To further improve translation quality, we have a crowd-sourcing model where volunteer proofreaders read and correct publicly available translations. These corrections continually teach the Brain how to translate better in future. This is resulting in better and better content and will allow us to achieve our goal of tens of millions of pages of Thai content within a year.
Hong Kong / Singapore / Bangkok (PRWEB) September 5, 2008
Asia Online today launched the World's Largest Literacy Project that aims to bring all nations the same level of access to knowledge and information enjoyed by the development economies of the world. As a first step towards its Asia-wide roll out, Asia Online today unveiled the public beta release of its Thai-language portal that doubles the size of the Thai-language Internet from its current three-million web pages to a total of more than six-million.
The content available on the Thai portal is being created by translating some of the most important and popular information sources available today, including Wikipedia, the CIA World Fact Book and tens-of-thousands of books. Previously available only to English-speakers, such rich sources of knowledge have proven to be vital stimulants for economic and educational development in the Western World.
Mr. Dion Wiggins, CEO of Asia Online said: "Our corporate goal is to give Asian nations all of the tools and information they need to compete in the global knowledge economy. To date, Thai, along with many other Asian languages, have been woefully underrepresented on the Internet. As a result, large communities of people across Asia have been denied the largest benefit of the Internet - access to valuable information and knowledge. By translating the most important and valuable educational content into each Asia language, we eliminate the last barrier to Internet usage: the language barrier."
The content on Asia Online is translated using a powerful new artificial intelligence translation platform that was developed by Asia Online specifically for the task of translating and indexing the Internet into multiple Asia languages. Based on more than ten years of international research, the Asia Online Translation Platform has already generated strong interest from professional translations service providers and partners around the globe, such as McElroy Translation, Andovar, Braahmam and Clay Tablet.
According to Mr. Wiggins, the translation machine learns how to translate from English into different Asia languages in much the same way as a child learns to read: by example, practice and correction.
"We refer to the Asia Online Translation Platform as the 'Brain,' because it works in much the same way as a human mind," said Mr. Wiggins. "After giving the Brain many millions of samples of English and Thai text, it has learned how to translate to an acceptable level of quality. As we continue to give it more text, it will continue to improve. Most importantly - it learns from its mistakes."
Using a unique 'human-to-machine feedback cycle' the Asia Online Translation Platform analyzes any corrections made to its translations and learns from those corrections. By mimicking how humans use and refine language, the system can continually improve.
"The Asia Online Translation Platform is still learning, but it is already better than many other machine translation systems," said Mr. Wiggins. "To further improve translation quality, we have a crowd-sourcing model where volunteer proofreaders read and correct publicly available translations. These corrections continually teach the Brain how to translate better in future. This is resulting in better and better content and will allow us to achieve our goal of tens of millions of pages of Thai content within a year."
Asia Online is delivering the key to empowerment for entire nations by providing free access to millions of pages of local language educational content. With education comes knowledge. Knowledge empowers the imagination. Imagination empowers nations.
"Education is the engine of productivity and progress," said Mr. Wiggins. "It underpins economic growth, improvements in social conditions and economic development prospects. Providing richer content and more access to information is essential for improving education in Asia."
Unfortunately, more than 85% of the World's knowledge available online is in non-Asian languages, mainly English. This is despite the fact that nearly 40% of the world's current Internet users are located in Asia.
Of the 13.8% of knowledge that is available online in Asian Languages, less than 0.03% is available in languages other than Chinese, Japanese or Korean.
"This knowledge-gap represents a serious handicap for countries like Thailand. This is where Asia Online comes in. By translating millions of pages of content from English to Asian languages, we will dramatically change the status quo and reduce information poverty. Soon, ordinary people throughout Asia will be able to access and read the same information that is available to the rest of the world, but in their own language."
By making millions of pages of Thai-language content available online, Asia Online expects a big rise in Internet usage in the Thailand. Despite gains in recent years, Internet penetration rates throughout Asia remain around half of that Western countries. In Thailand, only 13% of the population accesses the Internet, while the global average is 30%. North America tops in at 74% Internet penetration.
According to Mr. Wiggins, the biggest benefit of the Internet is not the ability to get online, but the ability to get information. He points out that there has been a gap between what information the English-Speaking world could get online, and that available for Thai people.
"Put simply, until today there were few compelling reasons beyond celebrity gossip and games for many Thai people to get online because of the language barrier. With Asia Online, that has changed. There will be very real value for people to get online, and this means more Internet growth."