November 21, 2017
Voice-Activated Technology and Its Potential Impact on the Localization Industry

Voice-activated technology makes up more than 10% of searches around the globe. It had shifted the digital landscape in a major way. But, what exactly is it all about?

What is Voice-Activated Technology?

Voice-activated technology, essentially, uses speech recognition technology to assist researchers finding information on the internet. Most of these voice search queries offer up direct answers that take into account previous dialogue and behaviours.

Recently, we’ve noted an increase in voice search platforms on the market – think in terms of Google Now, Siri, and even Cortana. These platforms have made amazing breakthroughs in their algorithms and can now, to a very large degree, understand human language.

The Potential Impact of Voice-Activated Technology on the Localization Industry

  1. Speed

Swift and efficient localization is set to become the norm thanks to speech recognition technology. With people wanting to do more complex things with this tech, and more technology being updated and developed all the time, localization programs will need to keep up, and an agile workflow will be essential.

  1. Market Entry

Market entry decisions may become less obvious. The markets with the greatest use of the technology may not be the same as the one localization companies are used to providing for. Usage patterns and demographics may differ. Trends and data need to carefully analysed so that companies can make clear decisions about which markets to enter.

  1. Translator Skills

Translators may have to stretch their skills to get up to date with this medium. They will have to take into account the functionality of the technology, the source language, and the way in which users deal with it within the target environment if they are to be successful at their work.

  1. Shorter Text

Shorter text is set to impact the translator’s approach. Messages need to be concise, clear, and easy to understand.

Challenges to Improve

Overall, voice-activated technology is set to be challenged to continuously improve. Verbal inputs are to become a highly important way of interacting with speech recognition technology, of course.

While the technology has definitely come a long way, there are a few more advancements needed to separate speech from handle slang, background noise, and to respond in an appropriate manner. It gets even more complex when we consider the need for speech recognition in a wide array of languages to suit a global market, especially in terms of business.

What About Different Accents?

Fortunately, with the help of cloud-based processing and ongoing data collection, many of the better-known systems are better positioned to deal with accents than they once were. They’ve undergone the necessary changes to improve their ability to hear a larger variety of words, accents, and languages. For example, Siri is available in about 20 languages to date.

Voice-activated technology has made great strides. But, they’re still some way off from being intelligent systems that we see in sci-fi movies.