GALA Innovations in Language Technology

I presented on the Internationalization Tag Set 2.0 and gave a demonstration of Reviewer’s Workbench at yesterday’s GALA “Innovations in Language Technology” pre-Think Latin America event. It seemed to go well: I couldn’t spot anyone sleeping.

Highlights of the various presentations

Vincent Wade, CNGL – Research at CNGL

Prof. Vincent Wade, Director of CNGL set the stage for the afternoon by talking about the challenges of volume, variety and velocity and the arrival of Intelligent Content followed by an overview of the research activities at the Centre.

Steve Gotz talked knowledgeably (as he always does) about the differences between invention and innovation. Seemingly our industry has been guilty of only doing incremental innovation rather than disruptive invention. Luckily CNGL can help with the latter.

Tony O’Dowd, Kantan – Machine Translation and Quality

Tony talked about the dichotomy of machine translation quality metrics used by system developers versus the measurements that are more of interest to those downstream from the raw MT output: Post-Editors, Project Managers, etc. He proposed an interesting way of bridging this divide.

Reinhard Schäler, Rosetta Foundation – Collaborative Translation and Non-market Localization Models

Reinhard talked about the great work that is being done by volunteer translators and how this highly collaborative model could influence the future of the industry in the medium to long term. He also covered the Open Source Solas localization platform which is the backbone of the Rosetta production environment and includes a component called “Solas Match”: a dating application for “connecting translators to content”.

Summary

Between presentations there was some stimulating and interesting discussions around the impact that disruptive technologies could have on the industry, the challenges of carrying out innovation in the industry, the future of Language Service Providers and non-market localization.

There’s probably not enough of this type of conversation that happens in the industry, particularly between the service providers, possibly because we are all concerned about differentiating our offerings. However, as Arle Lommel pointed out to me, if those differentiating factors can be assimilated by someone else within the space of an afternoon, it probably wasn’t much of a differentiator!