Yesterday's York Times included an article on how IBM is improving on crowdsourced translations by using its global base of employees.
In an effort to improve its internal machine translation tool, n.Fluent, IBM is soliciting help from humans:
Over a two-week period last month, the company issued a “worldwide translation challenge” to its employees, using a points-based system to award the biggest contributors prizes that were converted to charitable donations. About 6,000 I.B.M. employees made improvements in 11 languages to more than two million words of text translated by n.Fluent.On the one hand it is interesting to see developers improve the ways in which machine-translation tools are built and assessed. On the other hand, "employee-sourcing" of translations is like déjà vu all over again.
Drug and device companies have long used staff resources to translate clinical research materials, regulatory submissions, and marketing collateral. And which medical device company isn't cursing the slow and inconsistent output they receive from their employee-sourced in-country reviews?
Most pharmaceutical and medical device companies have gone the other way, aggressively outsourcing translations and translation management. So, is "employee-sourcing" of translations unique to IBM or the beginning of the pendulum swinging back?
We have posted extensively on crowsourcing. Here is a selection of articles for further reading:
- Crowdsourcing to accelerate drug development
- The "X" market for translations
- Central update of TMs by translators
- Will crowdsourcing change the translation business?
ForeignExchange Translations provides specialized translation and software localization services to drug and device companies. Contact us to learn more.
Categories: machine translation