In July 2019 we launched SYSTRAN Translate, our free online translator. We were rencently thrilled when it reached the symbolic milestone of 1 million users.
You probably think that there are already lots of translation websites out there, so what does make this one different?
1. The Human Factor
SYSTRAN Translate is powered by Neural Machine Translation. In addition, we are also bringing in human expertise with a community of language experts all around the world to train translation models and make them even better. That’s right, our neural translation models are in the hands of experts.
e-Discovery can be a long, daunting process even in the best of times. In today’s globalized world of data, however, you not only have to worry about the sheer amount of information but also what language the content is in. This is where Neural Machine Translation comes in to break that language barrier. As fast as NMT is, though, odds are you have dreamed about how to make your systems even more efficient. How do you ensure any job can get completed on even the most ambitious of timelines?
As noted by Anju Khurana, Head of Privacy of the Americas, Bank of New York Mellon, “There are now over 100+ privacy laws in the world and GDPR is driving other countries to adopt similar regulations.” (corpcounsel.com, Oct. 2019). The California Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”) which comes into effect on January 1, 2020, is the latest, and very likely not the last. Most data privacy experts anticipate additional states enacting data privacy regulations and think it likely that Congress will eventually do so at the federal level.
SYSTRAN has been wholeheartedly involved in open source development over the past few years via the OpenNMT initiative,whose goal is to build a ready-to-use, fully inclusive, industry and research ready development framework for Neural Machine Translation (NMT). OpenNMT guarantees state-of-the-art systems to be integrated into SYSTRAN products and motivates us to continuously innovate.
In 2017, we published OpenNMT-tf, an open source toolkit for neural machine translation. This project is integrated into SYSTRAN’s model training architecture and plays a key role in the production of the 2nd generation of NMT engines.
Since the publication of the Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence by the White House this past February, many government agencies are struggling with getting started in AI. They realize use of this technology will help them be more efficient. However, finding those tasks that will be “quick wins” in moving towards AI adoption is the main challenge.
Last month, we conducted a webinar “So, You Think Your Game Is Localized?”, the first of a 3-part-series given by Elizabeth Senouci from XTM International, and Victor Ramirez from SYSTRAN.
If you couldn’t guess by the title, “So, You Think Your Game Is Localized?” was a webinar focused on Video Game Localization. Senouci and Ramirez are both experts on the topic and thus decided to share their knowledge with the video games community.
In the webinar, Senouci and Ramirez discussed the need for game localization, some basic terminologies associated with it, user interfaces, global marketing, and the importance of customer service.
“Localization isn’t just one thing you can do and just get done with it. It’s a holistic process and it’s actually customized based on your game, your product,” Elizabeth said in her intro.
For staff of multinational companies who want to translate a simple phrase or word, systems like Google or Microsoft come in just handy. They help you order a taxi in Japan, pay your restaurant bill in France, and impress your clients with a hearty “jó reggelt” (“good morning”) in Budapest. The problem is such tools are notorious for imprecise translations and data leaks.
Would you really want to use Google Translate for that internal email to your affiliates in another country?
On the other hand, research from the European Parliament shows that on average a common language increases trade flows by 44%. So, how do you – and your staff – hack through language barriers and achieve professional communication in the business world?
Machine Translation users care about quality and performance. Based on our own observations and the feedback we’ve received; the quality of our Neural MT is impressive. Evaluating performance is a stickier subject, but we’d like to dig our hands in and present our innovations and achievements and how it benefits NMT users.
By performance we mostly mean the manner in which a system performs in terms of speed and efficiency in varying production environments. It is important to note that performance and quality in Neural MT are tightly connected: it is easy to accelerate a given model compromising on the quality. Therefore, when evaluating performance improvement, we always check that quality remains very close to optimal quality.
Since switching to NMT at the end of 2016, we’ve invested our R&D efforts into optimizing our engines to be more efficient, while maintaining and even improving translation accuracy. Our latest, 2nd generation NMT engines, available in our latest release of SYSTRAN Pure Neural® Server, implements several technical optimizations that make the translation faster and more efficient.
New model architecture
The first generation of neural translation engines was based on recurrent neural networks (RNN). This architecture requires the source text to be encoded sequentially, word by word, before generating the translation.
Data leakage and lack of information are two critical issues that can harm businesses. Nonetheless, due to the ever-growing global marketing and communication needs, the temptation to use the fast and free online translation tools are rising.
Apart from the apparent dangers that these tools pose to businesses such as miscommunication, loss of business, and cultural insults, there is critical important threat that many enterprises often fail to recognize.
Whenever an employee uses a free online translation tool, they may cause massive data privacy breaches by making the consumer data searchable. Data breaches as such mainly happen due to employee negligence looking for quick machine translation, and it can often put millions of customers’ sensitive data at exposed on the internet.
Companies thus struggle to find the right balance between enabling business and securing information. Without the capability of translating software, potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of employees could turn to free translation tools to get their content translated in turn making the content available online.
Until recently, using machine translation (MT) was considered a hindrance by serious translators. Now that machine translation is powered by artificial intelligence, translators in the government are intrigued by this new technology. Forward-thinking linguist programs recognize the value of MT, and it’s only a matter of time when others will follow suit. Consider these four reasons as motivation for modernizing the status quo:
1. Translate Smarter
As with many other skilled professions – accountants, doctors, analysts – technology is a time-saver. Translators now have the same benefit. In fact, commercial benchmarks show that neural MT helps translators post-edit at 2000 words per hour. Without technology, which is typically the case in the government, translators translate at 300 words per hour. Imagine the time-savings — the same 6000-word document can now be translated in 3 hours instead of 20. Additionally, SYSTRAN MT will retain the formatting of the original document, which further saves time.