AI and Translations: A Perfect Match
Combining people and machines to help break down the language barrier.
Machine-generated translations have existed for more than 15 years and are becoming increasingly sophisticated as technology advances, particularly with the evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The use of AI in the translation industry can often spark mixed feelings, as some fear AI will eventually replace translators. AI should be viewed as a complement to human translation services, not a replacement. The translation industry is a prime example of how pairing human abilities with machine learning can create a superior, cohesive and more effective workforce.
Alexa Translations A.I., a sophisticated machine translation tool, was launched to address the increasing needs of the professional services industry in Canada by providing fast, reliable, cost-efficient, quality translation services. The technology uses AI to generate high-quality, real-time language translations of complex, industry-specific text, particularly for the legal and financial services sectors. It is also the first tool of its kind to specialize in the French-Canadian market.
With increasing translation demands across industries, sophisticated AI technology has become an important tool to help translators streamline efficiency while maintaining quality.
Enhance Existing Capabilities
Industries such as legal or financial are constantly inundated with documents that require immediate translation on tight deadlines. Typically, firms assign the responsibility of translating lengthy, complicated documents to junior employees, but this process is now evolving to incorporate technology, allowing employees to focus on more value-adding tasks. Utilizing an AI-powered tool can be particularly useful for these responsibilities. By integrating human abilities with AI-fuelled technology, teams can complement and augment their existing capabilities and use these programs to translate large and complex projects, saving time and resources.
Increase Efficiency and Quality
In Canada, many businesses operate in both English and French and regulations require that most official documents are provided in both official languages. Businesses, therefore, need a tool that provides precise translation of sector-specific terminology and syntax specifically for the Canadian market. Whether an organization has an internal translation team or outsources translation projects, utilizing advanced technology tools can expand a company’s current capabilities without having to increase budget. Alexa Translations A.I. has been trained to translate sector-specific documentation resulting in higher quality output compared to the generic language translation tools on the market. Furthermore, the introduction of AI into existing translation workflows can double the speed of translation - in one hour, the Alexa Translations A.I. machine can perform what would ordinarily take a human translator 15 years.
AI is an effective and seamless addition to any translation team or business, helping increase speed and efficiency of translations, without sacrificing quality. It not only saves time and money but it also enables translators to keep pace with evolving demands and the ability to focus on other aspects of their work. The power of AI is truly harnessed through a symbiotic relationship between technology and humans.
By Gary Kalaci, CEO of Alexa Translations
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.