Q&A with Andreas Ljungström, Xperts Team Manager at XTM International
Q&A with Andreas Ljungström, Xperts Team Manager at XTM International illustration
Aleix Gwilliam
AuthorAleix Gwilliam
Reading time 5 minutes
“In 2023, AI initiatives seemed to be driven by marketing; in 2024, we will see it used in production.”

2023 was a big year for the localization industry which saw many changes to existing business models, the arrival of groundbreaking technology that looks set to revolutionize everything, and a whole myriad of trends and insights that were on everyone’s lips at the many events that took place.

To get a better understanding of what we can expect to see in localization in 2024, we sat down with our Xperts Team Manager Andreas Ljungström to discuss what’s in store for next year in the world of localization and technology.

Andreas, what did we see in 2023 that is going to be key moving forward in 2024 and beyond?

In 2023 we saw a lot of AI initiatives and experiments going on with different large language models. A large part of it was marketing-driven rather than being production-ready, I feel.

What I expect we’re going to see in 2024 is a greater level of maturity in this regard, with more real-life scenarios where AI is actually being used in production scenarios to a benefit and not only serving a marketing purpose or being something driven by it.

2023 was the breakout year for GenAI – with the hype dying down now, how are companies approaching it and what do you expect will be the more common approach this year?

Less hype, that’s for sure, as I see it’s somewhat settling down. I think the common approach is more about the technology coming to a certain level of maturity and being available in a plethora of products. Especially LLM-based add-on products and niche services, which have become a big thing already, are seeing the first signs of consolidation already.

Andreas Ljungström
Andreas Ljungström

It will be a while before we see AI technology being deployed en masse in information-sensitive businesses or political fields.”

Andreas Ljungström

Xperts Team Manager

How do they work?

It’s still early in the year, but what boomed in 2023 were all these little niche solutions that were built on top of OpenAI, LLaMA, Bard…They were built on top of them because these systems have APIs, so it’s very easy to integrate with them. As soon as these niche players become successful, they’re going to be eaten by bigger fish, and that’s the type of consolidation that we might see this year already.

All that needs to happen is for one of these niche players to land a big client and all of a sudden they’ll become interesting to buy for everyone.

From the hype, let’s turn to the matters that drew some negative attention: How do you foresee GenAI appeasing the concerns generated in terms of data privacy and intellectual property, to name a few?

Thankfully, we already saw some legal initiatives in the EU and in the US among others, because some countries were throwing AI-related safety concerns out the window. There have even been cases where members of parliament in certain countries have been using AI-generated content in their communications, and have even called for interpreters to be removed in its favor. I think that’s a terrible idea. Generating content with AI can be fun and it can also serve a purpose, but taking the human aspect totally out of the loop, especially in contexts which are so sensitive, sounds nonsensical to me, as any issues related to linguistic accuracy can cause serious problems.

You’re talking about governmental scenarios, but does this apply to business scenarios as well?

Yes, absolutely. There needs to be an incentive for technology to evolve and become better, so we’re not just shackled by legal red tape. But these concerns are real. Just think about the medical and the life science branch. Removing the human aspect out of the loop can be very dangerous. For example, localization in the medical field requires a high level of legal clearance and abiding by a large number of regulations, so I think that it will be a while before we see AI technology being deployed en masse in these fields.

Aside from all the AI talk, is there anything else that has caught your eye recently in the loc-tech space that you believe will be big in 2024 and beyond?

I say this almost every year, but I think the simplicity of connectivity will be an even bigger thing. The buzzword is “no-code connectivity solutions”. You don’t have to be a developer anymore to connect systems. There are already plenty of solutions on the market for this. With connectivity to content repositories being such a key part of the efficiency of any localization program, and with time-to-market goals getting smaller and smaller all the time, you now need to go to market with a connectivity solution much faster than you did in previous years, so finding a tech provider that can offer you these solutions out of the box will provide a competitive advantage, that’s for sure.

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