Now’s the time to go with the flow – the MT tide is not for turning

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is in full flight and the changes it will bring will include a paradigm shift in translation and localisation industry. The most obvious change already being affected is the widespread introduction of neural machine translation. This is a transformation that started off slowly just four years ago but has now developed a speed of change that is obliging the industry to run just to keep up. As with the introduction the CAT tools in the 1990s – Trados and Catalyst being the pioneering engines of that change – the translators who are essential to our industry are both sceptical and worried that they soon will be displaced by machines.

However, as it was with CAT technology, I have no doubt the doubters will be won over as they realise that they are not being displace but rather the configuration of the production line is evolving and that they will continue to be an essential part of the process. Production roles will evolve over time and translators will have to adapt to the new technologies to compete.  But let me state a simple fact, without the professional translators the business of translation would die. They will never be replaced.

Surf board

The new evolving paradigm is being driven by the rise of technology such as KantanSkynet. This ground-breaking technology is a complementary post-editing platform for KantanMT. By leveraging this sophisticated, yet easy-to-use cloud-based platform, KantanMT clients can deliver automated translation solutions. For it to work it needs the input of a global community of professional translators. The technology employs AI to determine the quality of translated texts and automatically routes low-quality texts to professional translators for improvements. These enhanced translations are then re-integrated into the translation engine. It is a symbiotic process that leads to high quality translation engines.

And what is clear, the kernel of this hybrid technology is the marrying of human skills with technological prowess. Without the translators the technology would not function. What is driving the evolution of such hybrid solutions is the increasing demand for the translation of huge swathes of data. Today it is estimated that Big Data provides 2.5 quintillion bytes of information per day. Now, if you are like me, you’ll will never have heard of the measure quintillion it is 1 million billion bytes. In old money, that’s a lot of floppy disks! The demand is in itself enabled by the exponential growth in computing power and the affordability of these high-powered machines. The emergence of the unlimited storage capacity of the cloud, coupled with the fibre optic communications highway and you have all of the elements needed to drive change in the industry. Just like King Canute, famed for failing to order the incoming tide to cease, fail too will translators who ignore the drive of this new technology.

There is an upside for translators, under the KantanSkyNet workflow model, downtime will become a thing of the past. Let me explain, if a translator is travelling by train, they can logon to the KantanSkynet platform and work for the duration of that journey. That’s money earned while travelling. If they are between large projects, as is often the case, they can fill that time by logging on and working on a KantanSkynet project. The projects will vary in size and so a translator need only commit to work that suits the free time they have.

The bottom line is translators can now earn money anytime, anywhere simply by logging on to KantanSkynet and use their mobile device to undertake work that improves machine-translated texts. The fusion of human and machine is happening. It is a mutually advantageous relationship. It is also the way of the future. Get onboard and work the partnership.

Aidan Collins is Marketing Manager at KantanMT

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