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Implementation of the AI Multilingual Simultaneous Interpretation Guide Service in the Night Time Economy Project hosted by the Otani Art Museum/Former Furukawa Residence

The AI Multilingual Simultaneous Interpretation Service provided by IP Dream was adopted for the Night Time Economy Project supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, held at the Otani Art Museum/Former Furukawa Residence (Kita-ku, Tokyo, hereinafter referred to as the Otani Art Museum) from February 13 to February 28, 2021, and a demonstration experiment was conducted to provide simultaneous interpretation for foreign visitors to Japan.

The Night Time Economy Project was aimed at attracting foreign visitors to local sightseeing spots and increasing tourism consumption in local areas through efforts by museums and organizations that own or manage cultural assets (such as those designated by national or local governments) to create contents mainly targeting foreign visitors to Japan. (From the website of the Agency for Cultural Affairs)

The project’s initiatives at the Otani Art Museum included a “Guided Architectural Tour” showcasing the interior and history of the former Furukawa Residence, a “How to Enjoy Ukiyo-e” lecture, as well as a hands-on experience menu learning about Japanese culture, such as “Zen meditation” and “Uchikake-haori Wearing” in Japanese-style rooms. The AI Multilingual Simultaneous Interpretation Service provided by IP Dream simultaneously translated the cultural introductions given by lecturers in Japanese during these experience tours and lectures into a total of 15 languages, including English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), French, Thai, etc. Simultaneous interpretation was provided to the guests who participated in the monitor events (native speakers of Thai, Chinese, French, etc.)
This service does not require the special equipment that has been required for museum tour translation guides in the past, and can simply be used via visitors’ smartphones.

・Results of monitor tours (taken from a part of comments from the Otani Art Museum)
1.By having explanations in multiple languages at the same time, we were able to create a sense of unity among the participants of the tour, even if they were from different countries.
2.Multilingual questions were translated and conveyed to guides in Japanese, which led to active communication and increased satisfaction among the tour participants.
3.Since all questions and explanations have been recorded on the server, we have been able to quickly send the information in future tours, thus improving tour accuracy.
4.Although there is a shortage of guides who understand foreign languages, we were able to simply use talented people who can provide excellent guidance in Japanese, which has opened up possibilities for flexibly adjusting the contents and frequencies of future tours.

・Key features of IP Dream’s AI Multilingual Simultaneous Interpretation Service “SmaLingual”
1.Can be used directly from a browser (no need to install a dedicated application).
2.Chat/conversation contents can be saved to the server.
3.Dedicated devices are unnecessary.
4.Ability to switch translation engines.
5.Can be provided via API connection.

IPD will continue to support multilingual simultaneous interpretation services for tourists going to the Otani Art Museum/Former Furukawa Residence in this business.
We will also improve the quality of this service equipped with speech recognition and text-to-speech functions, and support and provide services to organizations and companies that seek smooth communication that transcends language barriers.

Works