Content Curation

The limits of AI technology? Let's look into interpretation

 

AP | Portugal Tech Language Solutions' content curation not only aims to disseminate knowledge, by embracing this important role, we also take the selection of the best and most valid content in multiple areas very seriously.

Information remains a powerful weapon, even more, in the circumstances around the world these days.

 

Alice, the virtual receptionist

 

The demand for virtual humans is rising steadily as the technology improves and becomes useful in more verticals. The receptionists powered by Hour One are in the same family as the videos created by Synthesia a startup that recently raised $12.5 million to continue developing its platform for producing videos for the marketing and educational markets.

Virtual human software developer Hour One has taught its Alice Receptionist AI to speak in multiple languages. The virtual receptionist is capable of synthesizing speech and video simultaneously, regardless of the language or text it is given. This is a feature that, “augments what human subjects can do in real life,” said Natalie Monbiot of Hour One in an interview with Voicebot. “You can submit new text in Spanish, Arabic, German, etc. without having to back to the studio. We are replacing the camera with code.”

Alice performs the same role as a receptionist in office buildings, hotels, and conference venues, except the visual and vocal elements, are synthesized digitally to create the impression of a human speaking the words the person interacting with it hears. This approach offers versatility for a virtual human receptionist.

The AI can welcome and check-in guests, print badges and connect people with human employees for video chats. Those capabilities now include conversing in more than just English. Hour One has taught the Alice AI Spanish, Arabic, and French Canadian, and has plans to install more soon.

 

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One new challenge surrounding RSI

 

Remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI) exploded during the Covid pandemic after meetings and conferences were forced to go virtual. Clients flocked to RSI providers sooner than they might have otherwise.

The long-term impact on interpreters, and the profession at large, is yet to be seen. In a series of June 10, 2021 tweets, Giovanna Lester, a conference interpreter and President of the Brazilian Association of Translators and Interpreters, asked colleagues for their take on at least one new challenge surrounding RSI.

“#RSI client tells agency they are not going to record the interpretation, no recording fee needed. Cool. Today, the agency contacts me to review work of the live captioning team on my and my boothmate’s interpretation,” Lester wrote. “How can we handle that?”

 

The limits of current AI technology? Interpretation

 

Over the past couple of years, you couldn’t attend a conference about translation services without getting an earful about artificial intelligence and machine translation, and how this technology is on the verge of overturning traditional human-led language services.

Let’s move to interpretation. It is obvious that there isn’t as much technological disruption in the field of interpretation, because, well, it would be as simple as a text-to-speech engine that reads out the machine translation. I’m not sure how many people are aware of this, but at the 2018 session of the Boao Forum, which is the equivalent of Davos in Asia, an ambitious Chinese company named Tencent attempted to provide A.I.-powered real-time translation, instead of having the work done by simultaneous interpreters. Well, when certain speakers broke grammatical rules of their native languages (this happens quite often, especially in Mandarin), or misused certain terminology, it yielded some pretty hilarious results, such as translating “Road and Belt” (supposed to be Belt and Road) as “a path and a conveyer belt”, and stating “tigers will be an important technology of the future”. Tencent had demonstrated the limits of current A.I. technology. It cannot cope with human errors or humans that do not articulate their words with perfect grammar and vocabulary.

 

Video Remote Interpreting -   AP _ PORTUGAL

 

Will AI replace writers?

 

Copy AI, Conversion AI, Anyword, Copysmith, Writesonic and Shortly AI. They are designed to transform simple human inputs (like brainstorm notes and bullet points) into clean prose — full sentences that pass off as human creativity.

It’s all but inevitable that AI writing assistants will help shape the future of content marketing and copywriting. The matter of how much, though, is still up for debate.

Will AI replace writers? I posed this question to Dave Rogenmoser, co-founder and CEO of Conversion AI. “Yes and no,” he told me.

“Low-level copywriting and content creation is in serious jeopardy,” he said. “It doesn’t replace really good people.” But give it 10 years, Rogenmoser said, and eventually, services like his probably will be able to write feature-length articles as good as mine — not just “B+” ad copy.

“It doesn’t mean that you’re gone,” he said, perhaps sensing my unease over our video chat. “It just turns everyone into an editor.”

 

Synthetic media also brings questions

 

In recent years ‘synthetic media’ has emerged as a catch-all term used to describe video, image, text, and voice that has been fully or partially generated by computers. 

Synthetic media will significantly accelerate creative expression and lessen the gap between ideas and content. It will bring with it new methods of communication and storytelling, enable unprecedented human-computer interfaces, and challenge our perception of where the digital realm begins and ends.

But synthetic media also brings with it questions about how we consume and contextualize media. The societal impact of this new category of technologies has been a hot topic in the press over the last two years. 

 

Social Responsibility at AP Portugal - Abia Digital-1

 

ABOUT US

 

AP | PORTUGAL Tech Language Solutions is a Portuguese translation company certified by the ISO 17100 International Quality Standard. The company offers a wide range of language services, which include translation (TEP), post-editing machine translation (PEMT), transcription, desktop publishing and subtitling, voice talent, software, and website localization technology, SEO, and consulting. It invests enthusiastically in the development of partnerships and cooperation anywhere in the world where your organization may need a partner for the African, Brazilian, and European Portuguese language

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