According to Reuters, Google is working on a whole news approach to translating from one language into another. To me this is extremely important because the largest single barrier I see to my vision of Global Neighborhoods is language.
As it stands now, computer translations, such as you get from Babblefish and Google translate are rarely close to accurate and often a bit goofy. The new approach, called "statistical machine translations" may still be a bit awkward and will still contain a few literal errors, but comes a whole lot closer to providing computer translations that come a whole lot closer to what human translators would give you.
Right now, I have conversations quite often with people all over the world, I like to say. But in fact, they are only people who speak English, the only language in which I have any proficiency. With the right translation technology could speak every day with people whose primary language was Chinese or Japanese, Russian, Farsi or whatever.
So could everybody.
If you think about it, the implications are really huge. People could everwhere could speak to people everywhere else. We would not have the filtering of third-party organizations deciding on what gets translated and how that translation will be nuanced.