Blazing-Fast Machine Translation With Kenneth Heafield – Slator

4 hours ago

Blazing-Fast Machine Translation With Kenneth Heafield

In this week’s SlatorPod, we’re joined by Kenneth Heafield, Reader in Machine Translation (MT) at the University of Edinburgh, a leading MT researcher. We originally connected with Kenneth on Twitter in a discussion about Slator’s coverage of a research paper on Carbon Emissions in MT.

Kenneth talks about his experience going back and forth between academia and industry, reflecting on the pros and cons of working for Big Tech. He discusses his recent research with efficient translation and language modelling as well as other MT topics that are undervalued by the industry.

Kenneth shares his thoughts on the popular preprint platform arXiv and how news outlets should cover research that hasn’t been peer-reviewed. He gives tips for those interested in attending natural language processing (NLP) conferences, particularly on how to navigate the complex system.


Kenneth concludes the podcast with an exciting demo of Translate Locally, an MT app that runs locally on a desktop or laptop CPU, allowing cloud-like translation speed without sacrificing privacy and browsing habits.

First up, Florian and Esther discuss the language industry news of the week, with Argos Multilingual acquiring rival Venga Global and roughly doubling its size to become one of the top 25 LSPs in the world. One LSP that missed the top spot by a hair is RWS, whose full-year revenue is exceeding expectations, with consensus placing the figure around USD 965m. 

Meanwhile, Slator’s very own Anna Wyndham joins the Pod to talk about our highly popular article, “10 Areas Where Translators Are (and Will Remain) Essential Experts in the Loop,” published last week. She highlights a selection of mission-critical scenarios in which translators are the true experts in the loop, despite the advancement of tech.

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