Translation and localization processes are changing. Artificial intelligence (AI), and more recently, augmented reality (AR) have started changing the way businesses like yours can translate your marketing campaigns, legal documents, and more. AI offers ultimate efficiency with speed and low cost. But, the quality consideration rings true when you compare the offering to highly qualified translators. Meanwhile, AR brings about a new way of conducting business. Live translation subtitles in a human-to-human conversation could globalise client relations and prospecting ten-fold.  


This blog explores the two biggest threats to human translation, and more importantly, how they could benefit a business looking to go international.  


Firstly, let’s understand AI and AR in a bit more detail: 


How they compare 

Speaking in a business context, AI and AR are being deployed very differently. Although, something is about to change that… more on that later.  

AI is often adopted to collect, process, and analyse large sets of data (usually web). It could then inform business decisions, predict trends, or any manner of things in today’s booming AI stratosphere. Industries like financial services, cryptocurrencies, and healthcare have started making AI a core fundamental in their operating model to enhance their output. 

On the other hand, AR is bringing a user experience previously unfound in some sectors. Home furnishing retailers can superimpose their products into consumer living rooms at a touch of a button, real estate firms can create a home-from-home for buyers unable to visit properties in person and so much more. AR has seamlessly integrated into both our personal and professional digital world when you consider Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok features nowadays.  


The best example we can give is in our own translation industry… 


AI in the translation sector 

Wolfestone has been using AI translation, along with human translation services, for a while now. Organisations that require urgent translation project turnaround times, cost-effective solutions, and simple language pairings thrive on the flexibility AI brings to corporate translation needs.  

Like everything, AI translation does have its downfalls.  

  • Localisation – a translated message is only as effective as its localised version. Cultural blunders can be embarrassing, especially in business. Artificial intelligence lives up to its name to a degree. Understanding a sentences context and cultural effect in a new language is something only a human translation/localisation specialist like at Wolfestone could master.  
  • Quality – Unfortunately, a human check will also be a necessary step in most multilingual projects. AI simply cannot be trusted to get it right on translations that need ultimate accuracies like SWORN translations, medical packaging, and instruction manuals.  

Penetrating an international market and audience can only be as successful as the accuracy of the message. So to tether back to our own blog title, AI does pose a threat to human translation services, but where quality is paramount, human translators rejoice! And, moreover, business decision-makers will continue to have the choice that works best for their project.  


  AI Translations Human Translations
Cost £ ££
Speed ⏰⏰
Quality ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


So, where does AR come into this? 

Google have announced the launch of their new prototype AR glasses at the I/O developer conference (May 2022). A combination of google translate AI and augmented reality conversations in multiple languages. Subbed “subtitles for the world” by Google Product Manager Max Spear, these glasses pose a complete reform to breaking language barriers in business.  

When holding a conversation with global colleagues and clients can be achieved with the simple accessorising of a pair of specs, where does the threat lie for human translators? Well, traditionally, translation is more transactional. A set-piece will need globalising from one language into another. Doing this live could potentially impact more in the interpreting or live captions space. Nonetheless, could these glasses change, or even reflect today’s growing, business practices? 

A rise in community marketing, international expansion across every sector, and Gen Z’s spending power making up $360 billion to date, might spell an increased need for live, in-situ translations. As we consume more content globally (look at the success of international multimedia like Squid Game), perhaps AR, along with AI, is the future for international communications? 



So, what do you think are the biggest threats to human translations? Do AI and AR pose a threat? How will Google’s AR language-translating glasses shape the way we all do business? Many questions, and a lot of potential answers. One thing rings true, human translators will always be around when AI doesn’t cut it, or when AR doesn’t feel like the appropriate tool. And Wolfestone will continue to champion translations of all kinds.  

Start your AI translation project today if we’ve caught your attention.  


Useful links: 

The purchasing power of Gen Z