The Translation Industry in 2020
With changes in how we create and consume content, companies and brands have seen an increasing need to focus on localization, translation, and transcreation. This applies not only to written content but to a variety of media that is continuously evolving. While the need for multimedia translation continues to grow, brands must keep the end-user in mind from both a language and cultural perspective.
It’s estimated that by 2022, 82% of all consumer internet traffic will come from video. Translation and localization will also be needed for e-learning modules and mobile applications, as well as for digital assistants and smart speakers that work with cloud-based services where information flows faster and more freely. To keep up with these changes, companies and translators have teamed up with the latest AI technologies to do their jobs with more precision and speed.
Machine Translation Meets Human Translation
One of the most revolutionary technologies AI has brought to the table is machine translation. A continuous increase in computational power was able to turn the 1980s morphological, syntactic, and semantic analysis models into statistical and example-based ones. Machine translation engines today mimic the way the human mind learns: They observe the context of what’s being translated and make predictions based on the knowledge they accumulate over time and learning from real-world use cases.
Although these engines can learn to adapt to new domains based on previously translated content, this doesn’t mean human translation becomes obsolete. Far from it — as content gets localized, it’s essential to provide authentic user experiences grounded on cultural nuances and preferences. Transcreators are responsible for producing content that maintains the tone, intent, and style of the original pieces.
This pairing up of machine and human capabilities simplifies the translation workflow, helping people make informed decisions faster. Disproving fears of automation replacing workers, the key to a successful model, in this case, is the combination of augmented AI and human capabilities.
The AI Breakthrough Awards
Despite 2020 being a year of global challenges, the language solutions company TransPerfect has proven it’s never a bad time to innovate, as their AI technology has been named the winner of the 2020 AI Breakthrough Award as "Best Machine Translation Solution."
The AI Breakthrough Awards honor leading technology companies, services, and products that bring groundbreaking solutions to stretch the limits of what is possible through artificial intelligence. Run by Tech Breakthrough, a leading platform for today’s most competitive technology markets that has worked with industry-leading companies like Cisco, Dell, Philips, HP, Comcast, and Intel, the awards cover innovations in a range of industries such as IT, automotive, healthcare, and manufacturing.
Phil Shawe, TransPerfect President and CEO, said, "It's a great honor to have been selected as an AI Breakthrough Award winner. I could not be more proud of our technology division—they deserve the credit for this recognition. I am further impressed by the team's unrelenting drive to bring the benefits of AI to our clients."
TransPerfect and GlobalLink AI Portal
TransPerfect is the world’s largest provider of language and technology solutions for global business, supporting real-time, self-service machine translation for more than 40 different languages and 30 file formats.
With headquarters in New York, London, and Hong Kong, the company has been recognized on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies. In 2018, TransPerfect achieved an organic growth rate of almost 15%, and last year, revenues broke USD 764m as the company solidified its streaming and gaming localization space. For 2020 year-to-date, TransPerfect has provided their long-term clients with an impressive 15% increase in quality scores over the previous year, improving cost and time efficiencies and reducing the scale of post-edits.
One of TransPerfect’s advantages is that their neural machine translation can work with any medium, including documents, audio, and websites. It can also be used via APIs or directly through their GlobalLink AI Portal, including a network of linguists and project managers for requesting human translation or post-editing.
With over 5,000 translators in their network, this is where TransPerfect sets itself apart from services like Google Translate, which uses only neural machine translation. Another characteristic that makes TransPerfect unique is that its platform, GlobalLink AI Portal, also includes strict privacy measures such as encryption, secure HTTPS access, and single sign-on, guaranteeing that businesses retain full ownership of and full security over all content.
The TransPerfect platform also goes beyond business solutions. In July 2020, the company made its data set, which is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin Chinese, accessible at no charge to help create a chatbot that can answer your COVID-19 questions. The data set will allow researchers and technology organizations to train smart chatbots to improve conversational AI performance substantially.
The Future of Machine Translation
Machine translation, powered by AI and ever-growing computing power, allows companies to cut costs and speed up their processes. Paired with human translators, they can quickly deliver the amount of content required by an audience constantly looking for updated information.
Luckily, we’re living through a period of innovation like it’s never been seen before. Machine translation is here to stay, and it will only get better.
About the Author
Yisela Alvarez Trentini is an Anthropologist + User Experience / Human-Computer Interaction Designer with an interest in emerging technologies, social robotics, and VR/AR.