AI and Localization: The New Way Forward

Last Updated May 9, 2022

ai and localization

Speed up projects and reduce costs as AI and localization converge.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping the world in limitless ways, including language services.

In all honesty, traditional translation and localization solutions are pretty accurate and efficient. The processes were refined and mastered over time, although they don’t necessarily produce results as fast as we’d like.

And speed is at a premium when overcoming the communication barrier for the over 7,000 languages used worldwide.

But you can drastically reduce time spent on localization projects with the help of AI. By dramatically reducing the number of human touches, the cost will go down as well.

Quicker turnaround times and reduced costs don’t sacrifice quality of work either.

AI, in conjunction with human proofing, accurately reproduces your messaging to target markets all over the world.

How AI Is Changing Localization

AI and Machine Learning

AI leverages machine learning to imitate the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human brain.

The AI learns by processing vast amounts of data. That’s how simple language rules evolved into advanced machine translation systems that can convert huge amounts of information in milliseconds.

Let’s use conversational AI as an example. This covers a range of technologies that combine machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), contextual awareness, and other advanced tools to facilitate a real-time dialog between human and computer.

Think chatbotsvoice assistants, and a broad spectrum of interactive voice-controlled systems from phones to vehicles.

Sophisticated voice recognition systems require large volumes of speech data encompassing a broad spectrum of human interactions. In this way, they can recognize different people’s speech in a variety of circumstances, allowing conversation to be as natural as possible.

But what good are these advancements to you if they aren’t tailored to your unique language and voice?

Advanced Language Solutions

Localization is the adaptation of a particular product, service, or technology – and its corresponding content – to the linguistic and cultural standards of a given country or region.

This applies to website content, mobile apps, branding, product information, voice recognition capabilities, and the list goes on.

Let’s take it back to the conversational AI example. By one estimate, AI-powered conversational solutions reduce customer service costs by up to 30%. Maybe that’s why 56% of companies say that they’re investing in conversational AI technology to improve cross-channel experiences, according to Deloitte.

In 2022, chatbots and NLP are saving companies about $8 billion per year in customer supporting costs. For every second chatbots can shave off average call center handling times, call centers can save as much as $1 million in annual customer service costs.

AI chatbots are always there, ready to help 24/7, every day of the year. Chatbots cut the cost of customer support while speeding up response times.

Trained by conversational data sets, AI can offer a humanized experience.

AI helps localize a brand by providing customers with personalized assistance and engaging with them in a natural, human-like way in real time.

Shannon Zimmerman

CRO in Sales, Summa Linguae Technologies

AI in localization can be a real game changer and transformational compared to historical approaches. The favorable impact of machines in generating multilingual content has proven beneficial in the form of MT, but AI can also optimize other areas where humans contribute to quality localized content.

Benefits of AI in Localization

AI Makes Localization More Genuine

AI is a keen learner. Around here, we like to say, “You can’t start with the same thing that you’re training.”

AI learns by absorbing a diverse array of speech, text, and visual data from a wide variety of sources, like databases, websites, and text corpora (large, structured sets of text), and even crowdsourced collection projects.

In the language sphere, AI detects and highlights any new vernacular that has become common in a particular language after absorbing millions of data records.

Localized content automatically displays the most current language patterns, and replicates natural speech patterns and common parlance.

And when a particular way of saying something becomes outdated, AI is right on top of it, adapting to the new phrases, idioms and other sayings that are market specific.

Localize Images, Audio and Video with AI

Let’s say you’re building an e-commerce website. You’ll expect to localize the text and product information, and we’ve already established AI makes it more authentic and up-to-date.

To fully adapt your website to foreign markets, you’ll localize all aspects of your website, including images. And the localization of images on a website goes far beyond pictures of your product or service:

  • Images used in blog posts
  • Images used in PDFs
  • Diagrams, charts, and graphs
  • Infographics
  • Icons

The ability to localize these elements is one of the most significant developments within AI. AI scans your websites’ visual elements for embedded text and makes suggestions for potential translations.

Remember, though, that the image itself must translate. A large, high-quality image engages the viewer’s attention before they even notice the page’s headline, but what’s appropriate here might not be appropriate there. There may be elements in the image that are offensive in some target areas.

Side note: Be careful when using of text-to-image AI for your website.

AI can’t do everything just yet, so a human eye is still needed in some cases to catch those potential hiccups.

A holistic localization process, where human touches are fewer but still necessary, provides the perfect way to take a complete look at how you incorporate an image within a web page.

Localization is Significantly Faster and More Efficient With AI

AI localization solutions work in real time, feature automated workflows, and get you to market faster.

The time it takes to localize content effectively is greatly reduced, and you can therefore localize content at a much lower cost.

If a website needs to be localized for multiple geographies, leveraging the power of AI is the way to go.

And since AI can track the most recent and most detailed changes in languages, less time needs to be spent by human editors, and the localized content can be launched into the world much faster.

Shannon Zimmerman

CRO in Sales, Summa Linguae Technologies

Many parts of localization are labor intensive. This contributes substantially to the overall cost of localization and can be a deciding factor when it comes to whether a company may even localize certain content. AI can offer dramatic benefits by learning from the humans involved and then making automated decisions which both accelerate localization and reduce the overall cost.

AI and Localization: A Holistic Approach

As a language service provider, we can rely on AI with increasing measure. For quality assurance reasons, though, humans still review the AI generated content. But with the help of data solutions, fewer human corrections needed are over time.

A Helpful Example: Closed Captions

We can’t yet rely on AI and automatic speech recognition for closed captioning, for example.

Closed captions allow hard-of-hearing people to experience all aspects the video. They therefore include background sounds and speaker indicators.

The industry standard for closed caption accuracy is 99% accuracy rate. Accuracy measures punctuation, spelling, and grammar. Studies show that even a 95% accuracy rate is sometimes insufficient in accurately conveying a message.

For a typical sentence length of 8 words, a 95%-word accuracy rate means there will be an error (on average) every 2.5 sentences.

Closed captions capture not only the speech text itself, but also who’s speaking and other noises – music playing, dogs barking, bells ringing, and laughter, to name a few.

Most ASR technologies have an accuracy rate of 80%. ASR developers therefore still use human transcribers to improve the edge cases where transcription is failing, and accuracy is at a premium.

With the help of AI, it becomes infinitely easier for brands to localize ALL their content for target audiences. We still need human review for these more in-depth localization and translation projects for the highest levels of accuracy.

Get to Know Our AI Localization Solutions

We recently launched Summa Studio, a flexible translation and localization platform. It tailors the workflow to your needs, and you control all your products and content localization in one place.

Our clients appreciate our extremely versatile and unconventional thinking. We are innovation-focused and don’t shy away from a challenge.

This is what helps us build lasting partnerships and localization solutions that grow with your business.

Contact us today to get started.

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