According to Lionbridge, a translation and localization company, neural machine translation improves at an average rate of 3-7% every year. With the rise of ChatGPT, many are wondering how the model might influence the state of technology translations. Compared to other sectors, the language industry has long been using AI-based technology to boost productivity and meet the ever-increasing demands for language-based services.
However, the launch of ChatGPT has given rise to great discussion and questions about how it can be used to advance technology within the language sector. Today, we will discuss how the model is anticipated to play a role in the development of localization departments of major global companies already affected by the advancement of machine translation and AI.
The launch of ChatGPT has brought back the debate of AI vs. human translation and discussions on how to go about it ethically. However, like with any new technology, all we have to do is try to catch up, especially since ChatGPT is here to stay. Because of this, we gathered some speculation on how it will influence later neural machine translation tools.
ChatGPT has some very unique traits that make it a particularly powerful language model. The breakthroughs seen with ChatGPT have the potential to greatly influence the field of neural machine translation (NMT). Let's take a look at these features one by one and explore how they may shake up the language service sector in the future.
Generating human-like text — Compared to previous iterations of neural translation machine models, ChatGPT can mimic human speech to create sophisticated conversations, responses, and texts. The massive dataset of text the model was trained on includes social media exchanges, political speeches, and poetry, which has given ChatGPT a diverse range of voices that allows it to achieve text that sounds like it's from a person and not a machine.
Handling large amounts of data — ChatGPT can handle large volumes of data, allowing it to learn from various training data and develop more accurate translations. Limited access to data has been an issue within the language sector, as it can cause inaccuracies in the translation process. Because this technology can deal with vast quantities of data effectively, it is now able to speed up translations and the creation of multilingual content.
Multilingual capabilities — ChatGPT can currently support 40 languages and has been trained on a diverse dataset of multilingual content. Therefore, the model is capable of handling multiple languages simultaneously. It is an important feature for NMT and multilingual content creation because before, content could only be translated from one language to another. Now, you can translate a paragraph of English text into 2-3 other languages at the same time. What's more? The content created by ChatGPT doesn't sound archaic because its model has been trained to identify informal and formal text, making it more human-like.
Understanding natural language — To a certain extent, ChatGPT can understand natural language. Therefore, its ability to generate translated content, summarize text, and analyze sentiment is much more developed than other NMTs, making the model particularly stand out. Whereas other NMT models only focus on translating content, ChatGPT can analyze the text and, depending on what command is given, even create new content from it. For example, you can make ChatGPT create a poem in another language and then summarize its meaning.
Pre-training — ChatGPT can be pre-trained on large amounts of information and fine-tuned for specific datasets, which improves its accuracy and makes it perfect for translations in specialized fields. Translation technology designed for a particular niche or industry is more accurate than machine translations for general content or across many different sectors. Like with human translators, if you pre-train ChatGPT for a particular sector, it can focus on specific information that's tied to the field and hone its skills to meet the required demands.
Regardless of what others have said about the impact of AI and ChatGPT on language sector jobs and the threat is poses for human translators, people will still be needed to manage language-based projects produced by NMT and AI.
However, let's first define what localization is. Localization is the process of adapting a product, service, or content to meet a particular country or region's language, culture, lifestyle, customs, humor, etc.
ChatGPT's advanced translation technology can be used for various platforms.Take a look at some of the ways the model can be used to localize platforms:
Chatbots — ChatGPT can be used to create chatbots that understand and respond to multiple languages. It can improve the customer experience for any individual who seeks an immediate response to an inquiry and lacks the language skills required to complete this via traditional methods. Whereas other multilingual chatbots responses can be rigid and impersonal, ChatGPT analyzes text in depth and respond to requests accordingly, making the experience immersive and interactive.
E-commerce — Because ChatGPT can automatically translate text, it's perfect for creating multilingual e-commerce content, like product descriptions, customer reviews, and web content. Though the model does not have the cultural and linguistic expertise required to localize content fully, it can help companies reach a wider audience and improve their sales in different countries.
Content management systems — Localizing content marketing can be done quickly since ChatGPT has the ability to create content in another language without needing to translate it. However, human translators and linguists are needed to review the content to ensure it makes sense and is relatable to the targeted public.
Social media — ChatGPT can automatically translate and summarize social media posts, enabling companies to understand and respond to customer feedback in different languages. Suppose you're planning to strengthen your brand by building an international online community and generating more multilingual content on social media. In this case, ChatGPT can assist in engaging foreign language users by responding to inquiries, posts, comments, and discussions in their native language.
Sentiment Analysis — ChatGPT can be used to analyze the sentiment in customer feedback in different languages. This can help companies understand how international customers perceive their products and services and adjust their strategy accordingly.
In order to truly understand how ChatGPT might influence the current technology translation used in translation and localization, we turned to experts in the field to get their perspective on the matter.
Roni Eskola is the VP of Marketing at Lingvist, a language learning company. He had compared ChatGPT to BERT, which stands forBidirectional Encoder Representation from Transformers and is a transformer-based machine learning technique for natural language processing (NLP) pre-training developed by Google. He stated that the neural network models from ChatGPT are more powerful compared to BERT, as the latter wasn't trained on a large dataset.
Eskola explains, "ChatGPT will revolutionize the translation and localization industry in so many ways. With this technology, we'll have the ability to create higher-quality translations tailored to specific cultures and languages in a faster and more cost-efficient manner...[It] is not a threat to us in the language industry. It is a powerful ally that can further improve our results if we can find an effective way to implement its technology into our solutions."
Roy Harmon, the CMO of data intelligence firm LeadPost, agreed with Eskola that ChatGPT is far more advanced compared to other models on the market as a result of its large dataset. But there is the issue of cybersecurity. Because the language industry is so dependent on AI-based technology, it runs the risk of getting hacked or having its data breached.
Harmon explained, "It is important for companies to ensure that their systems are secure and that any sensitive information is protected. This can be achieved through a combination of technical measures such as encryption and secure protocols, as well as through the implementation of strict security policies."
For Michael Chepurnyak, the founder and CEO at Ein-des-ein, a tech-based company, it's an issue that, in his words, "we should be concerned about." He explained that technologies that process and transmit data are at a high risk of encountering malicious actors that can take advantage of its vulnerabilities and gain access to sensitive data.
Chepurnyak went on to provide a bit of advice. "It is important to ensure that adequate security measures are in place to protect against unauthorized access to user accounts and confidential information. Additionally, when possible, users should use encrypted connections to minimize the chance of data being intercepted during a language translation session."
However, it's not just cybersecurity that we should be concerned about. Studies have shown that ChatGPT and other NMT models showed biased results, like gender and race. Despite this, Chepurnyak stated that he's optimistic AI-based models will eventually minimize biases in machine translations.
"These models can be trained on a huge corpus of data that accurately reflects gender-inclusive language usage. In this way, they can help identify and eliminate gender biases by suggesting alternative phrases or translations that provide a more balanced representation of both genders. Additionally, AI-based models can be further developed to detect gender bias in existing texts and alert users when these occur so they can take corrective action," he explained.
ChatGPT is a cutting-edge language model that has the potential to revolutionize the field of translation and localization. Its ability to generate human-like text, handle large amounts of data, and understand natural language makes it a powerful tool for various natural language processing tasks. As the language modeling and AI fields continue to evolve, ChatGPT is likely to become even more powerful and versatile, making it an essential tool for companies and organizations looking to expand to global markets and improve user engagement.
Clarriza Mae Heruela graduated from the University of the Philippines Mindanao with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, majoring in Creative Writing. Her experience from growing up in a multilingually diverse household has influenced her career and writing style. She is still exploring her writing path and is always on the lookout for interesting topics that pique her interest.