatever new catchphrases it picks up on the platform.

Roblox built its own large language model to support real-time chat translation for all 16 languages on its platform. It recognizes Roblox-specific slang and abbreviations.

Roblox's translation efforts don't stop there. Sturman adds that his team is already looking into automatically translating "text on images, textures, 3D models" and more. As Roblox supports voice chat, the exec also teases the possibility of automatic voice chat translations, so gamers from around the world can seamlessly talk to one another in their own tongue on the platform. Given that Samsung already offers a similar feature via Galaxy AI, it probably won't be long before we hear another update from Roblox on this end.