Where’s Phil? – III


Episode 3: Translating and the Computer Conference

Vistatec Chief Technology Officer Phil Ritchie recently visited the 41st edition of the Translating and the Computer Conference. The event took place in London on 21 and 22 November 2019 and brought together users, developers, and vendors of translation and interpretation technology tools.

There were peer-reviewed presentations and posters, feature panel discussions, and workshops – everything one would need to interact, exchange ideas, and discuss current trends. Artificial Intelligence stood high amongst the topics the conference guests were eager to discuss.

Phil particularly appreciated a presentation by Jean Senellart, SYSTRAN’s Chief Executive Officer. In Phil’s words, Mr. Senellart “did a nice talk about how AI works and neural networks work. In the very early days, they had what’s known as rule-based machine translation, and then they went from there to having statistical machine translation, and now they’re doing neural network machine translation.” 

With a keen interest in machine translation neural networks, Jean Senellart’s presentation particularly resonated with Phil, focusing on AI’s ability to generate content. “If you have AI that generates content that’s in Spanish, you remove the need for translation, localization at all. So that’s interesting,” Phil says.

When asked about concerns related to such developments, Vistatec’s Chief Technology Officer explains, “You either get on-board with technology, or you get removed by it. I always try to find a way of using it and staying with it rather than trying to resist it.”

“Then there was a co-founder of TRADOS speaking”, adds Phil “Jochen Hummel, who also has a long history in the industry. He did an interesting talk around the importance of linguistics in the process, highly-qualified translators and things like glossaries and terminology lists and making sure that all of that is agreed.”

On a less technical note, Phil praised the conference organization: “It’s quite an intimate conference. No more than 100 people there. So you get to talk to everybody, but it has that kind of academic feel to it. People talk about topics in great detail. And it’s in a beautiful area of London, right by Buckingham Palace. So the location is very nice.”

About Vistatec

We have been helping some of the world’s most iconic brands to optimize their global commercial potential since 1997. Vistatec is one of the world’s leading global content solutions providers. HQ in Dublin, Ireland, with offices in Mountain View, California, USA. To learn more about Vistatec, please visit: https://www.vistatec.com