Latvia's Tilde beats internet giants in machine translation battle

Take note – story published 4 years and 9 months ago

For the third consecutive year, the Latvia-based language technology company Tilde has won the “Olympics” of the machine translation technology – the WMT 2019 competition. This year Tilde's team participated with its machine translation technology for the English-Lithuanian language pair, outperforming online translation platforms such as Google, Microsoft, and others.

The WMT competition has already been taking place for 13 years, and the competing teams include large tech companies, research centers, and universities from all around the globe. Since 2017 the competition has included tasks in the Baltic region's languages.

Last year, Tilde won the WMT competition with the Estonian-English machine translation tool, and in 2017 - was announced as the best in the Latvian-English language pair translation task. This year, Tilde team participated with its latest neural machine translation system for the Lithuanian language and took the prize for the third time in a fierce competition with the leading technology companies and research centers in the world. According to the English-Lithuanian test results, the system developed by Tilde team received 72.8 out of 100 points, while the Microsoft team scored only 69.1.

Reassuringly for those of us worried about an imminent takeover by intelligent robots, the work submitted by a professional human translator was rated with 90.5 points. In this competition, Tilde participated with an expert team of eight neural network architects, including four PhDs who built the system in 4 months.

“The continuous success at WMT proves that we have all the necessary skills and resources to develop outstanding artificial intelligence technologies, specifically by focusing on difficult languages and complex linguistic aspects. This achievement is the result of our long-term investment in research and close cooperation with the industry-leading European universities and research centers. The winning technologies of Tilde can be successfully applied not only to languages of Baltic countries but other less-resourced languages and specific areas of machine translation,” said Andrejs Vasiļjevs, Executive Chairman of Tilde.

For three years, Tilde has been providing the presidency of the Council of the EU with its customized machine translation tool which assists the organizers, translators, guests and media representatives to translate various texts, documents and web pages in the majority of the official EU languages. This helps people overcome language barriers and ensures that all of the information is accessible in the official language of each member state. 

As LSM previously reported, the company also played a leading role in the development of the 'Hugo' translator used by various Latvian agencies. 

Tilde machine translation technologies are freely accessible for Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Finnish, English, Russian, Polish and Arabic languages here:

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