The Bots Are Coming: Localizing Automated Agents
by Arle Lommel, Rebecca Ray
April 10, 2018
April 10, 2018

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Chatbots – also known as online agents, interactive agents, or simply “bots” – are computer programs that interact with humans via conversation. They range from simple systems that follow decision trees for single tasks to complex personal assistants – such as Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana – that can perform many different activities. Localizing these tools is very different from translating technical or marketing text because it requires a deeper understanding of culture and people’s conversational conventions in their own language.

Chatbots pose major world-readiness challenges. Today’s development frameworks typically support only English or Chinese, so few enterprises succeed in building multilingual bots. Nevertheless, market pioneers are developing best practices for successfully deploying them. Based on in-depth interviews as part of our multilingual support knowledge base research, this report covers: the basic types of online agents; why multilingual bots complicate the localization situation; how internationalizing chatbots differs from traditional content; why transcreating them makes sense; best practices for building locale-appropriate chatbot content; and recommendations for enterprises building these tools for global use.

For other pieces in the multilingual support knowledge base series that cover KB deployment, guidelines for integrating KB content, international search, and KB migration in more detail:

  • Global Leaders
  • Technology Vendors

Pages: 17

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