AI Localization: Harness Automation for Superior Multilingual Content

June 8, 2023
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be a powerful tool for accelerating your content localization and streamlining your processes.
Automation can become a great asset to your work as a global content creator. When used correctly, it can help you move the more mundane steps of localization away from the hands of humans, making them more robust and efficient.
How can you begin to reap the benefits of AI tools for your global business?
To start, it's a good idea to learn the benefits, misconceptions, and basic strategy behind what makes a successful AI-supported localization process.
Here's a simple beginner's guide to using AI in your localization process…

A simple introduction to AI localization

Artificial intelligence tools are rapidly becoming a core part of the toolkit of content creators. Within localization, AI is helping companies to create a vast range of content types, including product catalogs, websites, help documentation, software tools, and countless other content pieces.
One of the most dramatic impacts of using AI in localization is when you begin to scale your business. The tools help you design efficient content workflows that allow you to distribute localized content quickly to all your international markets.
What types of AI tools can be used in localization? Almost any of them!
Depending on the content your company needs, you can use a range of technologies to accelerate and enhance the localization process. For example, video localization can incorporate speech-to-text tools, machine translation, and text-to-speech. Document publishing can incorporate optical character recognition if the original documents are not available.
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What are the benefits of using AI in your localization process?

The specific effects of adding AI into your localization process will depend on exactly which tools you use and how you use them.
Examples of common benefits people experience include:
  • The ability to quickly and accurately translate many pieces of content simultaneously into multiple languages.
  • An easier quality assurance process when compared to entirely manual localization.
  • Faster turnaround times for new pieces of content, allowing you to launch new products and features in a more streamlined way.
  • Better use of your localization budget and human resources, making your budget go further.
  • The ability to remain competitive even in fiercely competitive global markets.
But, it's important to remember that not all uses of AI tools will produce favorable results. You need to use the tools strategically and with an eye on the bigger picture. A good localization provider can help you find the best way to use the tools for you.

5 misconceptions about AI in localization

Despite the growing use of AI tools across businesses, there is still some misunderstanding about the technology. It's important to gather the right information before you use AI tools. Otherwise, you could end up with a content process that is overly complex and doesn't meet your needs.
Here are 5 common misconceptions about AI in localization:

1. AI translation will do everything for you

A widely held belief by people who are new to AI is that the tools will do all the work of localization for you. This is just not the case.
In reality, while AI can help localization, it will probably never replace human translators entirely.

2. Implementing AI localization is difficult

If you've never incorporated AI tools into your workflow before, you might be intimidated by the technology. The terminology and technicality of the tools can seem overwhelming.
Adding AI to your workflows doesn't need to be a laborious task. But it is important to learn from people with experience of AI tools, like the right localization provider.

3. AI results are usually inaccurate

Just as some people believe AI tools to be a panacea, others believe they are completely inaccurate and can't be trusted.
In reality, the truth is somewhere in the middle. AI translation can be inaccurate but it's possible to mitigate this inaccuracy. This is why post-processing by a human translator is so important. But it's absolutely possible to produce accurate translations with AI tools.

4. Costs are very high or very low

Perhaps you have been worrying that the cost of integrating AI tools will be restrictively high. Or maybe you believe you can reduce costs to a minimum by automating your localization.
It's correct to say that the cost of translations will change when you incorporate AI tools into your workflow. When done correctly, the cost should go down. But most of these cost savings come from creating a more efficient content creation process.

5. It's all about the translation step

When you think about AI localization, you likely think first about the translation step. Tools like Google Translate are most people's primary idea of an AI tool for global content creation.
As mentioned above, there are many AI tools you can apply to your localization process.
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A simple strategy for success: treat content like data

How can you make the most of AI tools? A helpful mindset shift is to think of your content as if it was data.
This is what happens in a structured content tool. You break content down into individual elements defined by the type of content. During localization, you send only the elements that should be translated to translators.
In our recent Rubric roundtable discussion on structured content, Rubric's Head of IT Dominic Spurling explained:
"When your content has a nice, clean, well-defined structure, it lends itself to automated processing and analysis at every stage of the localization pipeline. We can automatically detect what's new in the content, hand it off to the translators, integrate those changes, and produce the final result."

Where you can incorporate AI into multilingual content

AI-supported localization can give you many new ways to make your content pipeline more scalable and economical.
With the help of a knowledgeable localization provider, you can create a process that will make it easy to distribute high-quality localized content to your international markets.
Nearly every localization pipeline can benefit from more efficiency at some stages. Now, the first step for you is to identify which step will have the greatest impact when you add an AI tool.
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