On May 23, 2024, over 170 language industry leaders from across the world gathered in the exciting city of London to share their insights and network with peers at SlatorCon London 2024.

Slator’s own and London native Esther Bond, Head of Advisory, welcomed attendees to the event, providing an overview of the day’s presentations and panels.

Slator Managing Director, Florian Faes, began the sessions with a market mood check and shared insights from Slator’s 2024 Language Industry Market Report. Faes showed how AI is fast changing existing markets as it creates new ones, and offered a few examples of shifting market dynamics.

Iris Orriss, Vice President of Global Experience and International Marketing at Meta, outlined in her keynote speech the scale of the company’s localization operations and discussed how culturally-aware expert linguists remain an essential part of its language strategy.

Touching on what she thinks the future looks like, Orris said that “AI is often labeled ‘the age of machines’, and I think it will continue to be [of] people because our connection and our human interaction is what makes us human, right? You look at social media — it has really changed the way we communicate and it has democratized our voice, for all of us, in a way.”

Bryan Murphy, CEO of Smartling, continued the stimulating morning sessions speaking, among other topics, about his company’s rollout of a new AI toolkit, the ability to potentially produce translations on a daily basis in the billions of words, and the way to complement and enhance existing hybrid AI-human workflows with the right mix of technologies.

Martina Pancot, Localization Director at online second-hand retailer Vinted, closed the morning sessions by relating how she built a localization operation from scratch for her company, which has approximately 18 million members, and localizes for about 20 different countries (and growing), processing 3 million source words in 2023.

AI Automation

The afternoon sessions included three panel discussions, the first of which was moderated by Esther Bond and included panelists from DeepL and Clarivate. Some of the key takeaways were the need to create a mix of AI solutions for specific translation needs, echoing earlier sessions, and to think thoroughly about the elements that will be included in any implementation.

Slator’s Florian Faes moderated a panel on AI-enabled localization in public broadcasting with executives from AppTek, Deluxe, and EBC (Empresa Brasil de Comunicação). The discussion centered on how AI technology can support new use cases, such as the “TV Brasil Internacional” 24/7 EBC online channel, and similar initiatives to reach their goals in ways that were not previously possible.

The final panel was moderated by Slator’s Anna Wyndham, Head of Research, and focused on the language AI startup journey. Panelists from Byrdhouse AI and Mabel.AI discussed their journey designing and launching their products and spoke about the current technology challenge in speech-to-speech solutions.

In his presentation, Richard Parnell, General Manager at Linguamatics, focused on making the case for a subject matter expert-driven AI language solutions model. 

Florian Faes delivered the closing remarks, inviting the audience to join the Slator team for more thought-provoking meetings at SlatorCon Remote in June 2024, or in person again on September 5, 2024, at SlatorCon Silicon Valley (check Slator’s Events page for details, coming soon).

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