Unbabel and Zendesk Agent Workspace announced on June 29 their new translation partnership. Unbabel, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered language operations platform, is now integrated within the Zendesk Agent Workspace, a platform for customer service agents to chat with customers virtually; this integration means that companies using Zendesk Agent Workspace for their customer service needs can now use Unbabel to easily communicate with customers in their native language, as it offers support in about 95 language pairs.
I don't know Unbabel's reputation for translation quality (and machine translation is still an issue when it comes to highly technical translations, such as health information), but it does make me think.
I wonder. As the immigrant and refugee-serving sector moves towards seamless, integrated online service delivery there will inevitably be some levels of automation. Could this type of helpdesk service could be useful as part of a multilingual triage/chatbot process to move newcomers towards more specific information and human-delivered (whether in-person or tech-mediated) services?
For example, in Zendesk's case, they offer some "AI-powered automated answers" in their service: "Provide immediate answers to incoming questions using machine learning to reply instantly with available, relevant information so customers can get answers without waiting. Answers can be delivered via email, ticket form, live chat, messaging, social channels, Slack, API and/or SDK."
Having responsive, automated FAQ-style information for common inquiries available 24/7 in different languages is clearly becoming more technically possible. I wonder how our sector will be able to harness (and be funded to harness, let's be honest) these potential innovations in a seamless newcomer settlement journey and service experience.