Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the way every business operates, driving a new breed of automation capable of taking on a growing number of human tasks. While there is some pessimism about the future of human labour versus machines, most companies that actually work with the technology – including us here at translate plus – are optimistic about the AI future.
We are already using AI in many ways to make our translation processes, including integration, workflow automation, automated quoting and – for an increasing number of customers – machine translation with or without different levels of post-editing, faster and more efficient. The main drivers of the advancement of AI in our line of business aren’t just the desire for cost savings, AI also helps speed up time-to-market for translated content and removes the risk of human error (e.g. through manual file exchange). This, in turn, frees up extra time for the process steps that require human involvement including the translation task itself, as well as editing and reviewing the quality of the machine translated text.
Removing repetitive tasks with AI and automation
Translating documents typically involves repeating numerous tasks and the quantity of repetitions only increases with longer projects. For example, imagine a company that manufactures thousands of consumer technology products at any one time – a company like Samsung that is constantly producing new smartphones, laptops, TVs and a range of home appliances.
Many of these products are going to be basic variations of the same device, different generations of the same line of laptops and similar devices with different specs, chips or internals.
For these products, there is going to be a great deal of repetition in the user manuals and other types of documentation. In the past, translators have had little choice other than to translate the same text multiple times or manually duplicate and check for consistency – something that becomes increasingly challenging over time as the amount of repetition increases and the chance of new translators working on long projects grows.
Now, with AI translation, any risk of inconsistency can be reduced by automatically inserting translated content where repetition occurs. This allows translators to focus on maximising text quality and avoid repeating the same tasks.
Humans and machines making smarter decisions
While the current crop of AI technology cannot rival human cognitive capabilities, it can handle a growing list of simple tasks that would otherwise need to be completed by human translators. Time isn’t the only resource AI is saving by taking on these basic tasks, either. By reducing the manual workload of human translators, artificial intelligence is also reducing the cognitive toll that repetitive tasks can take on the human mind.
Less cognitive fatigue keeps human translators sharper for longer, allowing them to make smarter decisions while the machines take care of more rudimentary tasks – and those algorithms are getting smarter all the time, too.
Artificial intelligence is also making machine translation more accurate, allowing human translators to use the tool to create a first draft of basic documents, which they can then edit and correct mistakes. AI is making our existing translation tech more effective and the standard will only improve further as the technology becomes “smarter”.