Obsolescence: Will foreign language learning become obsolete?No, it won't and you'd really have to believe in the utopia of technology to ever think that. Communication is not translating a few words on paper into something readable by a person of another country. If that were the case, Michael could write a similar post entitled "How technology will obviate talking". Just because you can type an email doesn't mean you won't ever make a phone call or, heaven forbid, talk to a human being in person. Communication is more than the sum of the individual words.
For the same reason, just because you are able to use technology to understand the basics of another language or translate some text or even oral communication from another human being, it does not mean that it will "obviate" the need of actually speaking. Again, let's assume this line of thinking actually made rational sense and take it to its conclusion. Could technology help you marry a foreign-speaking person and live your whole lives together "talking" through machines that translate back and forth? It's ridiculous.
This type of thinking is easy to believe if you haven't spent significant time in other countries or learned other languages. It is also the folly of those who think machine translation actually has improved a lot in the past 5 years. It hasn't. Google Translate has made machine translation far more accessible and efficient to use, but the actual quality has not gone up much since its first and only real breakthrough (statistical-based translation). And even that progress is limited by the amount of existing human translation available, which will limit it for the next few decades to English translation. Try to translate Arabic to Swahili and Google Translate does no better than most college freshman using a dictionary. Check out http://www.ackuna.com/badtranslator
All this said, we can hope that technology will make everyday translation needs more practicable and quick in the future. It will never make language learning obsolete or unnecessary, but it will certainly make it possible for you to read some text on the Internet written originally in a language you do not know. And that, by itself, is amazing and wonderful. Machine translation holds some great promise, but keep in mind people have been talking about this since the very first computers. The progress is slow and remains slow. Don't believe the hype and look at the actual leaps made in the past few decades. They are few and far between.
I hope there truly is another breakthrough in our lifetime, but I wouldn't toss out the opportunity to do study abroad just yet. More than likely, you will have thrown away the greatest experience of your life.