Iconic Integrates Custom Neural Machine Translation Into Proprietary Architecture

  • Iconic has conducted comparative evaluation of Neural Machine Translation (NMT) with world-leading MT research group at ADAPT Centre
  • Plans to integrate and launch commercial NMT systems within 2017
  • New systems to achieve unrivalled translation quality for complex languages

Dublin – October 6, 2016 – Iconic Translation Machines (Iconic), a leading Irish machine translation (MT) software and solutions provider, today announced a strategic collaboration on NMT with the world-leading machine translation group at the ADAPT Centre, Dublin City University, Ireland.

Iconic will build on exciting evaluation results to date and integrate NMT systems into its proprietary Ensemble ArchitectureTM early next year to become one of the first commercial MT providers to integrate NMT into live translation projects.

Based on deep learning and artificial intelligence, NMT promises a new paradigm in natural language processing, and has the potential to revolutionise the world of MT. As neural networks can directly learn the relationship between two languages, NMT systems are expected to dramatically impact on MT quality by producing more natural sounding and accurate translations for morphologically rich languages.

However, while NMT has been heralded as the next big thing by the MT research community and among some of the Internet MT giants, “systematic comparison with large-scale, production-quality, phrase-based translation systems has been lacking”. Iconic is going one step ahead by undertaking this exact systematic comparison of NMT with its superior quality production MT systems in collaboration with ADAPT.

The ADAPT research centre collaborates with industry to develop next generation digital technologies by helping to analyse, personalise and deliver digital data more effectively for businesses and individuals. Iconic, which was originally founded as a spin-out company from Dublin City University, has already provided ADAPT researchers with specific training material and a benchmark of state-of-the-art production performance. Early results on Chinese patent documents are already demonstrating the quality improvements that can be realised by NMT. Going forward, Iconic will share detailed analysis of early NMT output.

We are excited to be working so closely again with some of the world’s leading researchers at the ADAPT research centre on a broad Neural Machine Translation technology collaboration. ADAPT are leading the charge in research in this field and we look forward to combining our MT expertise with theirs,” said John Tinsley, CEO at Iconic.

The expert team of MT scientists and engineers at Iconic is already working on the integration of NMT components into Iconic’s proprietary Ensemble ArchitectureTM. Iconic will combine the substantial benefits of NMT with the suite of its own existing technology components and expertise in order to overcome any NMT shortcomings.

Iconic’s Neural Machine Translation solutions will fortify our market-leading position as a provider of best-in-class software, especially for languages that are difficult for machine translation such as Korean and German. Neural systems have already demonstrated the capability to handle the complexities of such languages by default,” added Tinsley.

Head of the MT team in ADAPT at DCU, Professor Andy Way, a prominent thought-leader in the field, commented: “Neural Machine Translation has rapidly become dominant in academic circles. However, we have seen new paradigm shifts in MT before, so it is far too soon to dismiss phrase-based SMT systems altogether. Only by careful side-by-side comparison, as demonstrated in this project with Iconic, can we accurately decide what the best way forward will be, especially when it comes to industrial applications of MT. We look forward to further engagement with Iconic on projects of mutual interest.

About Iconic Translation Machines

Iconic Translation Machines is a leading machine translation software and solutions provider who specialise in custom solutions tailored with subject matter expertise for specific industry sectors including legal, life sciences and financial services. Iconic is the MT partner of choice for some of the world’s largest translation companies, information providers, and government and enterprise organisations, helping them to translate more content, more accurately and in less time, resulting in significant cost savings and increased revenue. Iconic is based in Dublin, Ireland. www.iconictranslation.com

About ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology

ADAPT, the Centre for Digital Content Technology, provides a partnership between academia and industry in the field of digital content technology, leading on ground-breaking innovations in areas such as localization, social media analysis, multimodal interaction, intelligent content and media, and informal and formal learning. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the centre is led out of Trinity College Dublin and combines the world-class expertise of researchers at Dublin City University, University College Dublin and Dublin Institute of Technology. ADAPT has significant commercial expertise, having generated 7 spinout companies, multiple licenses and a large number of applied research collaborations.  ADAPT’s unique Design & Innovation Lab works with companies to bridge research and technology to enhance commercial success.  www.adaptcentre.ie