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Read our blog for regular updates on the interpreting business and product updates!

Celebrating Our 10-Year Anniversary

April 28th, 2021 by Interpreter Intelligence

Interpreter Intelligence turns 10! To celebrate our 10-year anniversary, we’d like to take a moment to look back at how we’ve grown, and look ahead at what’s to come. 2020 was a difficult year for all of us, and a year of sluggish growth for the language service industry. Nevertheless, we’re very excited about what’s to come and we’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 10 years.

Powering Interpreter Intelligence An Interview With Our CEO

CEO Conor Power On Founding Interpreter Intelligence

10 Years Ago

Interpreter Intelligence was founded in 2011 to meet the needs of language service providers struggling to find off-the-shelf solutions for their growing interpretation business. Our CEO & Founder, Conor Power, worked side by side with our first client to develop the first version of the Interpreter Intelligence platform. From humble beginnings, Interpreter Intelligence has grown to be used by the largest language services providers in the industry.

 

Interpreter Intelligence Customer Testimonials

Customers On How Interpreter Intelligence Has Impacted Their Business

10 Years Helping LSPs Grow

We would be nowhere without our customers. For 10 years, language service providers from all over the world have been able to optimize and streamline their business processes with our technology. We’ve seen small agencies bloom into powerhouse businesses, while big corporations further solidified their position within the market. Through our technology, we want to empower growth, and we could not be more proud to see our customers grow over time.

 

Software Update

400+ Software Updates Since 2011

10 Years Building Best-In-Class Technology

We are software engineers at heart, something which definitely rings true for our CEO & Founder, Conor Power. In 2011, Conor custom-built the first version of Interpreter Intelligence for the largest language service provider in the world, after carefully outlining and understanding the needs of every stakeholder involved in the interpreting service delivery process. To build best-in-class interpreting technology, you need to fully understand the lifecycle of an interpreting assignment, and that’s exactly what we had in mind developing our platform. Of course, as the industry and its technology evolves, our platform does as well.

 

Consolidating Business Processes

Scheduling, Communications, Invoicing… Interpreter Intelligence Brings It All Together For Your Business

10 Years Consolidating Processes

It’s not easy to deliver interpretation services: agencies need an efficient way to process incoming requests, they need to manage their contractors’ qualifications, they need to fill requests as quickly and effectively as possible, they need to bill customers and pay interpreters accurately and quickly, all while keeping everyone informed at every stage of the process. This is what Interpreter Intelligence was designed to do. We know how to bring it all together for your business.

 

California Interpreters Finally Exempt From AB 5

Language Professionals Getting An Exemption For CA AB5 Was A Big Win For The Industry

10 Years Empowering Language Access

Our goal is to increase language access around the world through our technology. As a dedicated member and partner of various language organizations, we’ve always supported an inclusive and multilingual future for us all. When legislation gets in the way, whether that be in healthcare, the legal sector, or in any other area of government , we do our best to amplify the voices that need to be heard.

 

 

Here’s To Another 10 Years Of Interpreter Intelligence!

10+ Years Ahead

At Interpreter Intelligence, we’re always looking ahead. We are constantly thinking about the future of the industry, and we want to make sure our customers’ needs continue to be met, as we ensure our platform supports all the functionality of a modern interpreter platform. We have some very exciting features coming up on the roadmap, and we can’t wait to share them with our customers when they’re available. Here’s to another 10 years of Interpreter Intelligence!

 



If you’re a language service provider looking to streamline and consolidate your business processes,
get in touch with our team to schedule a demo!

Powering Interpreter Intelligence: An Interview With Our CEO

March 11th, 2021 by Interpreter Intelligence

Our CEO Conor Power founded Interpreter Intelligence over a decade ago, so we asked him what it was like to start your own company, why he decided to get involved in the language industry, and what is next for the language service industry and Interpreter Intelligence as a company.

*If you’re hearing-impaired, please click cc to turn on the captions.

Telehealth & The Importance Of Remote Interpreting

February 4th, 2021 by Interpreter Intelligence

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth visits were on the rise. For quick questions or for standard prescription refills, patients could simply chat with their doctors from the comfort of their own homes. Now, with the pandemic, e-visits have become commonplace. One might even say they have become a necessity. Unfortunately, logistical barriers exist for underserved populations, specifically for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). So how can remote interpreting bridge that crucial communication gap?

Between April 2019 and April 2020, telehealth claims increased by 8,336% (!). About 1 in 7 medical claims were being submitted virtually. It was indicative of a permanent shift to virtual healthcare, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only expedited that process. However, for the 25 million Americans with LEP (approximately 1 in 11 Americans), telehealth is not always as convenient. Logistical issues, especially language barriers, often prevent them from getting the care they need.  

Studies have shown that, on average, people with LEP wait much longer to visit with a physician, and with COVID-19, many healthcare providers have reported that they are seeing even fewer LEP patients than usual. Possible explanations could be that instructions for telemedicine platforms aren’t available in enough languages, that the patient’s languages are not available via a video or telephonic interpreter, or simply because many LEP patients are not aware of their right to a qualified interpreter and other language access provisions at no extra cost. 

There are many important and practical reasons for patients and physicians to communicate effectively. Physicians need to obtain accurate medical histories, and patients need to understand the physician’s instructions. When the language barrier is not addressed effectively, preventative services can be delayed, resulting in the exacerbation of chronic conditions and the deterioration of acute symptoms. Other implications of this barrier include inappropriate use of medication, longer hospital stays, and poor patient satisfaction.

Investing in linguistically appropriate healthcare has also proven to be a win-win situation for all. When healthcare providers use qualified medical interpreters, fewer errors are made, fewer unnecessary tests are ordered, and the overall quality of care improves. It reduces costs and it literally saves lives. Additionally, appropriate linguistic care has also been instrumental in limiting the spread of COVID-19 across LEP communities. Aside from LEP communities, there is one other major community that struggles with linguistic barriers in healthcare.

The deaf and hard of hearing community require special attention because sign language is a three-dimensional language. When it is reduced to a two-dimensional screen, much is lost in translation. Deaf patients may also need two interpreters. Aside from an ASL interpreter, deaf patients may also require a certified deaf interpreter to translate non-ASL languages to ASL. A hearing ASL interpreter will then translate this to the provider. In short, the healthcare industry faces many challenges in this virtual transition, but how can they overcome them?

Healthcare providers that use interpreting technology platforms such as Interpreter Intelligence have all the tools they need to provide high-quality linguistic services to their patients. Interpreter Intelligence offers fully HIPAA-compliant remote interpreting solutions, either over the phone, or via video conferencing. Third parties can be dialed in on the spot, and any relevant information can be collected and documented during the call via our customizable reference fields,  completely tailored to the needs of your organization. To learn more about our remote interpreting features, schedule a demo by clicking the orange button above.

How The Senate Race Might Affect Language Access

December 7th, 2020 by Interpreter Intelligence

It took some time, but we now know Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States, which begs the question: how will a Biden administration affect language access and employee classification? A while back, we wrote a blog post about how the Trump presidency has affected language access, but what will be different when Biden goes into office? Well, turns out we shouldn’t necessarily be looking at the presidency for answers, instead, we should look at the US Senate race.

The Senate is the government body that has the power to approve or disapprove treaties negotiated by the House of Representatives, which currently holds a democratic majority. However, as long as the Senate is controlled by republicans, it is hard for democrats to pass any legislation. Either way, whether the Senate remains Republican or whether it’s the Democrats that regain control, there will be major consequences for the language industry.

Control over the Senate is still undetermined and will not be clear until at least January 2021. Right now, the Republican party has 50 Senate seats, and the Democratic party has 48. The two run-off elections in Georgia will determine which party will end up holding the majority. If the Senate is tied 50-50, then VP Kamala Harris would be the deciding vote for democratic control. So let’s explore how a republican majority would affect language access, and how a democratic majority would affect it.

Employee Classification

One major issue still in contention is employee classification. The “Protecting the Right to Organize Act” (PRO Act) amends the National Labor Relations Act, which reclassifies all independent contractors as employees. If the Senate remains in Republican hands, it is unlikely the PRO Act will move forward in Congress. The PRO Act would allow independent contractors to join unions, and then collectively bargain for pay, benefits, and working conditions. Given that California Proposition 22 (which exempts app-based drivers from employee status) was passed overwhelmingly, it is clear much is left to be said around employee classification, and its course will depend heavily on the outcome of the Senate race.

Language Access in Healthcare

The second issue is language access in healthcare. The state of Texas has sued to overturn the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). It is now up to the Supreme Court to decide whether or not it will be overturned. Although it seems unlikely, a Republican-controlled Senate would likely not restore Obamacare if it were overturned. The Affordable Care Act considers language access a medical necessity, reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare plans. If overturned (and not restored by a Republican Senate), then language support in healthcare will no longer be considered a necessity, and no longer be covered.

JNCL – NCLIS

For more information, please consult the JNCL-NCIS, the Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Languages and International Studies. They analyze federal and state legislation, provide policy recommendations to decision-makers on Capitol Hill, and track the budget & appropriations process in Congress. If you feel passionate about an inclusive language policy in America, check out their website to see how you can contribute to a multilingual future for America.

Sponsoring Interpreter Education Online’s Second Virtual Conference

December 4th, 2020 by Interpreter Intelligence

Interpreter Intelligence was once again a platinum sponsor for Interpreter Education Online’s Virtual Conference. IEO is an organization that provides quality training and testing for interpreters, helps its clients maintain quality assurance, and is committed to upholding industry standards. Interpreter Intelligence is honored to be involved with IEO’s second virtual conference, which focused on interpreting and translation during the pandemic and post-election.

The conference brought together expert speakers from language companies, language associations, political organizations, and hundreds of interpreters and translators. Together, we discussed the current state of the language industry, and how we can all adapt to the current market and political landscape.

Click here to see the full conference program. To see a full recording of the conference, please contact the team at Interpreter Education Online. Again the backdrop of the conference, Jinny Bromberg, founder and president of Bromberg & Associates, and Conor Power, founder and CEO of Interpreter Intelligence, reflect on their long and thriving partnership in the video below.

 

Machine Translation: What’s The Latest?

October 28th, 2020 by Interpreter Intelligence

Machine Translation (MT) is the process by which computer software is used to translate a text from one natural language (such as English) to another (such as Spanish). Long disregarded as a buzzword, machine translation has come a long way since it was first introduced in the 1950s, and its evolution has been exponential. Let’s take a few minutes to go over the latest developments in machine translation, and let’s have a look at what the tech giants have been up to lately.

How does Machine Translation work?

Generally, there are three approaches to Machine Translation. The first approach is Rule-based Machine Translation (RbMT). This approach relies on countless algorithms based on the grammar, syntax, and phraseology of a language. The second approach is Statistical Machine Translation (SMT). With lots of parallel texts becoming available, SMT developers learned to pattern-match reference texts to find translations that are statistically most likely to be suitable. Then there is Neural Machine Translation (NMT). NMT uses machine learning technology to teach software how to produce the best result. Many MT providers have switched to NMT, as it is deemed the most promising, most scalable and eventually, most accurate of the three, although some providers utilize a hybrid form as well, combining multiple approaches.

Silicon Valley & Big Tech

For Silicon Valley’s tech giants, machine translation is an indispensable tool to be able to translate the exponentially increasing amounts of online content. Google and Apple have been investing heavily in MT research lately, especially to support their virtual assistants, ‘Google Assistant’ and ‘Siri’ respectively. However, the biggest challenge for Google, Apple, Facebook, etc. is to level the playing field for low-resource languages. Machine learning (ML) models need to be trained, and you need lots of data in order to do so. For rare languages, there simply isn’t enough data to train these machine learning models properly. Consequently, English is used as a ‘pivot language’. In other words, the source language is first translated into English, and then into the target language, because it is easier to train ML models this way. However, Facebook recently boasted a major breakthrough. Facebook’s latest NMT model was designed to avoid English as the intermediary (or pivot) language between source and target languages. Facebook called it the “culmination of years of Facebook AI’s foundational work in machine translation.”

China Joins The Race

Meanwhile, as part of the Chinese government’s three-year action plan to advance the country’s AI technology, including speech recognition and machine translation, Chinese tech giants Alibaba, WeChat and TikTok have been stepping up their MT efforts as well. Alibaba is working on an NMT engine which mimics the human language learning process. They call it “self-paced learning”, and it supposedly vastly improved the accuracy of the engine’s translations. Although these Chinese companies are doing exciting research into MT, Western governments have criticized Chinese MT offerings because they suspect it to be a way for the Chinese government to collect data on users outside of China. Famously, for this reason, the Trump administration said it would ban apps like WeChat and TikTok in the United States, although for now, a judge has blocked the order before it would have gone into effect. Whether Trump’s ban was motivated by security concerns or by a political agenda, it goes to show how important MT is in the fight for technological superiority. Let’s just hope this “technological cold war” ends up benefiting the consumer in the long run.

“As a Language Service Provider, should I be using MT?”

For Language Service Providers, MT is used to augment productivity of their translators, cut costs, save time, and provide post-editing services to clients. In 2016, SDL, one of the largest translation companies in the world, announced it translates 20 times more content with MT than with human teams. So yes, if you want to provide translation services at scale, it’s time to hop on the MT train, if you haven’t already.

Any thoughts, corrections or questions concerning this blog post? Let us know!