Is AI Translation Really Changing the Industry?

Is AI Translation Really Changing the Industry?
Progress Development Innovation Improvment Concept

As the business arena becomes more globalised, the need for localisation grows and that growth fuels the demand for better and more effective translation technologies, such as AI translation. As they say, necessity is the mother of all inventions, and this philosophy stands true even for translation technology.

The growth in translation needs gave birth to machine translation (MT), which overcame much of the challenges posed by traditional translation processes. But new challenges keep cropping up. Fortunately, newer technologies are showing up to save the day.

One such technology is Artificial Intelligence or AI-based translation. AI translation offers distinct advantages compared to its predecessor. For instance, it can factor in linguistic nuances and context to provide more accurate translations.

Already in Play

AI-based translation is already at play and can be seen everywhere from Google to Facebook. For instance, if you visit an international website via Google Chrome, you’ll have the option of seeing the translated version. This Google-owned automated translation service requires almost no human involvement or intervention, generating a complete webpage translation within seconds.

Microsoft is also offering its own real-time translation app, which can translate speech, text, and even images. What’s even more amazing is that this application can run offline, making instant translation a reality.

Even Facebook switched to AI translation as its primary approach in 2017.

Neural Machine Translation (NMT)

Traditional MT relied upon existing translations or translation memories to get the job done. Now Neural Machine Translation or NMT steps in. It runs based on translation memories as well but it goes further by implementing deep learning to boost translation accuracy.

NMT literally builds what is called an artificial neural network, like a human brain. Unlike traditional machine translation software, the system can now correct and improve itself constantly by going back, assessing, and correcting its approach or method. Traditional or statistical MT fails to provide the same level of accuracy as it relies solely on correlation to choose the best possible translation. Elite Asia’s AI translation solution is a promise of cost-saving, offering quality work with shorter turnaround time.


AI-based translation has come quite far but some challenges remained unsolved. Grammatical inaccuracies and the lack of nuance are some of the frailties being widely criticised. Though it may be evolving, it is too soon to predict its overall impact on the translation and localisation industry, and leaving human translation a necessity.

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