How To Reach Refugees, And Combat People Smugglers, With AI
Video translation is all the rage in Sydney currently. It sounds hard to believe, but this is honestly the case at the moment. The controversy revolves around
a secret video, which the current Australian
Prime Minister, Scott Morrison has (apparently) recorded.
The gist of the news is that the Australian Prime Minister has recorded a video, which will be translated into a number of languages.
Once translated, the video will be
broadcast in the media in different countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Iraq. Obviously this is a concerning message, but it can well be argued
we live in concerning times.
Today we will do the following:
- We will use the Speech-To-Text AI Transcription to transcribe the video. In this case, the subject of the video
Aliir Mayom Aliiris a professional football player (Australian Football League) who was
born in South Sudan in a refugee camp.
- Once the transcription is complete, we will use the results and manually fix up the transcription.
- Following this, we will
use the second AI to translatethe content
into Swahili, which the government is trying to popularise in South Sudanto encourage integration into the East African Economic Community.
The end result is shown below,
please play to see the Swahili translation in the captions. Note, for a client facing asset,
you would also translate the title, filename and associated metadata into Swahili, the idea being
search engines can properly index the content.
Globally human trafficking is a serious law enforcement challenge. We do not particularly have ideas about how to combat this challenge. We think that serious people are looking into this, and
if it makes sense for PM Morrison to make this video, there is probably good reason behind it, seeing as he has better access to information from law enforcement. Snippets from this video have surfaced on the Internet, below is from ABC News sourced from here.
We picked our choice of video to translate below to show that not all stories fit in boxes, and solutions need to include this reality. It is possible to notice that people of African descent are over represented in the crime statistics, and to simultaneously recognise that having African genes can be an advantage for a sports person.
These issues are complicated, but we think more stories need to be heard, and maybe we get lucky and our product helps someone find their voice.
- The original video was sourced from the Border TV’s channel. Cynical minds may consider this a public relations exercise by the Department Of Home Affairs. However,
these stories are real, and the information is well worth understandingbefore
coming to conclusions on this very contentious topic.
Steps - Setting Up Swahili
So the first issue is that we need to
add Swahili into our list of languages. Here we are assuming that
you do not usually translate video content from English into Swahili, so you may need to add in this language.
Click into Finance, and check you have an appropriate set of languages. In the below image,
we unfortunately do not have Swahiliavailable. However, we
are only using 4/5 of our available languages, so click and add Swahiliand it will become available. To
check you have successfully added Swahili, the tile should be
The next step is to make sure our template is setup to handle Swahili.
Click on myTemplateand then
click to editas shown below.
open up your Language Settingsand
Add Swahili. Note this is only required if you did not select Swahili when you signed up. This will already be in place if you signed up with Swahili. Here,
we are assuming you need to translate a video into Swahili as a once off.
Save and Exityour template. Then
add a new item for the video contentas shown below.
Steps - Transcription, and Translation into Swahili
Upload the video, and click Transcribe. We used Australian English for the dialect here, as shown below.
After transcription, the below result is shown below. There was
quite a lot of correction/addition after 1:30 -> 1:40. This is because
Aliir is talking about a fairly emotional time for himself and his family, so the intonation is quite different, and the AI struggled with this.
Now we translate. Using the same
Action -> Translation, we can
translate from Australian English to Swahili.
The end result after the translation from English to Swahili is shown below. Note, for your own projects, always
have someone who speaks the target language eyeball the results. The process shows an AI, which is likely to be very close to correct, but probably wrong in a few small ways.
In this post we tested the flow into Swahili. We are also hoping that you were able to see that most complicated stories have many sides, and
any solution is likely to need both empathy and hard-headedness in equal measure.
The reality is that
global human trafficking is a major law enforcement challenge. We do not know how to combat this challenge. However, we think
a tool such as this could be used to provide more people with better access to information, in a language they understand. As part of a larger strategy, with any luck, this might be useful.
We are very grateful for your support!