Localization leaders discuss ChatGPT’s potential impact on the industry at Custom.MT event

Ever since its launch this past November, ChatGPT’s become something of a household name. Although it may not produce the most impressive content just yet, educators, copywriters, and translators — just to name a few — have all brought into question its ability to affect the landscape of their respective career paths.

That question was at the forefront of Custom.MT’s “ChatGPT in Localization” webinar on Wednesday. The online event featured a keynote address from Marco Trombetti and panels with language industry experts like Olga Beregovaya and Jochen Hummel on how localization professionals can integrate ChatGPT into their workflow and what the advent of this technology could mean for the industry as a whole.

“We need to act now — the opportunity is now. … AI and language are what everyone is talking about today.” Trombetti, the co-founder and CEO of Translated, a Rome-based provider of machine translation services, said in his keynote address to attendees.

The event was moderated by CustomMT’s Konstantin Dranch and Stacey Lisina along with Pangaeanic’s Manuel Herranz. Following Trombetti’s keynote speech, the webinar hosted three panels: one focusing on vendors’ perspectives, one on buyers’ perspectives, and a research-focused panel on finding a “European answer to ChatGPT.” Those who missed the event on Wednesday can view the nearly four-hour event in its entirety on Linkedin.

In the vendor-side panel, EasyTranslate’s Frederik Pedersen demonstrated how EasyTranslate’s software — which uses AI to generate text quite similarly to ChatGPT — generates templates for different types of content, such as blogs and articles, that can be used as content briefs for human content creators. 

Although Pedersen acknowledged that EasyTranslate’s software can produce content on its own, the content generation is more of a “party trick,” rather than immediately useable content. And this makes sense — as Trombetti noted in his keynote address, ChatGPT’s output is highly fluent with some deficiencies in accuracy. Although ChatGPT produces content that’s easy to read, many copywriters who have integrated the tool into their workflow note that its output usually needs significant editing before it can be used.

In the same panel, Beregovaya mentioned that ChatGPT can also help elevate the position of translation and localization in the content generation process.

“Translation is still a second step — I think now the opportunity for us, be it LSPs or technology providers, is to come in as content owners and end-to-end content partners,” Beregovaya said.


Andrew Warner
Andrew Warner is a writer from Sacramento. He received his B.A. in linguistics and English from UCLA and is currently working toward an M.A. in applied linguistics at Columbia University. His writing has been published in Language Magazine, Sactown Magazine, and The Takeout.

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