Head of Global Public Policy and Government Relations

The Role of Translation Technology in Modern Diplomacy

The Role of Translation Technology in Modern Diplomacy

Governments and international organizations need collaboration solutions that can enable effective and impactful communication with other countries, territories, and regions. That often means they’re looking for advanced translation services — real-time, voice-to-text technology that can power operations and create connections between people and organizations.

At Zoom, we want to support communication and collaboration around the globe through flexibility and interoperability. We’re prioritizing interpretation and voice translations to help enable mutual understanding, whether that’s through evolving our existing translation features or investing in top technology providers, like Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions — kites, GmbH (“Kites”). 

Elevating experience with Kites

In June 2021, we announced that we signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kites, a start-up based in Karlsruhe, Germany, dedicated to developing real-time machine translation (MT) solutions. Kites’ team of 12 research scientists will help Zoom’s engineering team advance the field of MT to improve meeting productivity and efficiency by providing multi-language translation capabilities for our users.

Kites was founded in 2015 by Dr. Sebastian Stüker and Dr. Alex Waibel with the express purpose of transforming the latest research in speech translation technology into viable products. Kites’ mission is breaking down language barriers and making seamless cross-language interaction a reality of everyday life. 

“We know Zoom is the best partner for Kites to help advance our mission and we are excited to see what comes next under Zoom’s incredible innovation engine,” said Dr. Waibel and Dr. Stüker.

Auto-generated captions expand

Accessibility and inclusivity are top priorities for governments and organizations around the globe. That’s why we’ve expanded our auto-generated captions feature (also known as live transcription) to Zoom for Government users, as well as all free commercial Zoom Meetings accounts. Previously only available for paid Zoom Meetings and Zoom Video Webinars accounts, this extension reflects our commitment to enabling global collaboration, reducing languages barriers, and prioritizing accessibility for all our users.  

Customers get vocal about translation

By prioritizing multi-language translation capabilities, we hope to support the unique needs of our customers around the globe, especially those who need these services to strengthen international relations. 

To learn how advanced translation technology can enable better diplomacy and international collaboration for our customers, we spoke with the International Trade Centre (ITC) on the importance of translation features in collaboration technology: 

“The International Trade Centre is active in 128 countries and regions. This means we are in constant communication with partners and entrepreneurs speaking many different languages. While most of our work can be done efficiently using any of the languages spoken by our diverse staff, there are still language barriers that prevent access to key information. A reliable and free real-time translation technology can help entrepreneurs with limited resources expand their network and grow. It is important that we make this technology available to everyone and work for all languages – it is a matter of ensuring equal opportunities to all while supporting multilingualism.”- Vittorio Cammarota, Chief of Communications and Events, ITC

Evolving diplomacy through technology

Managing international relations is different in the digital age. Today’s leaders need to strategically apply technology in service of their missions, using the right solutions to bolster diplomacy and serve the public.

At Zoom, we aim to enable mission-critical services in a frictionless environment, paving the way for effective communication and helping everyone get more out of their meetings.
For more about how Zoom is being used to strengthen government relations, check out our blog. And to learn more about our exciting work with Kites, check out this Zoomtopia session on translation and transcription.

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