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  • Writer's pictureMaría Palomares Tarí


In this increasingly digital age, it is no secret that machines and software today can easily understand spoken words and translate them to a target language. In fact, the most significant impact today within the Localization space is the realms of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). But to what extent can the translation and localization sectors be affected by this technology?

Let’s begin with some theory! AI refers to an artificial creation of human-like intelligence that can learn, reason, perceive, plan, or process natural language. This technology has promising translation and localization abilities: Natural Language Processing (NLP) and deep learning using Convolution Neural Networks (CNN) are able to bring context and grammar to translated phrases. Equally, virtual assistants like “Siri” or “Alexa”, which work on Speech Recognition and Natural Language Processing, interpret commands and questions with the variations and subtle nuances we have in our speech. How amazing is that?

Companies in every sector are beginning to explore the possibilities of adding AI – and especially machine learning (ML), deep learning (DL), and text-to-speech (TTS) technology – into their business model. The truth about the Localization sector is that AI and ML have long been back engine contributors to language services processing in functions like text-to-speech, but this landscape is evolving: AI platforms have improved exponentially in the handling of language-related tasks, to the point of enabling an almost fully automated and pain-free localization process.

Does that mean the human component is no longer needed? Nothing could be further from the truth! The human factor of language services has never been more critical and employee talent will be needed long-term. Human resources provide the crucial quality control role, reviewing and modifying machine translations, ever improving natural language processing models with authentic human understanding and feedback. Besides, AI has several limitations in the context of Localization when working on content with considerable cross-talk or high context content (like humor).

AI is then far from making the human intervention in Localization redundant, but it is promising to reduce cost and cycle time significantly.

This technology is essentially opening opportunities for businesses to target new markets across borders as the process of having a fully localized and personalized (and not simply translated) website, product and/or service is becoming a lot more rapid and accurate. If a Localization provider is not in tune with the latest AI advancements, it is easy to fall behind and lose a considerable chunk of business – investing in AI-related R&D and choosing the right translation and localization services provider is vital to stay ahead of the game!

Whether it is Localization, or any other industry, it has been proven that AI has immense potential to influence the future. However, it is – and will be for a long time to come– the combination of machines and human expertise what will greatly impact business performance.


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