Kathy Laster appointed chair of Australia’s VITS Language Loop
Professor Kathy Laster, director of Victoria University’s Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, has been appointed chair of the Victorian Government’s Interpreting and Translating Service (VITS) Language Loop. With a network of over 3,000 interpreters assisting people in 160 languages to communicate in health, education, legal, and consumer settings, VITS has served Victoria’s diverse communities for more than 40 years.
“I am thrilled to be leading such an important organization which provides such vital services to Victoria’s diverse communities, which is more important today than ever” she said. “COVID 19 has highlighted the importance of effective communication channels with diverse communities, including making information available in community languages and providing interpreter services in health settings.”
Born in Hungary, Laster came to Australia as a child as part of the family reunion program for refugees. She co-authored Interpreters and the Legal System, a key text used in interpreter education in Australia and overseas. Professor Laster has been a public sector leader as CEO of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) and executive director of the Victoria Law Foundation, where she championed access to justice through such initiatives as annual Law Week outreach events. She previously served on the board of AMES Australia, a migrant and refugee resettlement and education agency.
Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health Awards HYKIST Project to AppTek to provide critical care with AI-driven automatic speech translation technology
AppTek announced this week that it has been selected by the German Federal Ministry of Health for the Ministry’s HYKIST project. The project will assist language service providers (LSP) who work remotely with hospitals and emergency rooms throughout Germany, providing automatic speech recognition (ASR) and neural machine translation (NMT) to serve multilingual needs. Translating to and from German, AppTek aims to help healthcare providers improve critical care delivery for non-native speakers.
“Language barriers remain a significant hurdle when it comes to effective medical care worldwide. Unfortunately there are not enough interpreters available to address even basic medical requirements across a variety of languages and dialects,” said Volker Steinbiss, managing director of AppTek GmbH. “Especially in 2020 with the global pandemic, we have seen firsthand the importance of accurate communication in healthcare. AppTek is honored to provide our automatic speech translation capability to deliver real-world change that benefits the global healthcare community.”
The HYKIST project is an artificial intelligence-based, real-time automatic speech interpreting and translation system designed for LSPs to have more effective healthcare communications with non-German speaking patients. Currently, there are 20.8 million immigrants living in Germany, and up to 30% have only low-level German language skills. Insufficient language services in medical care has led to a decrease in trust of medical providers, lower quality of care, an increased rate of treatment errors, ineffective preventive measures for patients, and dissatisfaction among medical staff.
Through HYKIST, ASR and NMT will be combined with a dialog system for capturing initial medical history, and integrated into the Triaphon telecommunication platform already being used to assign language mediators to urgent phone conversations with medical staff in real time.
KantanMT appointed Dominick Kelly as technical solutions sales director
KantanMT this week announced it has appointed Dominick Kelly as technical solutions sales director. Kelly will be responsible for leading the sales function at KantanMT for both its KantanMT platform and KantanSkynet. This new hire comes as KantanMT experiences accelerated demand for its latest innovation KantanSkynet, a crowdsourcing translation platform that integrates into LiveChat, Ticket, FAQ, and Content systems. The platform delivers on-demand, post-edited translations chosen to suit an organization’s domain, cost, and knowledge requirements.
Kelly has 16 years of experience in technology and business roles within the localization industry at companies including STAR Group and RWS Group. More recently, he worked as EMEA client solutions director at XTM, where he secured a number of key accounts to support the organization’s growth.
Samsung S Translator service will be shut down next month
After discontinuing some of Bixby Vision’s augmented reality features last month, Samsung has announced it will shut down its S Translator service in December. Samsung made the announcement via an in-app notice to South Korean users announcing its plans to discontinue its in-house translation service.
The notice states that the after shutting down the S Translator service, Samsung will delete all personal information collected by the service. The S Translator service came pre-installed on several flagship Galaxy devices and offered language translation between 11 languages: Brazilian Portuguese, English (UK), English (US), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish.
Although Samsung is shutting down S Translator, Galaxy users already have access to an alternative translation service in the form of the company’s voice assistant Bixby. The voice assistant can translate text from one language to another, it supports a larger number of languages, and it offers a significantly better user experience (UX) than the the S Translator. Bixby also supports live translation that makes use of your device’s camera to instantly translate any text you see around you from one language to another.