Technology has changed the landscape of the international workforce. Whilst this has greatly helped in the globalisation, there are still some areas that need improvement like language processing and translation. Processes may have developed within the last decades but it is apparent that there are still struggles in translating documents in an effective and timely manner. To understand this better, it’s important to know about its roots first.
The history of machine translation or the usage of computers to produce translations dates back to the 1950s. American scientist Warren Weaver put together a set of proposals on how to turn the idea of machine translation into reality. It was during that time when interest and support on its research was fueled by visions of translating texts, especially relating to military intelligence. By the early 1990s, methods for machine translation have gradually improved with the help of low-cost and more powerful computers. Better statistical methods have been put to use to generate translations.
Today, you can see how artificial intelligence is doing its job in the translation industry. Maybe you are browsing an international page in Google and you noticed it was translated to your preferred language. That is AI in action. Although there are still instances when it gets lost in translation, research is being done to develop more efficient methods. In fact, there is what we call Neural or Deep Learning Machine Translation which is a more accurate method of translating. In this system, instead of translating individual words, it considers the whole text and analyses it for context. This function is more fluent sounding and accurate.
Many of the tasks today are done by machines and are supervised by humans who are experts in production. Maybe this will also be the future of the translation industry. But for now, to have a reliable and fast translation, relying on the combination of artificial intelligence and human translators is the key to achieving better results.
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