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Navigating the AI Era: Insights from Alex Leschinsky

Navigating the AI Era- Insights from Alex Leschinsky
Photo Courtesy: Effectiff

The translation industry is significantly impacted by technological advancements. With the rise of neural machine translation (NMT) and AI assistants like ChatGPT, the industry faces another major shift. The question arises, not for the first time, but louder than ever before: will human translators and language service vendors become obsolete?

Alex Leschinsky, CEO of the successful language services company Effectiff, feels secure in his business’s prospects. His experience and cases from fellow industry leaders show that the best way forward is the synthesis of human expertise and AI-based tools.

With over 18 years in the translation business, Alex has seen several waves of technological advancements that profoundly transformed the field, from computer-assisted translation tools to the latest AI-driven platforms. The question of when translators would be entirely replaced by machines has been a constant companion in his journey.

“I regularly attend major industry conferences, and the discussions with colleagues about the impending evolution of our roles are as active as ever. It’s impossible not to sense a degree of uncertainty and even anxiety over how AI and automation are reshaping the field. However, as the owner of a translation company that’s embracing AI in different forms and shapes, from machine translation to speech synthesis to digital avatars, I believe that the moment of complete substitution is still very far away,” Leschinsky explains.

At Effectiff, Alex’s team of linguists and engineers actively leverage modern tech to optimize workflows and provide more cost-effective solutions to clients. The team’s traditional workflows now seamlessly merge with machine translation post-editing (MTPE). Language experts review and refine machine-generated translations to ensure the end result meets high standards of accuracy and cultural sensitivity, creating human-in-the-loop systems where human feedback continuously improves machine translation engines.

The great thing about MTPE is that the more translators edit the output from machine translation engines, the better it gets and the less editing they eventually need to perform. Translation Memories (TM) is another useful technology that helps reduce translation costs: previously translated segments are stored in a dedicated database and can be reused for repetitive sentences. This allows for consistent, efficient translations and gradually reduces the need for extensive manual editing over time. Thanks to the combination of translation software with built-in TM and smart post-editing, Effectiff has managed to boost productivity and decrease delivery time while maintaining excellent quality standards.

Technology also benefits interpreters, not just written translation. Although a fully functional and efficient AI Interpreter is still only a promise due to the inherent complexity of live interpreting, AI is widely used to streamline communication with tools like speech-to-text (STT). STT technology converts spoken language into written text in real-time and is central to many other technologies like automatic language detection and caption or subtitle generation. These are useful in interpretation scenarios, for instance, when captions and subtitles are used either in place of an interpreter or to complement a live interpreter to help the audience follow along. STT is also widely used in multimedia localization.

Video remote interpreting (VRI) enhances efficiency, especially for sign language interpretation for the deaf and hard of hearing in settings where accessibility is a priority. It’s also a game changer for spoken language interpreting in conferences or meetings, even when participants are remote – a common scenario in the post-COVID world.

Smaller tasks within large translation and localization projects are also robustly handled by AI at Effectiff. “We use machine algorithms and software to optimize many processes. One of our latest tools is an anonymizer that automatically conceals private and sensitive data before translation, enhancing data protection for our clients,” says Alex.

Alex remarks that while these tools are shifting the translation industry, they are still nowhere near replacing human experts. AI cannot replicate creativity, deep cultural awareness, and other aspects of human interaction essential for nuanced and contextually accurate translations. Areas like game localization, app localization, and product localization, among others, are acutely aware of AI’s limitations. No algorithm can fully grasp and convey the emotional depth and connotations embedded in creative content.

Interpreting poses additional challenges, both technical and socio-cultural. Technical issues include background noise or possible loss of connection, while socio-cultural challenges involve non-verbal information like body language and gestures or a multitude of accents. Confidentiality and privacy concerns also play a significant role.

Alex foresees a temporary setback as AI safety concerns gain traction. Potential biases in algorithms and the risk of misinformation make AI a double-edged sword. In translation, AI errors can have serious consequences, such as misinterpreted dosage instructions on medication labels, inaccuracies in contract translations leading to legal disputes, or miscommunications in international negotiations that might escalate tensions. Human quality assurance remains the best protection against such risks.

Current debates across industries and new legislation in the US and the EU have already led to restrictions on the unregulated use of AI technology. Alex finds this tendency not only natural but, in many ways, positive.

“I believe that tighter AI controls could be a wake-up call for our industry to double down on the human touch. After all, the natural languages we work with are called ‘natural’ for a reason. It’s the nuanced understanding and creative interpretation that humans offer that truly brings languages to life. AI and other technologies can streamline our work but not do it for us,” concludes Leschinsky.

It becomes clear why Alex feels secure about the future of his company and the market as a whole. The intersection of AI and translation is evolving, and the coexistence of both seems to be the new reality for forward-looking language service providers like Effectiff.

Contact Information:

Company name: Effectiff

Address: 11820 Miramar Parkway, ste 125, Miramar, Fl, 33027

Email address: 

Phone number: +1 (929) 999-5719

Published by: Nelly Chavez

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