For the past years we have been organizing the TAUS Game Changers Innovation Contests, but always on the west coast of North America. It was time to look towards the East and find out more about the innovations happening in China. Nine companies signed up to join the contest, a majority of them Chinese or China-based. As always, each presenter had 6 minutes only to showcase why their perspective, idea, or technology is the most innovative and game changing. Never before have the presenters been so amazing at finishing their presentation before the 6 minutes were over.
Among the contenders were two of the largest language service providers in China, Global Tone Communication Technology (GTCom) and Transn IOL Technology. Both companies with a good focus on translation technology and all the latest developments like machine learning and artificial intelligence. Transn’s Mr. Roche Shi presented their point of view on the developments happening in the field of AI and what kind of influence this will have not only on translation, but also from a social and cultural perspective. Peter Zong from GTCom introduced a multilingual translation system they build to translate multiple (similar) languages in order to decrease hardware costs.
Jie Li from Alibaba gave us a peak into Alibaba Translate, which is currently implemented on their website to deliver real-time translation. Lisa Chen from Pactera presented their new crowdsourcing platform with various delivery models and a smart QA strategy and reporting implemented. Guanqing Hao from Lingosail focused on the business-academia gap and released a smart translation teaching and training system using natural language processing technologies called Shiyibao.
From the Westerners, we heard from Plunet, Memsource and Spoken Translation. Vi Bui from Plunet showed how they are helping project managers automate certain tasks to increase the efficiency in their workflow. Andrea Tabacchi from Memsource announced their new mobile app in which they condensed the key features needed for project management. Mark Seligman from Spoken Translation demonstrated the evolving treatment of semantics in machine translation, questioning the conviction that MT can never appreciate meaning in the deepest sense.
The most unique presentation came from Tianqi Zhang, a researcher and football fanatic from China, living in Barcelona and working for Tradumatica and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She presented her research on machine translation in the football world and explained how machine translation can change the ways of sports communication and break the language barrier of sports commentators and journalists, creating a closer link between football fans and the sport itself.
It is no surprise that this idea about machine translation in sports communication won the 2018 Beijing TAUS Game Changers Innovation Award. It is something we had never seen before and in multiple senses of the word truly “game changing”.
Anne-Maj van der Meer is a marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in event organization and management. She has a BA in English Language and Culture from the University of Amsterdam and a specialization in Creative Writing from Harvard University. Before her position at TAUS, she was a teacher at primary schools in regular as well as special needs education. Anne-Maj started her career at TAUS in 2009 as the first TAUS employee where she became a jack of all trades, taking care of bookkeeping and accounting as well as creating and managing the website and customer services. For the past 5 years, she works in the capacity of Events Director, chief content editor and designer of publications. Anne-Maj has helped in the organization of more than 35 LocWorld conferences, where she takes care of the program for the TAUS track and hosts and moderates these sessions.