For a Human-Centered AI


August 5, 2020

A contract was signed to transcribe and translate the speeches of parliamentarians with an innovative system. The new technology preserves human sensitivity towards the nuances of language incomprehensible to machines


Translated, a leading company in the world of translation, together with Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), a world leading research center in Machine Translation (MT) and Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), and PerVoice, a world leader in ASR technologies, controlled by Almawave, an Almaviva Group company, has been selected by the European Parliament to automatically transcribe and translate multilingual parliamentary debates in real time, covering the 24 official languages used by the institution, thus facilitating communication between members and opening discussions to all EU citizens, including people with disabilities.

The service will be provided by a new technology available through fully translated web and mobile applications and third-party developer APIs. This will be the first automatic speech translation system to keep the human in the process, leveraging context and user feedback to adapt the output in less than 1 second.

The solution for EU Parliament is not a simple concatenation of ASR and MT technologies, but a new, fully integrated system where the MT algorithms mitigate ASR micro errors, this way avoiding the spread of imperfections. This approach will not only help deliver much more contextualized translations, but it will also open up the opportunity to improve the quality of the output while the plenary session is happening. This will be possible thanks to the translation feedback that the tool collects from both end users and a team of professional translators.

“For over 20 years, innovation has been the driving force of PerVoice, with strong investments in research and development to make our ASR applications evolve – says Paolo Paravento, CEO of PerVoice – Being selected by the European Parliament means for us to have demonstrated the high performance of our technologies, breaking down language barriers and allowing communication between people in real time».

Within the next 12 months, the Italian consortium will release a prototype to be tested by the European Parliament together with the other two solutions selected as for the rules of a specific call. The best performing tool will be confirmed for the next two years.

“We are proud to have been chosen by the European Parliament and grateful for the opportunity to carry on our mission: to open the opportunity of the language to everyone – says the co-founder and CEO of Translated Marco Trombetti – All the tools developed by Translated over the years have been based on the belief that human creativity is valuable and that software must be designed to unlock it. We want to go a step further in this direction, allowing professional translators to add nuances to the transcription and translation of a speech that only a human ear can grasp.

Envisaged for decades, speech translation technology is now developed enough to be put to use: it is real-time, robust and language-independent, and supports all EU languages, all speakers, spontaneous as well as formal speech, and all domains.

Translated SrL is a translation company that pioneered the use of artificial intelligence to help professional translators. It was founded in 1999 by computer scientist Marco Trombetti and linguist Isabelle Andrieu and has always been focused on a powerful combination of human creativity and machine intelligence to craft consistent quality translations at speed. Today, it is one of the most successful online translation companies in the world, with 180,000 clients and offering translation in 177 languages in 40 areas of expertise. Translated has been rewarded on several occasions, including the TAUS Innovation Contest. In 2015, the European Commission awarded Translated’s CAT tool Matecat as one of the best AI research projects of the previous 7 years. In 2017, the Financial Times included Translated as one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies.

PerVoice S.p.A. is a world leader in ICT  technologies, controlled by Almawave, an Almaviva Group company. Born in 2007 as a spin-off of the research laboratories of the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Trento, PerVoice was the first Italian company to offer a complete portfolio of technological solutions for the automatic recognition of spontaneous speech, which today support over 30 languages. PerVoice technologies use advanced Machine Learning and Neural Networks algorithms to digitize natural language with maximum simplicity and accuracy.

Fondazione Bruno Kessler is the top research foundation in Italy, ranked 1st for scientific excellence in 3 different thematic areas and for the economic and social impact according to the results of the latest ANVUR research quality assessment. With its 3,500 square meters of laboratories and scientific infrastructures and a community of over 400 permanent researchers, 140 doctoral students, 200 visiting and undergraduate students, 700 affiliates and accredited students, the Bruno Kessler Foundation operates as a real scientific and technological district, hosting in its offices and on its platforms a lively ecosystem of co-located realities, spin offs, projects and training opportunities. From the skills built in 30 years of research to an innovative vision for the Artificial Intelligence of the future: this is the mission of the FBK Strategic Plan for the next decade 2018-2028. FBK directs its research to the experimentation of an Artificial Intelligence that collaborates with people and does not replace them.

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