2019’s Biggest Technology Trends for International Brands

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With 5G on the horizon and approaching at speed, AI, machine learning, and voice search will soon have a network to match their processing potential. But what do lightning-quick transfer times and cutting-edge comms tech mean for international brands? Let’s find out.

How artificial intelligence is changing global communication

Raconteur reports that “with the help of parallel text datasets such as Wikipedia, European Parliament proceedings and telephone transcripts from South Asia, machine-learning has now reached the point where translation tools rival their human counterparts.”

No longer the stuff of science fiction, artificial intelligence is powering text-to-speech and speech-to-text functionality across leading platforms and devices. In fact, Google and Amazon are in the midst of a battle to see who emerges as the king of speech technology. Google Cloud has just updated its AI-powered speech tools, meaning that brands and businesses can get access to additional voices and languages:

  • Google Text-to-Speech:

    The product now supports 21 languages, on top of 31 new voices courtesy of WaveNet, a deep neural network for compiling raw audio into realistic, natural voices.

  • Google Speech-to-Text:

    The customer usage data attained through data logging has enhanced Google’s models, enabling video transcription that has 64% fewer transcription errors.

Similar to Google’s Text-to-Speech, Amazon’s Polly is currently turning “text into lifelike speech using deep learning”. While Amazon’s Transcribe falls short of Google Speech’s supported languages, its custom vocabulary offering makes up for it. It’s a fair call to say that both products are equally competitive at the moment.

This leap in translation technology has remarkable implications for online translations and face-to-face communication. In fact, Skype’s Meeting Broadcast is already trialing real-time translation for video meetings, bringing us closer to demolishing the language barrier.

Consumers are demanding localized video content

Not so long ago — in a world of dial-up modems and 56k speeds — static visuals and reams of text were the only viable forms of content delivery. Fast-forward to today’s hyper-fast connection speeds and you have a fertile environment for the video format to thrive. Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find a social media post or webpage without an easy-to-digest embedded video. In fact, social media video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined.

With video now the most popular means of content-consumption online, users are demanding authentic localization from brands. Some considerations:

  • A well-delivered voiceover from a native language speaker conveys the cadence and emotional weight or subtlety of local communication in the region you’re targeting. However, it can be costly to translate and record dialogue for every country you’re delivering the video too.
  • Given that 85% of video on Facebook is watched with the sound off, it makes sense for a business to invest in high-quality subtitles. By accurately voicing (pun intended) the nuances of a country’s language through text, you go a long way towards fostering brand loyalty. Consumers are far more likely to choose a brand that’s taken the time and effort to craft content that’s unique to their region.

Your voice is the command

While we’re already witnessing the rise of Voice Search, it’s predicted that 30% of all website sessions will be without a screen by 2020. Now whether or not that comes to pass, there’s no arguing that Siri, Alexa, and similar have emerged as communicative powerhouses that demand attention.

And with great power comes SEO responsibility. Currently 20% of all Google searches are voice-based. And with this statistic expected to rise exponentially, Google is already ploughing resources into voice search optimization for more accurate website ranking, starting with conditioning users to use voice on mobile phones. To get the best results, it’s important to localize your content and SEO for a particular region so that native speakers can find your product or service with ease.

Make technology your friend with an optimized Global Content strategy

As video, text, and speech technology evolves to facilitate the quick translation of multiple languages, it’s vital your Global Content is aligned with innovation and correctly worked for its intended markets. A Global Content Partner has the experience and expertise to tailor and optimize your messaging to the regions you’re targeting.

If you think your organization might benefit from our managed Global Content services, be sure to sign up for a two-day workshop. In the session, we’ll use actual data and examples from your business to show you exactly what’s working in your processes and what can be improved.

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Françoise Henderson

Françoise Henderson

Françoise is co-founder of Rubric, overseeing worldwide operations and Global Content strategy. Under her guidance, Rubric has generated agile KPI-driven globalization workflows for clients and reduced time-to-market across multiple groups. Françoise has over 20 years’ experience in corporate management and translation.

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