The field of interpreting is undergoing some ground-shaking changes. Ubiquitous broadband has made multilingual streaming a reality. Neural machine translation is flirting with voice recognition. And Google has just introduced its first version of a babel fish that you can literally stick in your ear.

Pretty exciting news for users who believe they can now tour the world with their personal interpreter in their pockets. Delegates traveling on a shoestring budget also seem to welcome the chance of joining more meetings, more often from the comfort of their homes.

But the new wave is also cause for apprehension, with some conference interpreters feeling like they’ve been handled a bad hand. They resent being ushered out of the room and they harbor fears of predatory competition, low quality or both.

Squeezed in-between, the rest of us – commercial sellers and buyers of interpretation services – respond with hopeful anticipation and the anxiety of a six-year-old in an ice cream shop with too many flavors. And flavors do abound, as tech startups jump on the language bandwagon with promises that their RSI solutions will please every palate.

The truth is not everyone likes vanilla, and some of us are chocolate-intolerant. Solutions – or flavors, for that matter – will only be as good as the pain point or craving they address. How is one to choose?

Introducing NTIF’s Interpreter Software Challenge

The Nordic Translation and Interpretation Forum, happening in Helsinki next week, will round up six of the most innovative players in the RSI field and give each one a chance to wow you. Each company will have five minutes to pitch their vision, their goals and typical use cases. At the end of their pitch, you get to rate each solution based on how closely it meets your specific needs. You will also have a chance to taste their cream before you enter the room, as vendors exhibit and demo their technology during the coffee-break on Saturday.

Ümit Özaydin, CEO of Dragoman and early adopter of interpretation technologies, will set the tone with an enlightening introduction. I will be there too, as a moderator, to make sure you get a taste of everything and to keep you from overdosing on the sugar. I will be adding my own flavor to the mix, too, as one of the challengers, on behalf of KUDO.

Is your mouth watering yet? So, save the date and bring your scoop. May the tasting begin.

Interpreting Technology Tasting | November 24, at 13:30 – 15:00.

Introduction by: Ümit Özaydin | Moderated by: Ewandro Magalhaes