Best Wishes

Father Christmas With the year coming to the end, there comes also the traditional sequence of forecasts, as usual way more numerous than the analyses. Obviously, business will be better, innovations overwhelmingly huge, with prosperity all around.

Wait a minute! What needs to be fixed, then? And why everybody seems to be struggling with the same old problems?

Wishful thinking? It’s Christmas time! Just make a wish and Father Christmas will grant it.

Best Wishes to TM Gravediggers

For a decade or so, following a surprisingly regular tempo, the usual suspects have been sentencing about the irrelevance of translation memories, prophesy their demise, or even commemorate them.

At the same time, the same usual suspects, in turn, have been advocating and announcing the imminent birth of a translation data marketplace, however improbable this might be without translation memories and the tools to produce and manage them.

There are, in fact, many good reasons for being critical about translation memories and for changing the underlying data model, even though no new model has been introduced so far especially by those who could have.

Those very same people are, in one way or another, involved with TM-marketplace and data-sharing projects, however shaped.

Schizophrenic? Definitely. Or maybe it is only narcissistic delusion.

By the way, the real news in this industry is that, regardless of TMs, translation has become faster and cheaper, although not any better. If translation has not become any better it is mostly due to resistances in escaping the old ideas, and in accepting, as well as developing, new ones. True, new ideas are not necessarily good per se, anyway when this is the case, it is possibly because they are not actually new.

Indeed, no one seems willing to do their homework anymore.

Best Wishes to Blockchain Illusionists

Blockchain has been a major tech hype for a few years now. Much has been said about its potentially transformative, revolutionary power. Their hype affected also the translation industry.

Now, a recent study reported that none of the projects started so far has been able to show that any major goal has been achieved and that blockchain technology has basically proved useless when adopted for any application other than the original one with cryptocurrencies.

Has blockchain technology just failed? Maybe not, maybe it is only ahead of its time, it should definitely be deeply refined, it is largely immature.

Blockchain has been suffering the fate of any new emerging technology that is said to be potentially disruptive, thus triggering the loudest noise by those selling it. Touted as an innovative way of funding businesses, ICOs have generally resulted in lost money with digital cryptocurrency tokens yielding little or no value and businesses hardly growing, mostly because of a lack of transparency and the tendency for initiatives to drain the investors’ money into black holes.

The lack of transparency has its own raison d’être: Blockchain is definitely not easy to explain and its revolutionary power is even harder to see, especially when conventional technology can do the same, faster, easier, and with less.

Now that even RNNs are within the reach of ordinary mortals and their computing power is available with still limited resources, the waste for solving the cryptographical challenges to keep information stored on a public blockchain secure is nonsense. Indeed, the very few private blockchains implemented are still often highly CPU-intensive, while AI and predictive modeling have proven to generate growth and value, thus making harder and harder for blockchain to represent a worthwhile business investment.

Best Wishes to the Wise Guys and the Bullshitters

Two predictions can easily be made that will turn real for sure in the year to come, because the easiest way to describe a probable future is to stick to the present:

  1. Wise guys will keep selling products they don’t know and understand to people who can’t value and appreciate them, thriving on information asymmetry and widening it. To do so, they will keep hiring linguists from the lower layer of the resource market to keep competing on price, burning all resources to chase their passion for luxury cars, fashion outfits, golfing, cigars, fine wine, etc. Every means is good for them, starting with extorting the purchase of their shitty tool to vendors. It’s called pizzo.
  2. Bullshitters will keep selling their crap to fools while wooing the wise guys. We will keep meeting them at industry events smelling like spirits, wearing muddy shoes, crumpled and unkempt, still playing high society. They will keep choking the Net with their worthless marketing stuff while trying to make their junk forgotten, still not forgiven. Indeed, their rubbish advice will still be bought, their black turtlenecks will still make an impact on hens and chanterelles. Until this doomed industry will collapse.

Good luck

Don’t say you were not warned, it will still be too late.