Where No One Has Gone Before

Where No One Has Gone Before

Science fiction fans won’t need reminding that Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, was born 100 years ago today. His legacy extends far beyond sci-fi, though, and far beyond TV. From his earliest days as a writer and producer, Roddenberry was a champion of inclusion, casting African-American and Asian actors in high-profile roles at a time when this was rare to the point of being a curiosity. Many of Star Trek’s millions of fans have suggested that one reason for the franchise’s enduring popularity is its optimism; in the mid-1960s, Gene Roddenbery set out his vision for a future in which women and men of different ethnicities would work side by side for the good of humanity. At the height of the Cold War, with the Soviet Union and the United States hovering on the brink of nuclear conflict, he introduced a Russian character to the main cast and made him unequivocally heroic.

As well as being an optimist, Roddenbery was a tech visionary, introducing gadgets that are closely aligned with tools we use today. The hand-held universal translators that enabled Kirk, Spock and co to communicate with any species they met have a 21st century mirror in the Translation Management System, and in the form of XTM Mobile they are just as convenient. The linguistic link doesn’t end there. One of the quirkier aspects of Star Trek’s legacy was the birth of Klingon as a fully-fledged language. There are an estimated 20 completely fluent speakers in the world today, and when scholars of linguistics at Georgetown University set up the Klingon Machine Translation Project in 1994 they were acknowledging not only the passion of Star Trek fans but also the increasing importance of automation in global communication. At XTM International we can identify with both the passion and the technical innovation. We’re passionate about enabling multilingual communication. We’re passionate about showing professionals across all industries that language technology is a friend that can elevate job performance and offer job security. And the technical innovation we bring to the table is game-changing, not for a small band of fans who‘ve mastered a fictional language but for the millions who want and deserve to be communicated with in their native language.

Given enough data to work with, Artificial Intelligence can predict relationships between words with a high degree of accuracy. This calculation of relationships can tell us, for example, that the relationship “toe” has with “foot” probably mirrors the relationship “finger” has with “hand”. By harnessing appropriate bilingual data for different languages, XTM International has developed Inter-language Vector Space (ILVS), a product unique to XTM which can make precise calculations of the accuracy of machine translations between those languages. Using vast amounts of online data for reference, ILVS calculates the probability of a given target language word being the correct translation of a source word for over 250 language pairs. For clients using ILVS, the time previously spent completing mundane gap-filling language tasks can now be spent using their skills to the full, showing their creativity and adding human finesse and persuasiveness to multilingual communication.

Gene Rodenberry deserves enormous credit for uniting nationalities and ethnicities on screen. Our method of uniting people across oceans and borders is to offer them a Translation Management System that preserves the nuance and flow of their message for any target audience. And with Inter-language Vector Space, we really are going where no one has gone before.

Why not come with us?