Paul Paradiso

XTrans is an application aimed at providing fast, reliable and inexpensive translation services relying mainly on crowdsorcing technologies. The primary target of Xtrans is the RapidSMS platform, a technology developed at unicef for data gathering and communications over Short Message Service (SMS). XTrans adds a translation layer onto this system making use of several techonologies from the emerging crowdsourcing field. Most Significant among those is Amazon\’s Mechincal Turk along with other more specialized services.

Because crowdsourcing offers access to a distributed problem-solving network where problems are broadcast to a large and anonymous group of solvers it offers many benefits over more traditional translation services. Traditional here machine meaning services with dedicated translators or memory based machine translations. These benefits will come from the wider bredth of translators available to the system, this will provide for more accurate translations with a greater variety of possible languages at hopefully a lower cost to the user.

XTrans is being developed to run on top of RapidSMS. This will allow messages coming into a RapidSMS installation to be sent out to various services for translation. As mentioned above the primary service will be Mechanical Turk, however XTrans will be easy extendible allowing other developers add new services. Other services currently being included in XTrans are Worldwide Lexicon a translation specific service and possibly The Extraordinaries a site for microvolunteering.

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010