04 June 2012

The LTi News Roundup - 4th May 2012 (part 2)

Weekly news round-up prepared by the Editorial Staff of LangTechNews for LT-Innovate, the Forum for Europe’s Language Technology Industry.

What's happening in the Language Technology industry, from LT-Innovate

Intelligent content:

The Polish company Positionly has netted another round of funding to develop its SEO analytics solution that informs companies large and small about their positioning on web search results without needing to know anything about the topic. A great example of how language-sensitive functionality can make self-knowledge easier for busy companies. The venerable Italian lang tech developer SynTHEMA has netted a contract with the Italia newspaper La Stampa to automatically categorise editorial content using semantic technology. And the Irish start-up SindiceTech is helping companies derive real business value (and not just technical advance) from the linkage power of semantic web data.

Thanks to Manx: 

A special mention this week for the exemplary efforts of the Isle of Man - one of Europe’s smallest countries (80K population) and one of the world’s oldest continuous parliamentary bodies. The Manx parliament has digitised and published online a large collection of its records, making them easy to search and treat as a data resource for anything from linguists to lawyers. And it has been experimenting with speech recognition technology (developed partly by the UK firm VoicePower) to ensure that its current parliamentary records are captured live as a speech stream as well as being converted into text (and edited) to speed up the publication process.

Speaking of Market Size: 

Common Sense Advisory published its latest projection for 2012 on the market for outsourced translation and interpretation services from some 21,000 suppliers, sized at $33.5B, growing by 12.17% annually. The language technology portion of this sum was not communicated about directly, and the figure does not of course include the size of the in-company translation workload. Meanwhile the global speech recognition is set to market to grow by 15.65% over the next three or so years according to another market research firm. Which suggests some kind of uniform growth rate in these very different sectors. The fact is that the world’s translation activity as a whole (either paid for or free) is a vast below-the-radar market, often unrelated to technology. We therefore have little useful knowledge of its true size. Speech recognition on the other hand is exclusively mediated through technology and much easier to map. But perhaps the most fascinating data this week came from YouTube, with a claim that 4B videos are viewed every day, 70% of them from outside of the U.S. A trove of speech genres, images, and languages just waiting to become a useful resource, unless Google monetises it first!

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