Technology is constantly evolving and changing, and translation technology is no exception. Although a relatively new field in technology, innovations by Google, Microsoft and Skype have already given the world a glimpse into the potential for future development. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have both played a central role in translation and really do create countless possibilities in sectors such as education. These companies, among others have just scratched the surface of what’s possible in this industry and with many opportunities becoming realities, translation technology certainly will change the way we communicate forever.
The world is better, safer and fuller of mutual understanding when we can all talk to each other. In the early days, mankind spoke the same language, and when mankind spread out over the world, languages changed. Now the world is coming together again and globalization has presented a communication problem. There are many personal and professional situations of language barriers and having readily available translations would change the way people experience travel and communication one-on-one. If we could go and understand everything and everyone everywhere, we’d see something similar to the scenario of the entire world using the same currency. Emerging technology that facilitates such understanding will cause globalization to occur even faster. (a good thing?)
In modern society, most translation solutions are incorporated into mobile phones that may have moderate quality microphones and speakers. The market for translation applications and devices is still fragmented, but the technology is rapidly advancing. With a growing need for translation technology and increasing popularity for hardware solutions, it’s expected that translation technology products will really grow and improve from here.
Much of the technology that develops in the future could be technology that goes beyond advanced machine translation engines and incorporates automated translation. Although a new area of technology, there certainly isn’t any holding back for this sector. Both software and hardware will change the way we communicate in the coming years, contributing to a better-connected world.
People around the world prefer communicating in their native tongue. As a result, the need for translation technology and digitizing languages will continue to grow as we find more voice-recognition hardware in our homes, offices and public spaces in the coming years. The capabilities and usage of virtual assistants is expanding rapidly, with new innovations entering the market, predominantly from the US. Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are just three examples of devices capable of performing tasks or services for a user, such as ordering take-out food, providing weather news and other real-time information. At Travis, we foresee a heavy technology push in a market that is strongly driven by numbers and where privacy will become a hot topic. Being focused mainly on the US and US-focused companies, there is a threat that smaller languages will be neglected by the main industry players. As a company, Travis commits itself to delivering the best translation possible wherever the user needs it, and in a way that feels natural, preferably in a person’s native tongue. Donating a substantial percentage of its profits to its non-profit sister organization Travis Foundation, Travis works to preserve culture and empower people across the globe by digitizing lesser resourced languages that, with less economic potential, are facing the risk of disappearing altogether.
Brend Kouwenhoven, Travis Founder & CEO