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ISE2022 in Barcelona – Day 2 How to overcome language barriers with AI, Speech To Text and MT

Wednesday May 11, 2022
News about:

Moderator: 

  • Artur Zanón, Expansión journalist and Chief of Department

Panel: 

  • Baris Icer, RWS Sales Specialist Translation Technologies
  • Stefano Ivan Aldrovandi, Head of International Operations
  • Karina Gilbert, Director of Investigation Centre & Artificial Intelligence IDEAI-UPC and UP
  • Enrico Giannotti, CEDAT85 Managing Director
  • Selena Gray, Speech -I Marketing Director

Content:

After the presentation by the moderator, Enrico Giannotti shared the company’s objectives and presented the CABOLO® device. The important thing about conversations is to understand the entire content, something that does not happen when not enough technology is used. This is precisely the innovation that this device introduces, it is the only system that integrates recording, transcription, and translation services in real-time, based on Artificial Intelligence. It is intended to improve efficiency and productivity, inclusion and accessibility in various sectors whether public administrations, companies or universities among many other sectors. 

To the first question about what are the losses for the use of native language, Karina Gilbert commented that everyone communicates ideas better in their native language, so when you switch to a foreign language, you lose a lot in the meaning of messages and in the power of speech. The current globalisation entails the constant use of foreign languages, which sometimes creates great losses for small companies, of which there are many in Spain. For this reason, it is necessary to have speech recognition and automatic translation tools that can be used by small and large companies, for which it is necessary to create resources that can be made available to the latter.

In the words of Baris Içer, at present, we all have the possibility of accessing a large number of resources available on the internet, but many of them we do not understand because they are content that needs to be translated, requiring resources to be invested in human translators. This, on many occasions, lacks sense and utility, which is why machine translation technology with Artificial Intelligence is a clear advantage for companies to save costs and time.

Regarding inclusion and accessibility, Baris Içer adds that, from his personal experience, dealing with other colleagues, clients, and partners are faster and more efficient since the existing problems regarding the different languages ​​have been ironed out.

Continuing the theme of inclusivity and accessibility, Selena Gray highlights it as a hot topic these days, especially in the pandemic. There are many people with hearing impairment who, due to working remotely, have found it difficult to manage their day-to-day work, a problem that can be solved with the function of transcribing conversations in real-time.

Both Enrico Giannotti and Karina Gilbert mentioned that this point is also important with speakers who, for example, do not English natively or when they are in noisy environments where it is difficult to follow a conversation. They both added that there are cases in which the digital division means that companies do not use e-commerce tools due to the language barriers.

Regarding the issue of investment costs, Stefano Aldrovandi pointed out that it is an interesting topic to analyse, since it is necessary to assess the time that a human translator invests, the innovation that integrates a translation system and the difficulty in finding a person who has the skills to carry out certain translations. In other words, what today is a cost, tomorrow will be an investment. On the other hand, Enrico Giannotti added that the function of the meeting report must be highlighted at this point. Before it was done manually, involving time and money, with this technology, you have the minutes practically and instantly, which has many applications. To give an example, in the plenary sessions of city councils and public entities that need to have the report quickly to approve the points discussed at the meeting in addition to having greater transparency.

About how the pandemic has influenced language barriers. Stefano Aldrovandi has answered as a person directly affected due to his position. Before he used to travel a lot and held many face-to-face meetings in different countries. Now, many are remote and need to know exactly what is being said to make quick decisions based on correct content. On the question of what is most important to companies when developing new products, whether cost reduction or saving times; Enrico Giannotti pointed out that both facts are equally relevant, but there are many situations where confidentiality and information security are more important. We are living in a world that is changing a lot, and we are introducing a lot of technology, even opening our houses to external companies such as uploading information on the cloud. However, there are situations in which companies prefer to completely preserve the information before the possibility of having it. So, the challenges are to be able to save time, increase productivity to provide accuracy, provide a successful solution, but also to preserve data. This is the real challenge.

Baris Içer concludes the answer by underlining that in a certain way, a company is also stronger because everyone feels connected to each other and the security aspect is highly crucial. The information that is shared can one day be used against you, so people should to ensure that their digital footprint is as clean as possible.

Finally, the issue of the human mind versus machines is addressed. Enrico Giannotti emphasises that the human brain will never be completely replaced by technology, it has to be at the service of people, and improve work. But there are situations in which important discussions take place that are only accessible to those who attend, and it is not just a matter of reading a text. It is also a matter of creating it in another language correctly, without any changes and this does not imply the employees to be made redundant and replaced by technology but instead their day-to-day work life has been improved with technology as it has been the case for CEDAT85 throughout these years.

Karina adds that only human beings are capable of correcting properly, but doing the transcription and translation takes a lot of time and is something that can be done in much less time and with higher quality since all human errors have already been eliminated. It consists of improving what the machine is offering.