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Part Two: Embracing the Future of Content with Linguistic AI – SDL Japan Customer Summit

Late last year we hosted SDL’s Japan Customer Summit, a one-day event attended by close to 50 of Japan’s leading companies from all industries including retail, life sciences, automotive and finance. While the event itself has passed, we wanted to reflect on some of the key highlights that came out of the event and what we heard from a number of industry specialists.

The event itself played host to a raft of experts from across SDL, exploring the latest developments in AI and Machine Learning (click here to read part 1 of this blog). This blog looks at the second half of the day, which covered practical use cases and scenarios where we showed how the latest technological developments can offer the greatest impact on a business.

Mihai Vlad, VP of Machine Learning, explored the world of Machine Learning, more specifically how the accuracy of Machine Translation affects the ROI of content. He highlighted that while perfection may be required in certain cases, current levels of accuracy achieved by NMT 2.0 offer “untapped business value” – particularly for content that’s created with the objective to engage and retain customers.

Ultimately, Mihai explained that “the root of all content is language, which is why SDL is building its Linguistic AI, named Hai.” Hai includes language understanding, transformation and generation capabilities, and underpins a number of SDL’s technology products.

Showcasing Hai’s capabilities, Mihai provided a demo of SDL Content Assistant, which helps marketers create content faster than before, with automated features that generate summaries, spotlights, quotes, stats or tweets based on longer content in order to increase marketing teams’ productivity.

Mihai concluded that no technology solves all problems. Nor is there an algorithm that solves everything. However current advances in technology combined with human potential can create a synergy that will be more effective than separating the two.

To wrap up the session, Mihai answered some questions from the audience: an attendee from a large electronics company asked about Machine Translation, and whether it can handle nuances for the Japanese language. Mihai insisted that Machine Translation has evolved to a point where now it helps in areas where only human translation was previously possible. A combination of technology and services can provide the best results in highly nuanced, or jargon-heavy scenarios.

Towards an effective use of Machine Translation

Mihai’s next section focused on more concrete use cases of Machine Translation, specifically the security aspect of translation.

A Ponemon Institute study indicates that currently 28% of data breaches are caused by human error, which includes attempts to translate confidential documents on free public translation services. Take the recent case of a bank, where employees from different regions needed to communicate with one another and, as a result, had more than 75,000 registration requests to public automated translation services. Mihai stressed that even if a small percent contained sensitive information, it could have resulted in a data breach.

Another similar example involved a high-tech manufacturer, whose goal was to ensure that proprietary information was not being exposed. Investigations showed that more than 5GB of data was potentially leaked per week because of insecure translations. SDL has the potential to remove those risks, with a proven record in enterprise software, which includes secure, on-premises solutions with SDL Enterprise Translation Server (ETS).

The retail industry was next up for discussion. Mihai explained the necessity of having content available for users in their mother tongue on retail platforms, highlighting that only “9% of users trust a site enough to make a purchase if it’s not [in their mother tongue],” showing that lack of translation can also greatly reduce marketing funnels.

Another example Mihai put forward was in the finance and government fields, where one user organization faced analyzing information for compliance, covering all audio, images and text shared across the business. This culminated in hundreds of millions of records.

As an addition to SDL ETS, SDL launched SDL Machine Translation in the Cloud in November 2018, a shared cloud alternative, offering faster-deployment options. Mihai showcased a demo of the solution explaining the platform’s capabilities to keep file formats and layouts, and easy integration into content creation tools such as Microsoft Office.

Accelerating globalization for Japanese companies

The final session of the day was led by Katsuya Katayose, Business Development Manager and Chiyoko Agatsuma, Business Consultant at SDL Japan. The topic of discussion focused on the opportunities that Machine Translation can bring to Japanese companies, who are increasingly engaging with international audiences. SDL’s objective is to get rid of those language barriers and help people from all organizations to freely communicate with each other.

Katsuya Katayose explained that despite Japan coming 49 out of the globe’s 88 most proficient countries in speaking English, local studies suggest that 40% of Japanese workers are using English in some form at their workplace. He went on to explain that those language barriers can induce high losses for companies – and yet the technology is now available to help companies overcome very specific challenges.

Ryutaro Kusumoto wrapped up the event with a closing promise to continue delivering powerful solutions to customers – fully geared towards their market-specific needs.


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