Have you ever wondered what the internet would look like if it spoke your native language fluently?

In a world where English dominates the digital space, this question becomes increasingly relevant.

Generative AI, a transformative force in technology, is poised to offer an answer. Exemplified by innovations like the GPT series, this technology is not limited to understanding and generating content in English only. It has the potential to create authentic, culturally resonant content in a wide array of languages, reshaping our digital experiences.

By bridging the language gap, Generative AI is setting the stage for a truly global digital community.

What is a Generative AI?

In the simplest terms, Generative AI refers to a type of artificial intelligence that can create new content, be it text, images, or even music. 

Unlike traditional AI systems, which are designed to follow specific instructions or analyse data, Generative AI goes a step further. It learns from vast amounts of existing content and then uses that learning to generate new, original material that never existed before.

Let’s look at some examples to clarify this:

This AI, developed by OpenAI, is known for its ability to generate human-like text. Whether it is composing an email, writing a story, or even generating a poem, GPT can do it. Its latest version, GPT-4, has astonished users with its ability to understand and generate text in a variety of languages, making it a cornerstone in AI-driven language tasks.

Example of GPT-generated text. Image by Identrics using GPT-4.

This term might sound familiar, especially in the context of videos. DeepFakes utilises AI to superimpose existing images and videos onto source images or videos. This technology can create realistic videos of people saying or doing things they never actually did. While this has raised ethical concerns, it is a powerful example of Generative AI’s capabilities.

Example of a DeepFake video using MyHeritage and Grant Wood’s ‘American Gothic’ painting.

Another creation by OpenAI, DALL-E is an AI program that generates images from textual descriptions. For instance, if you describe a ‘two-headed flamingo,’ DALL-E can create a never-before-seen image of exactly that. This showcases how Generative AI can cross the boundary between text and visual creativity.

Example of AI-generated image on ‘two-headed flamingo’. Image by Identrics using DALL-E.

In essence, Generative AI is like a highly creative artist equipped with the knowledge of thousands of other artists. It can mimic, innovate, and generate content, offering endless possibilities in various domains, including those beyond English language barriers.

Why does non-English content matter?

In a world where more than 7,000 languages are spoken, the digital landscape paints a different picture.

Source: Internet World Stats

According to a report by the Internet World Stats, while only about 25% of the world’s online population speaks English, an overwhelming majority of online content is in English. This disparity highlights a significant digital divide, underscoring why non-English content matters immensely.

Embracing global language diversity

Imagine the internet as a global village where every language should have its own home. Yet, many languages are underrepresented or even absent. This lack of diversity does not just limit access to information for non-English speakers; it also stifles the expression of diverse cultures and perspectives online. 

Generative AI has the potential to bridge this gap by enabling the creation of content in multiple languages, making the digital space more inclusive.

The cultural importance

Each language carries with it unique cultural nuances, idioms, and expressions that are often lost in translation. When content is only available in English, these rich cultural specifics are often overlooked or diluted

By promoting content in native languages, we are not just facilitating communication; we are preserving and celebrating cultural identities. This is particularly crucial for minority and indigenous languages that are at risk of being overshadowed in the digital era.

Addressing the digital divide

The imbalance in content availability creates a digital divide where non-English speakers have limited access to education, resources, and opportunities online. Generative AI can democratise access to information by generating content in a wide range of languages, thereby ensuring equal access to knowledge and resources across different linguistic groups.

In conclusion, fostering non-English content is not just about language; it’s about ensuring cultural representation, equality, and access in the burgeoning digital world. As Generative AI evolves, it holds the promise of making the internet a truly global and diverse space, reflective of the world’s rich blend of languages and cultures.

The potential of Generative AI in non-English domains

Generative AI is not just revolutionising content creation in English; it’s also unlocking a world of possibilities for non-English domains. By leveraging its capabilities, diverse content such as news content, marketing materials, fiction, and scripts can now be created in various languages. 

Let’s explore how this technology is reshaping content creation across different fields:

  • Media sector

A practical instance of Generative AI’s impact can be seen in the media sector. Consider a scenario where Generative AI is trained on pre-qualified training data from a company known for its expertise in AI-driven content processing, such as Identrics. Later on, this AI can be tailored to produce news articles, features, or even editorials in multiple languages.

  • Scriptwriting for ads

Consider an AI system trained to understand the cultural subtleties and humour of Mexican Spanish. This AI could generate ad scripts that are not only linguistically accurate but also culturally resonant, ensuring that advertisements strike the right chord with the target audience.

  • Marketing materials

Beyond ad scripts, Generative AI’s prowess extends to the creation of comprehensive marketing materials in various languages. This includes brochures, web content, and social media posts, all tailored to specific linguistic and cultural contexts.

  • Fiction and literature

Imagine a Generative AI tool trained in Latin American literature. It could assist authors in crafting novel stories conveying the region’s unique narrative styles and cultural motifs. This AI does not just translate; it creates new literary works that resonate authentically with local readers.

Generative AI’s potential in non-English domains goes beyond mere translation. It’s about crafting content that is culturally relevant, linguistically accurate, and resonates deeply with local audiences. By doing so, it promises to enrich the digital space with a multitude of voices and perspectives, making it more reflective of the world’s diverse linguistic landscape.

Real-world applications & case studies

In exploring the impact of Generative AI in non-English domains, it’s insightful to delve into specific case studies and success stories. These real-world applications highlight the practical uses and the transformative potential of this technology. 

Let’s examine 2 notable examples:

Case Study #1: Detecting Textual Deepfakes in Bulgarian Social Media

Overview

In a research project detailed on LinkedIn, experts embarked on an intriguing journey to identify traces of textual deepfakes in Bulgarian on social media platforms. 

Textual deepfakes refer to artificially generated text that mimics human writing, often indistinguishable from genuine content. This project is significant as it demonstrates both the capabilities and the challenges posed by advanced AI in the realm of language and authenticity.

Read the full article here.

Findings and implications

The study aimed to understand how generative AI can create content that seamlessly blends in with human-generated text on social media, potentially influencing public opinion or spreading misinformation. 

By focusing on the Bulgarian language, the research sheds light on the intricacies of AI-generated content in non-English languages, a relatively less explored area. The findings underscore the need for sophisticated tools to detect AI-generated content, ensuring the integrity and trustworthiness of information online.

Broader impact

This case study is more than just an academic exercise. It has profound implications for how we consume and trust digital content. As Generative AI becomes more adept at creating realistic, human-like text in various languages, the need for awareness and technological safeguards becomes paramount. 

This research not only advances our understanding of AI’s capabilities in non-English contexts but also highlights the ethical considerations and the necessity for responsible AI use.

Case Study #2: Japan’s First Generative AI-powered Multilingual Chatbot for Tourist Information

Overview

In another groundbreaking application of Generative AI, Japan introduced its first AI-powered multilingual chatbot designed specifically for providing tourist information. This innovative chatbot, as detailed in The Japan Times, represents a significant leap in using AI to enhance the tourist experience by breaking down language barriers.

Explore the full story here.

Functionality and user experience

The chatbot is equipped to interact with tourists in multiple languages, providing real-time information, recommendations, and guidance. Unlike conventional translation tools, this AI system understands and responds to queries with a level of context awareness and cultural sensitivity, making it an invaluable companion for international travellers in Japan.

Impact on tourism

This AI-driven solution exemplifies how technology can revolutionise the tourism industry. Offering multilingual support not only makes travel more accessible and enjoyable for non-Japanese speakers but also positions Japan as a more welcoming destination for a global audience. The chatbot serves as a digital bridge, connecting visitors from diverse linguistic backgrounds with the rich cultural heritage and experiences that Japan has to offer.

Implications for global AI applications

The success of this chatbot extends beyond the tourism sector; it sets a precedent for how Generative AI can be utilised in various industries to cater to a multilingual audience. The chatbot’s ability to understand and interact in multiple languages showcases the vast potential of AI in enhancing customer service and user experience across different cultural contexts.

Challenges and ethical considerations

While Generative AI opens up a world of possibilities in non-English content creation, it also brings forth a set of challenges and ethical considerations that require careful attention.

Common Generative AI challenges

One of the primary challenges lies in ensuring that AI-generated content respects and accurately represents diverse cultural nuances. For instance, AI models like those used in multilingual conversational AI can inadvertently perpetuate stereotypes or cultural inaccuracies if not trained on diverse and representative datasets.

Another significant hurdle is maintaining authenticity in language use. AI-generated text, although increasingly sophisticated, can sometimes lack the subtleties and idioms that characterise native speech. This is particularly pertinent in AI content that aims to resonate with local audiences.

Also, a crucial ethical consideration is the balance between AI and human creativity. While AI can enhance content creation, there’s a risk of over-reliance on technology, potentially leading to a homogenised culture where unique human nuances are lost.

These are all commonly discussed topics within the industry on AI content generation, which debate the implications of AI-driven creativity on the traditional arts, raising questions about originality and the preservation of human artistic expression.

The future: Where do we go from here?

As we gaze into the future of Generative AI, especially in the realm of non-English content creation, it is evident that the path ahead is shaped by collaboration, policy, and education. These elements will be crucial in harnessing the full potential of AI while navigating its challenges responsibly.

  1. Encouraging linguistic and AI development collaboration

The future success of Generative AI in creating diverse content lies in the collaboration between technologists, linguists, and cultural experts. For instance, AI developers working alongside native language speakers can ensure that the nuances of different languages and cultures are accurately captured and represented.

Engaging in forums, discussions, and joint projects can foster this collaborative spirit, and readers with expertise in any of these areas are encouraged to contribute their insights and perspectives.

  1. Considering the need for policy guidelines

As AI technologies advance, the need for comprehensive policies to guide their ethical and responsible use becomes increasingly important. Policies focusing on data diversity, privacy, and cultural sensitivity can ensure that AI serves the global community without causing inadvertent harm.

It’s crucial for policymakers, technologists, and the general public to engage in dialogues about these policies. Readers can participate in public consultations, stay informed about AI policy developments, and advocate for responsible AI practices.

  1.  Ensuring that people are well-informed

Education plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of AI. By incorporating AI literacy into educational curricula, we can prepare future generations to interact with, develop, and ethically manage AI technologies.

Educational institutions, educators, and students are urged to explore the integration of AI studies into learning programs. Readers involved in education can advocate for such initiatives, ensuring that the youth are equipped to navigate and shape the future of AI.

In conclusion, the future of Generative AI, particularly in enriching non-English content, is not just about technological advancements. It’s about building a collaborative ecosystem, establishing robust policies, and fostering educational initiatives that empower individuals to participate actively in shaping this future. 

As we move forward, every one of us has a role to play in realising the promise of AI in creating a more inclusive, diverse, and culturally rich digital world.


About the author

Iva Marinova

Chief Data Scientist

With a practical mind and a love for the arts, Iva Marinova brings a dash of creativity to the tech scene. As she approaches the completion of her PhD, her work is characterized by a seamless fusion of deep tech expertise and a broad cultural perspective, informed by her academic background.

At Identrics, Iva Marinova’s role is pivotal in shaping intelligent systems that not only compute but also comprehend and communicate across the richness of human languages, always with an eye on the ethical side of innovation. Her approach to AI is as multifaceted as her interests, making her a guiding force in the quest for technology that enhances, not replaces, the human experience.

In a nutshell, Iva is all about finding the human side of data, leveraging the cultural richness of her fluency in four languages to make sure that technology is approachable, ethical, and a bit more fun.