#92 Blazing-Fast Machine Translation With Kenneth Heafield

October 29, 2021 Slator
#92 Blazing-Fast Machine Translation With Kenneth Heafield
Show Notes Chapter Markers

In this week’s SlatorPod, we’re joined by Kenneth Heafield, Reader in Machine Translation (MT) at the University of Edinburgh. We originally connected with Kenneth on Twitter in a discussion about Slator’s coverage of a research paper on Carbon Emissions in MT.

Kenneth talks about his experience going back and forth between academia and industry, reflecting on the pros and cons of working for Big Tech. He discusses his recent research with efficient translation and language modelling as well as other MT topics that are undervalued by the industry.

Kenneth shares his thoughts on the popular preprint platform arXiv and how news outlets should cover research that hasn’t been peer-reviewed. He gives tips for those interested in attending natural language processing (NLP) conferences, particularly on how to navigate the complex system.

Kenneth concludes the podcast with an exciting demo of Translate Locally, an MT app that runs locally on a desktop or laptop CPU, allowing cloud-like translation speed without sacrificing privacy and browsing habits.

First up, Florian and Esther discuss the language industry news of the week, with Argos Multilingual acquiring rival Venga Global and roughly doubling its size to become one of the top 25 LSPs in the world. One LSP that missed the top spot by a hair is RWS, whose full-year revenue is exceeding expectations, with consensus placing the figure around USD 965m. 

Meanwhile, Slator’s very own Anna Wyndham joins the Pod to talk about our highly popular article, “10 Areas Where Translators Are (and Will Remain) Essential Experts in the Loop,” published last week. She highlights a selection of mission-critical scenarios in which translators are the true experts in the loop, despite the advancement of tech.

Agenda and Intro
Argos Multilingual acquires Venga Global
RWS full-year 2021 expectations
10 areas translators remain experts in the loop
Kenneth Heafield joins the pod
Kenneth's professional background
Journey back to academia
Attracting university talent
Competition with Big Tech
Influence of research settings
Kenneth's core research themes
Top low resource languages
Synthetic text in low resource MT
How success is defined in academia
Navigating the NLP conference system
NLP topics overlooked by the industry
Processing speech-to-speech
Impact of the size of data
Errors in the end-to-end systems
Covering arXiv papers
Bad arXiv papers
How industry news should cover arXiv papers
Translate Locally product announcement