Best Practices

Industry Leaders Share Experiences at Global Brand Engagement AI Dinner

AI Revolution Rocking Localization Industry - Top Execs Reveal Massive Shifts, Disruption and Incredible Opportunity. "We're just at the beginning of something big."
Rodrigo Demetrio
3 min
Table of Contents

SILICON VALLEY - Generative AI is rocking the localization world to its core, according to a panel of experts from leading companies like Zendesk, Nimdzi and Bureau Works. The lively discussion, hosted by translation management system company Bureau Works, offered a range of perspectives on AI's impacts.

"AI knows how to make an entrance," teased Wada'a Fahel, Global Engagement Manager at Zendesk. "It came in 2023 and disrupted the industry." She revealed jaw-dropping productivity gains using AI for short marketing content. "The turnaround time has been slashed by 70% and we've seen around 50% cost savings," she reported. While impacts on longer content remain uncertain, AI is upending vendor relationships. "LSPs are shifting from heavy lifters to more gatekeepers," Wada'a explained.

Rodrigo Demetrio, Bureau Works' Marketing Director, outlined his innovative "minimum viable translation" approach powered by AI. "Why translate all website pages if Google won't index them?" Using AI to prioritize key pages with a targeted keyword strategy doubled organic traffic in just 3 months while halving translation costs compared to traditional methods. "We're not killing jobs - we're generating more work by making translation accessible," he argued.

But industry veteran Renato Beninatto urged patience. "We're just at the beginning of something big - there's so much opportunity, but also many unknowns." He predicted AI will ultimately be consumed through platforms like Zendesk and Bureau Works rather than directly. "The way we're going to consume generative AI is definitely going to be through platforms."

Beninatto also advocated incremental AI adoption rather than rash, mass implementation that could disrupt operations. "Aim for 1% progress each day. In a year, that's 365% improvement."

The perspectives highlighted AI's power to boost productivity and expand into new markets cost-effectively. But challenges like job impacts, process changes, and responsible scaling also surfaced. As Bureau Works CEO Gabriel Fairman summarized: "It's a disruptor, but in a very positive way if you get your strategy right."

Fairman, who moderated the discussion, emphasized the collaborative nature of the localization community. "We have a beautiful community and I know everybody has very busy lives," he said. "I'm very grateful everyone carved out this special time to be here with one another."

He also outlined Bureau Works' vision "to allow enterprise-grade content to be generated as efficiently as possible, while maximizing the human authorship experience." Acknowledging the complexities, Fairman said "it's a very fine line we walk full of contradictions and hypocrisy, but we walk it pretty well."

The spirited debate showcased AI's dual role as both a potent productivity tool and a potential threat to conventional processes. As one attendee summarized: "It's disrupting, but very positive if you adapt correctly."

Rodrigo Demetrio
Steering the marketing ship at Bureau Works with 17+ years of MarTech under my belt, I transform mere ideas into tangible realities. Passionate about languages and their power to build bridges, let's build a new one?
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