Balázs Kis


Balázs Kis is one of the founders of Kilgray, the makers of the memoQ translation environment. He has decades of experience in IT, translation, and natural language processing. He has a degree in IT engineering, and a PhD in applied linguistics from the University of Pécs. He started his career as a Microsoft systems engineer and trainer and now is one of the prominent Hungarian IT authors with over 20 titles published. He was also the head of research and development at MorphoLogic, and taught translation technology at the ELTE University of Budapest. He’s got massive experience in collaborative translation and project management. He is the chairman of the board at Kilgray, where he is also responsible for technical communication and knowledge management.

Back to Translation: Make Technology Learn You

Humans are “using technology as their organs”, wrote Stanisław Lem in his Summa Technologiae, fifty years ago. Just think: can one person translate a 500-page deeply technical manual, drawn up in XML, into five languages in ten days? No; but a team of translators, editors, and project managers could by using technology to help and connect them.
In this presentation, I argue that the ultimate end of any technological innovation is the human being. This includes both people who work with technology to deliver a product or service and the end-user of the produce of the human-technology ensemble.
The pure utilitarian, rationalistic approach doesn’t work, neither in software development, nor in any other field of engineering – because technology is never efficient in itself; it’s efficient only together with its human user.
Often the best translation technology doesn’t even touch the text, or only superficially. But it connects human contributors in ways that enable them to work together much more efficiently than they would without it. I will show examples of such processes, and point out where the future is going.