Artificial intelligence is rapidly changing the world as we know it. One area where artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly important is the translation services industry. Translation tools and software are now more refined than ever before, making it easier for individuals and businesses to communicate effectively.
The AI software market is going from strength to strength. In 2022, it’s estimated that the AI software sector is worth more than $328 billion. By 2029, the market is expected to be worth more than $1.3 trillion.
Language translation looks set to remain a key part of AI software and shape the future of the industry. However, can an artificial language translate as well as humans? Currently, even the best language translation tools can’t perform autonomously. However, AI in translation industry as a whole is quickly reshaping, carving out new niches for human translators, and changing the way machine translation technology is used in everyday life.
Will AI Replace Human Translators?
Artificial intelligence has revolutionized the language translation sector. However, even the most advanced artificial intelligence translation services aren’t going to force human translators out of a job anytime soon. In fact, AI has redefined the sector, bringing exciting new job prospects and career opportunities for translation professionals.
Admittedly, AI has made machine translation tools far more reliable in recent years. However, AI still has some ways to go to overcome issues with context, colloquialisms, and tone of voice. In short, artificial intelligence translates text to a point, but it still struggles when it comes to the nuances of language.
Artificial intelligence translation also brings significant cost and time savings. When it comes to large datasets, AI and neural machine translation are the only way to go. However, human intervention is still essential to ensure first-rate results.
Ultimately, even if artificial intelligence is used to handle translations, there’s still a crucial role for human translators. The process operates similarly to transcreation, with flesh-and-bone writers needed to ensure tone and intent are present in the final results. One thing is sure — AI translation, our future, very much needs real humans.
How AI is redefining the translation industry
Even though AI won’t be putting human translators out of a job anytime soon, it is helping redefine the translation services industry. It’s making the entire process far more streamlined and has far-reaching applications.
In an everyday sense, AI makes it easy for people to access quick and relatively reliable translations. For globe-trotting tourists, this could involve turning to a service like Google Translate to provide instant translations for everyday exchanges.
For translation professionals, AI can help ease communication with non-native speakers. Even the most experienced translator won’t have a pitch-perfect grasp of a second language they work in, so artificial intelligence translates when needed to help fill any gaps in vocabulary.
Currently, the most noteworthy advancements in translation services hinge on a handful of emerging technologies.
Deep learning and neural machine translation
The best artificial intelligence translation tools rely on deep learning. Let’s take Google Neural Machine as an example. Rather than produce direct, word-for-word translations, this technology relies on an exhaustive database, looks for language patterns, and makes in-depth comparisons to produce better, more reliable translations.
Software like this also produces rapid results. At the time of writing, Google Translate supports more than 130 languages, making it a valuable tool for any enterprise eyeing international expansion.
Voice translation services
Voice translators were once confined to the realms of science fiction. Today, reliable AI voice translation software is both readily accessible and increasingly reliable.
The best software, including Google Translator, relies heavily on deep learning and artificial intelligence. It’s a practical option for users who need to have long sentences and complex phrases translated quickly. Because of the AI powering these translations, users can expect high levels of accuracy and precise content. What’s more, translations are delivered in both written text and audio format.
Additionally, users can use voice translators to transcribe individual words. In the age of smartphones, just about everybody can enjoy instant access to voice translation support, whenever the need arises.
Subtitle translation made simple
Automatic subtitle translation is one of the most noteworthy advancements that AI has allowed for. There are many AI-powered subtitle translation solutions out there, including Moovly, Subtly, and DeskDub.
At the moment, most systems can only facilitate translations into global languages like English and Spanish. However, they’re compatible with a huge list of input languages. Going forward, expect these services to become more widely adopted as more software improves its AI translations.
For anyone looking to localize video content for global audiences, automatic subtitling is an invaluable tool for international expansion. It’s by no means error-free, but it’s a cost-effective alternative to having a human translator manually transcribe content word-for-word. Instead of investing heavily in translations from the ground up, manual editing improves AI translations quickly and at relatively little expense.
How is artificial intelligence changing the face of the translation industry?
Ultimately, AI will allow for more streamlined results in the translation services industry. Regardless of which sector they operate in, businesses won’t have to factor in having to find experienced translators when calculating lead time. Projects can get off the ground more quickly, while project milestones and deadlines can be more easily achieved.
However, faster communication and expedited translations aren’t the only benefits that AI intelligence translation brings to the table.
Big data mining benefits
AI means that translation software can access vast datasets and process relevant data incredibly quickly. Google Translate is particularly effective at this. According to recent estimates, users turn to this service to translate more than 100 billion words every day. Human translators only translate around twice the amount of words during any given year.
AI isn’t perfect and we have a long way to go to achieve error-free machine translations. However, translation technology is advancing rapidly. It’s certainly making serviceable translations accessible to everyone, from everyday users to small to medium-sized businesses that might not be able to afford conventional translation services.
Challenges Associated with AI and Machine Translation
Quality vs. Cost Balancing Act: Despite advancements in Machine Translation (MT) quality, a tradeoff exists between quality and cost. On average, MT costs around $0.10 per word, compared to $0.22 for human translation. However, MT quality still falls short of human translation, especially when dealing with idiomatic expressions, cultural references, and nuanced language that require human interpretation.
Potential for Bias: The effectiveness of AI and machine learning algorithms heavily depends on the quality of the training data. If the data used is biased, the resulting translations can also carry biases. This becomes a critical concern when translating sensitive or politically charged content, as inaccurate translations can have severe repercussions.
Accessibility Challenges: While machine translation can break down language barriers, it can inadvertently create new ones if the translations are unclear or difficult to comprehend. Complex or technical language can pose a significant challenge for machine translation, leading to translations that are hard to follow or understand.
More people are turning to machine translations
The advancement of AI has led to the increasing adoption of machine translation. Furthermore, the recent shift to hybrid and remote working models as the norm has resulted in a surge in demand for machine translation services.
Machine translations and AI translation tools are now a staple of businesses with international operations. They help facilitate easy communication between teams, regardless of any language barriers.
Increased demand and widespread adoption have also brought additional benefits. The more people that use neural machine translation services, the more proficient they become at providing high-quality translations with more accurate context. In other words, increased usage improvesAI translations for everyone.
Machine translation will provide exciting employment prospects in the translation services industry
Machine learning and AI is forcing us to rethink the role of human translators in the industry. However, even the best software won’t push out human translators entirely. Rather, there’s an increasing need for human translators to occupy new roles.
Software is advancing at a rapid base, but it’s still yet to be able to deliver completely reliable results. This means there’s a constant need for post-translation proofreaders and editors.
A company looking to improve its AI translations will need experienced translators to pour through large volumes of the translated text. Machine translation has been embraced by many sectors, including the likes of the ecommerce industry that relies on regularly updated high-volume content creation.
There are also more surprising adoptees of AI translations. Take the legal field as one example. Machine learning and AI-assisted translations allow legal professionals to mine huge datasets, making it simple to sift through thousands of case documents and supporting notes.
While AI-assisted translations can speed up preliminary research, there’s always a need for the human touch in high-stakes applications. Until artificial intelligence can deliver faultless results, humans will always be a precious commodity in the ai and translation industry.
Localization and language translation services you can trust
Artificial intelligence might be reshaping the translation services industry, but it’s got a long way to go to replace the input of human translators. Does your business depend on neural machine translation? If you’re producing high-value documents where even a minor error is a complete no-go, you can’t do without post-editing services.
Curious to learn more? We have also written articles on how AI translation works, pros and cons of AI translation vs. human translation, translator tools for efficient translations, tips for training translation engines.
BLEND offers an unbeatable range of localization, post-editing, artificial intelligence and translation solutions. We work with the best in translation technology and thousands of linguists based across the globe, producing content in more than 120 languages. Keen to take charge of your translation projects? Get in touch with the team at BLEND today.
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