Facebook launches 'multilingual composer' in bet that AI can break down language barriers

Using the composer, a Facebook customer can write one post and viewers will see it in their preferred language.

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Facebook is using artificial intelligence to allow users to compose one post in multiple languages. The issue is critical given that half of Facebook's customer base doesn't speak English.

The social networking giant said it will begin testing an in-house tool called the "multiligual composer." Using the composer, Facebook customer can write one post and viewers will see it in their preferred language.

For Facebook, its scale will improve its machine translation models for less common languages.

According to Facebook, the multilingual composer is already being used on its Pages feature and receive about 70 million daily views.

The tools for breaking down the language barriers include:

  • An editing tool that will pre-fill messages in more languages.
  • Storage for the first message and separate objects for each language. Authors can select to post all languages at once. Facebook said it looked at two approaches to translation. One revolved around picking languages based on characters and metadata. The other stored the first message and then translated the original post.
  • Language identification to look at preferences, location and the language users use the most.

For Facebook, breaking down language barriers can boost engagement as well as make its advertising more global. Google has had a translate feature for years that has some flaws, but is fairly handy.

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