How To Reach Refugees, And Combat People Smugglers, With AI

How To Reach Refugees, And Combat People Smugglers, With AI

> How To Reach Refugees, And Combat People Smugglers, With AI [February 20, 2019]

Introduction

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.

What we would like to do in today's post is show that sometimes, the stories are not all bad. Specifically, in this case we took a video from BorderTV, which is run by the Department of Home Affairs.

Today we will do the following:

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.

Aliir’s story: Swahili captions

Context

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.

Operation Sovereign Borders: Warning to People Smugglers

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.

Steps

  1. The original video is shown below, it 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 understanding before coming to conclusions on this very contentious topic.

    BorderTV: Aliir’s story—Refugee Week 2017

Steps - Setting Up Swahili

  1. 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.

  2. Click into Finance, and check you have an appropriate set of languages. In the below image, we unfortunately do not have Swahili available. However, we are only using 4/5 of our available languages, so click and add Swahili and it will become available. To check you have successfully added Swahili, the tile should be green.

    Finance: Language Settings shows we do not have Swahili available

    Finance: Language Settings shows we do not have Swahili available

  3. The next step is to make sure our template is setup to handle Swahili. Click on myTemplate and then click to edit as shown below.

    Edit the Template

    Edit the Template

  4. Now, open up your Language Settings and 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.

    Edit the Template: Before Swahili is added

    Edit the Template: Before Swahili is added

    Edit the Template: After Swahili is added

    Edit the Template: After Swahili is added

  5. Save and Exit your template. Then add a new item for the video content as shown below.

    New Item: Using myTemplate now that Swahili has been added

    New Item: Using myTemplate now that Swahili has been added

Steps - Transcription, and Translation into Swahili

  1. Upload the video, and click Transcribe. We used Australian English for the dialect here, as shown below.

    Transcription: Australian English

    Transcription: Australian English

  2. After transcription, the below result is shown below. There wasquite 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.

    Aliir’s story: English captions

  3. Now we translate. Using the same Action -> Translation, we can translate from Australian English to Swahili.

    Translation: Australian English to Swahili

    Translation: Australian English to Swahili

  4. 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.

    Aliir’s story: Swahili captions

Conclusion

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 news items which this was sourced from are here:

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.