Global Content Needs Automated Intelligence as Much as Intelligent Automation

Apr 18, 2018

Article ImageAt a recent international content forum I heard some people question whether “artificial intelligence” (AI) was the best label to describe what the current technology revolution means for content and product leaders in their daily life. “Replicated intelligence” or “emulated intelligence” came up as the most frequent alternative terms. As far as content globalization and localization is concerned, I think “automated intelligence” may be an appropriate term to encompass all the benefits and challenges that AI brings to the globalization landscape. Veterans of creative and language services remember that their fields were among the first to involve machine learning and automation implementation more than two decades ago. Such efforts have been ongoing since then. Since the most obvious wins of AI-driven content solutions are found in content effectiveness--including speed, cost, and relevance--it may be useful to briefly highlight how and why both automation in general, and automated intelligence in particular, do matter in global content value chains and digital product lifecycles.

Automated intelligence increases the value of content at each step of local customer journeys. The end-to-end management of global content depends on some repetitive tasks that could be eliminated, shortened, or optimized. Quality checks and fix points are good candidates for AI enabled improvement in multiple ways. On the one hand, it automates tasks that are related to repetitive or identical content as well as frequently updated products. It speeds up this set of tasks when working with agile lifecycles and sprint releases while enabling to identify and remove potential waste in the content supply chain. Issues may also be tracked more systematically and solved more quickly. On the other hand, it gives more room and time to human content experts to focus on their very own value in terms of creativity, granularity, and centricity. As a result, the generated gains in time and operational costs are translated into faster service and better experiences for customers in line with local standards and expectations.

Automated intelligence increases the effectiveness of snackable content. Automation has often been used to get quick wins with repetitive content. Considering the multi-faceted profile of today’s digital customers, it is crucial to shape content in tune with where they are and what they do. This implies making content more portable, actionable, and memorable than ever. So it requires automation to deliver the content at the speed of now, and intelligence to make it effective at the same pace. Think about what you will need to do to inform, convince, support, sell, help, and train with your content. Some of it will be more marketing or sales oriented. Some of it will be identical, similar, or completely different according to when it must be delivered. Accommodating an array of variances and dependencies for many markets and customers is a hell of a job without some level of automation.

Automated intelligence increases the power of content creators and localizers. This statement may sound strange as some analysts predict the replacement of human content experts with AI tools. In a way, such a perspective reminds us what some people said when the internet became ubiquitous and was supposed to replace books, phones, and televisions in no time. Since then, the internet has often transformed and accelerated existing practices without fully replacing them. Automated intelligence may be similar, as it should make the pie bigger for those who create and localize content rather than taking away (many) pieces of it from them. Automated intelligence is a great opportunity to think strategically, manage resourcefully, and execute tactically by leveraging true experts, robust technology, and sustainable assets.

Most hurdles in content management have been tied to management issues leading to content devaluation. Having too many cooks in the content kitchen can do harm. Automated intelligence nails down the need for control and alignment within content supply chains so that each link does its job. It enables content creators to be more consistent, and to keep international customers in mind from the outset. In other words, it maintains high levels of effectiveness that are most challenging for human intelligence and, for example, acts like a wizard that would stop you from writing when you do not use the right term or tone. Localization teams benefit from these enhancements directly as they better translate, localize, transcreate, or customize source content to meet linguistic, cultural, and functional requirements.

Ultimately the following questions should always be asked before using automated intelligence. Who are my customers? What content is in scope? What are the cost and time effectiveness benefits?

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