ChatGPT has brought worldwide attention to large language models (LLM). Most people know the LLM does much more than “chatting.” However, perhaps due to lack of awareness (or interest), usage of the AI engine for machine translation (MT), is still on the low side. That is changing rapidly.
ChatGPT is very much in the vocabulary of language industry leaders as 2023 reaches its second month. As an example, on February 1 EasyTranslate CEO, Frederik Pedersen, commented that ChatGPT is “an absolute game changer.” He said this when he spoke to Slator about his company’s integration of the AI tool into the translation workflow.
We asked readers if they have ever used ChatGPT for MT, and the answer was “No” for the majority of respondents (72.6%). Those who have already used it for MT are what will likely become a growing minority (27.4%)… at least until the next generation of AI-enabled MT takes over.
How to Grow your Unicorn: Feed it AI
Want more AI? Here you go. The latter half of 2022 saw a number of investments centered in the intersection between traditional language services and fast-evolving machine translation as a function of content automation.
Not convinced? Take the latest round of funding secured by DeepL, which turned the German tech darling into a USD 1bn+ unicorn.
We asked readers if DeepL’s unicorn round is a vote of confidence for the broader language industry. The majority (47.2%) think it is all about automation. A large portion of respondents (37.7%) think it is probably not a bad thing. The rest believe it is a good thing (15.1%) for the language industry.
M&As was the Right Route in 2022… for a Few
As detailed in Slator’s report of M&A activity for 2022, although the volume of company-to-company deals for the year was lower than in 2021, over 60 companies still chose this route.
There are no signs of a slowdown for 2023, either. Just in January, Slator tracked four major deals involving Piccoma, Sprout Social (Slator assisted with this transaction), Stoquart, and Unbabel.
We asked readers if their company had been involved in an M&A in 2022. Close to a third (29.6%) of respondents said yes. The rest (70.4%) were not involved in this type of transaction.
Stealing Professional Identities
The Translator Scammers Directory (TSD) volunteers expose those who impersonate translators by stealing their CVs. This type of scam has been around for years, and it starts when scammers get a translator to believe their CV is being marketed to potential clients, when in fact it is used to steal their professional identity.
The good news is, TSD reported a drop in the number of new scammer IDs created in 2022 (559 in 2022 versus 665 in 2021). The report also states that it would appear scammers are abandoning their nefarious activities, perhaps thanks to increased awareness among translators and LSPs.
We asked readers if they still receive spam from Translator CV scams. Most respondents (38.1%) said they are still receiving some. Over a quarter of respondents (28.6%) are receiving more scamming spam than they used to, and the rest are split between receiving a lot less (15.8%) and not receiving any (17.5%).