Discussions from TAUS Annual Conference 2017

By Olga Beregovaya, VP of Language Services at Welocalize and Tuyen Ho, VP of Corporate Development at Welocalize

The TAUS Annual Conference 2017 took place October 30-31 in San Jose, CA USA. Members of Welocalize’s senior management team attended to participate in discussions on industry strategies and drive collaboration and partnership within the localization and translation sector.

Olga Beregovaya, VP of Language Services at Welocalize and Tuyen Ho, VP of Corporate Development at Welocalize, both took part in this year’s TAUS Annual Conference. In this joint blog, Olga and Tuyen have teamed up to share their thoughts and highlight some of the key discussion points from the conference.

 ONE: Crossing over to Artificial Intelligence (AI)

“Many conversations at localization and translation industry events often cover similar subjects. We’ve been talking about these subjects for many years, such as machine translation (MT), data, reporting, quality and ROI. However, how we talk about these subjects has changed dramatically. Instead of just talking about MT, we now talk about MT in the context of deep learning and neural networks, crossing over to artificial intelligence (AI). At the TAUS conference, there were two very promising products presented by Lilt and ModernMT, both combining the advantages of neural MT and adaptive MT, thus allowing translators to benefit from both the most advanced MT technology and the engines’ ability to learn on the fly as the translator progresses through the job. We now also talk about MT as it is used for real-time automated speech translation, a rapidly evolving field that is now getting a lot of well-deserved attention. Data is now discussed in the context of utilizing it for training machine learning algorithms that evaluate and predict the quality of translation job outcomes, and the emphasis in the value of data for reporting is yet again put on the data harmonization in order for machines to be able to learn.” – Olga

TWO: Evolution of translators’ profession

“The other interesting new trend in this year’s TAUS discussions is the opposite of ‘automation’ of translation – the newly discovered creative aspect of the translators’ profession. With machines and technology taking on more day-to-day work, translators are becoming brand ambassadors and cultural consultants focusing on producing transcreated content.” – Olga

“How is our industry preparing global talent to adapt, as the pace of automation continues to impact the complexity and velocity of the content development life cycle? With MT, linguists already enhance their skills to include post-editing.  With AI, project managers who can effectively apply AI to the right business questions will be in high demand.” – Tuyen

THREE: Emphasis on Content Not Translation

“As an industry, our default choice of how we describe a process or anchor a solution pivots around ‘translation’. For corporate stakeholders outside of the localization team, a discussion about translation will often result in a big gaping yawn. Instead, if we shift the context to talk about content, business stakeholders are keen to understand how content relates to digital transformation, e-commerce strategy and the total customer experience.  For product companies, translation shouldn’t be an afterthought activity at the end of the software development life cycle (SDLC), but should be considered as a core product feature critical to the overall user experience.” – Tuyen


FOUR – A New Approach to Content Creation

“The practice of relying on a conventional translation process to achieve quality was also challenged at the TAUS conference. More content is already being professionally produced directly in the target language. Content creators now include contributors from the core and far-flung edges of a brand’s community. The content includes videos, GIFs and images. How many brands are envisioning an end-to-end content development sprint that places the linguists further upstream alongside the marketing agencies? Are we and the technology we rely on ready to support visual and audio content at scale?  How does language stay relevant in a non-text based world? – Tuyen


 “The industry continues to change and evolve and many of these key points were captured in every aspect of the TAUS Annual Conference 2017 – presentations, panel discussions and great disruptive products presented in the innovation contests.” – Olga

Click here for more information on TAUS

Further reading on MT + NMT:

Welocalize White Paper – MT: Neural or Neutral?

Welocalize Update on Neural Machine Translation

Neural Machine Translation is the Next Big Thing

Welocalize Machine Translation (MT) Solutions