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Article originally posted on Data Science Central. Visit Data Science Central
Social media has exploded. And it is rapidly becoming the choice of marketers who want to gain a large audience, spread their brands and develop relationships that will result in trust and ultimately sales.
But competition is fierce, and marketers who must craft content are finding it increasingly difficult to cover all of the social media platforms they want to. One of the solutions is to use AI-powered tools to save manpower and to improve efficiency.
Use of AI Tools on Social Media
The AI tools available now allow marketers to generate more content faster; bots can analyze the performance of content; AI tools find and sort data on customer profiles by mining information of users; AI tools are also used to monitor all comments of users/consumers; and marketers even use AI to collect data on influencers and match the right influencers to their brands.
One Key AI Use – Translation
There are more than two billion users of Facebook, and the majority are not English-speaking. And as businesses and their marketers are increasing their attempts to reach a global audience, the need for translation of social media posts is real.
In the past, Facebook has used a machine translation program, which was less than ideal, for certain.
Now, Facebook has developed an improved translation service, powered by neural networks, a type of AI. It is called “convolution neural network (CNN).”
While in the past, the Facebook translation program performed translation, word by word, this new AI-based translation focuses on phrases and, over time, phrases and phrases within context of the content.
According to Facebook, its new translations are more accurate than previous machine translations. As well, the AI machines continue to “teach” themselves to interpret large language data sets, in order to understand natural language, including idioms and slang. So far, accuracy has increased by about 20% over earlier machine translations.
The Beauty of Facebook’s New AI Translation Feature
Here’s the thing. There are two key features that users will love:
- They will have the option to automatically translate anything into an array of languages. If something is posted in English, and someone in France has their preferred language listed as French, any post will automatically be translated into French. Think of the benefit to marketers when they can simply post something in English and not worry about a translation into the languages of consumers they are targeting globally.
- Users in foreign countries will have the option to “fix” translation errors. This is huge. Recipients of translated posts have the option to go in and correct translation errors; they are thus allowing the machines to learn more and use those corrections in any future translations they do. Over time, user involvement in this process will mean that marketers get their messages across without laborious manual translations.
Where Does This Leave the Competition
Facebook has obviously set the bar AI translation. While its function is not by any means perfect, it is a massive improvement over previous translation activity. And, as its machines continue to get better at natural language processing, translations will become more accurate.
Until then, of course, marketers will continue to use the most reputable and largest translation companies to localize their messages for foreign audiences. But, as the Bob Dylan song says, “The Times, They are a’Changin.’”
There is certainly the incentive for other social media platforms to develop their own AI translation functions too. Google is also moving forward on AI translation. Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and others will have to get on board as well, if they want to remain competitive and continue to capture a large share of the reading and viewing market.
Marketers will gravitate toward those channels that offer accurate AI translations, as they strive to reach global markets. The savings in time and money are just too attractive. And the opportunities to connect with a global audience for marketing purposes is just too critical.
The Future is Now
AI is disrupting almost every sector of the economy. Social media should be no different. AI is already providing marketers with a wealth of data they can use to reach their audiences on social media platforms. Translation through AI technology is a logical outcome, as marketers are continually finding ways to streamline and spread their brand messages to a wider audience. There will soon come a day when accurate and contextually correct translations are available on all social media platforms – automatically, with no need for additional work on the part of brand marketers.