Our world is evolving at a rapid rate. In our lifetime we have seen the advent of the internet, smart phones, developments in AI and robotics, the stuff of science fiction has now become a reality. The financial gains being made by businesses adopting tech forward business practices are reported daily, however the worth of the global technology market is immeasurable. Organizations across the globe are migrating to cloud based systems, integrating their human entities with user interfaces in departments such as sales and customer service. Gone are the days of just picking up a phone to speak to someone at a business. Live chat, Skpe, IP enabled comms are all common practice in the workplace now, with international partners, clients and colleagues just the press of a button away. In this blog we look at how technology advances have impacted the language service industry and vice versa, how LSP’s are providing tech savvy platforms to improve global communications for their customers.
The Cloud Technology
For those familiar with it, The Cloud is a godsend for both personal and business use. While tech historians cannot accurately pinpoint who invented or initiated the idea of The Cloud, it is well documented that John McCarthy championed the concept of a public utility, accessible to all. However other sources state that JCR Licklider, who played a vital role in the early internet was also of the same opinion that a public access domain or facility to allow Joe Public to store, share and utilize online ‘space’ would revolutionize how people would use computers.
The fact that this service is accessible anywhere in the world falls perfectly in-line with how modern day LSP’s and their clients like to operate. The need and desire for speedy access to information at any time, no matter your geographical location has become almost standard practice. Businesses expect international service at a moment’s notice. Cloud computing solves a problem that 20 years ago blighted businesses. Expansive volumes of data require adequate storage infrastructure. Using The Cloud as a secure service to host information is now as common as high definition display. Businesses worldwide are using and offering cloud based solutions to promote speedier results for their clients.
While there are still issues to contend with, most notably increased security and network reliability, more and more Language Service Providers are migrating to cloud computing. The glitches will be ironed out in time and people’s confidence is growing in submitting business critical information via this method. With GDPR still very much a hot topic, the improvements in data storage security is imperative to the future successes of all business using a cloud-based solution.
AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Since the dawn of literary Science Fiction mankind has had an obsession with the evolution of machines. Hollywood both glamorized and demonized AI with epics such as the Star Wars and Terminator franchises. Both series of films predicted (what was then seen as fiction) a future that integrated everyday live with robotics and artificial ‘bots’ to help enhance and improve as well as to serve and protect. From the pages of book and silver screen, the use of artificial intelligence is becoming a way of life for us all.
The use of voice-activated search engines such as Siri or Alexa have revolutionized the way we use the internet or our phones. Automated vacuum cleaners, autonomous cars, neural machines that adapt and learn from the data they are fed are already here. So where does the use of AI in Language Services go from here? We NMT engines are fast becoming the go to platform for rapid turnaround translation. Syncing these engines with cloud-based platforms allows businesses to develop an evolving and limitless network of information accessible from any location at any time. Reactive machines that learn from their users or uploaded data are already enhancing the translation process, and while there will always be a need for human interaction in this industry, business models are changing to re-train a more collaborative approach. Culminating human experience and knowledge with the speed and efficiency of a machine. While we are still (hopefully) many years away from robots walking our streets, human interaction with AI is now an everyday occurrence and is positively impacting on how LSP’s operate.
AR (Augmented Reality)
Augmented Reality is a recent development that has impacted hugely on a number of sectors across the world. The use of AR has been adopted by a number of tech savvy high-profile clients who are pushing the boundaries of their service. For any of you who aren’t familiar with AR, it allows businesses to combine digital elements with live action views. The use of smart cameras on phones and tablets enables the user to place objects, people, anything really into a live shot and interact with the addition. Pokemon Go is probably the most commonly known use of AR, but the tech has been adopted by retail, automotive, dining and even defense and security organizations across the globe. It allows a ‘try before you buy’ scenario to be exercised, enabling consumers and clients to see their desires in situ before committing to the item, product or service.
The LSP industry is utilizing AR in a very shrewd way. There are a number of apps on the market that allow users to use their smart phones to ‘live translate’ written information just by pointing their camera at a piece of text and choosing the desired end language. This technology still has a lot of development work left to perfect, however for rough translations and basic conversational conversions, this AR solution is fast becoming a trend, we predict, LSP’s will develop into a major part of their product offerings over the next few years.
Our world is becoming more and more reliant on technology. This means for us as a business, our services will become more and more tech focused and reliable with the development and deployment of more online, cloud based and neural products and platforms. One thing that we always promise at JONCKERS, no matter how focused we become on digital and tech advancements, is we will always promote human involvement. You will always talk to a person and not a machine and we still offer the same great customer loyalty and service we always have. So our clients know someone will always be at the other end of a phone, Skype call or email, because we realize, no matter how fast technology becomes and how much our industry becomes reliant on it, human interaction is key in understanding our clients’ needs.