Hey there! Welcome to the Marketer Of The Month blog!
We recently interviewed Vasco for our monthly podcast – ‘Marketer of the Month’! We had some amazing insightful conversations with Vasco and here’s what we discussed about-
1. Language translation’s future impact on expanding global businesses.
2. The abundance of information preserves multiple languages.
3. The underappreciated complexity of language translation.
4. AI translation’s position amidst diverse AI innovations.
5. The platform’s current Asian usage and growing translation market.
6. Japan’s strategic selection due to tech appreciation and language focus.
About our host:
Dr. Saksham Sharda is the Chief Information Officer at Outgrow.co. He specializes in data collection, analysis, filtering, and transfer by means of widgets and applets. Interactive, cultural, and trending widgets designed by him have been featured on TrendHunter, Alibaba, ProductHunt, New York Marketing Association, FactoryBerlin, Digimarcon Silicon Valley, and at The European Affiliate Summit.
About our guest:
Vasco Pedro, co-founder and CEO of Unbabel, heads an AI-powered platform for language operations, aiding businesses in offering extensive multilingual support worldwide. He also leads recruitment and fundraising, striving to break language barriers by combining machine translation with human editing.
EPISODE 149: Babel No More: Navigating Information in the Tower of Languages with Unbabel’s CEO Vasco Pedro
Table of Contents
Saksham Sharda: Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Outgrow’s Marketer of the Month. I’m your host, Dr. Saksham Sharda, and I’m the creative director at Outgrow. co. And for this month we are going to interview Vasco who is the Co-founder & CEO of Unbabel.
Vasco Pedro: Great to be here. Thank you.
Don’t have time to read? No problem, just watch the Podcast!
Or you can just listen to it on Spotify!
The Rapid Fire Round!
Saksham Sharda: Describe what your company does in one sentence.
Vasco Pedro: We help companies deal with language barriers.
Saksham Sharda: And now in two sentences.
Vasco Pedro: We help companies deal with language barriers by combining artificial intelligence and human translation.
Saksham Sharda: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
Vasco Pedro: About five minutes.
Saksham Sharda: The most valuable skill you’ve learned in life.
Vasco Pedro: Making a fire.
Saksham Sharda: City in which the Best Kiss of your life happened.
Vasco Pedro: Lisbon.
Saksham Sharda: How many speakers can you name at this conference?
Vasco Pedro: Probably 12. Give me a second. So, Marcel Labrie. Daniella Braga from Define, and me, Vasco, from Unbabel. Julian.
Saksham Sharda: In one sentence, describe one problem that your organization is facing.
Vasco Pedro: How to adapt our culture to a post-COVID world.
Saksham Sharda: How do you relax?
Vasco Pedro: I work out and I serve. I read.
Saksham Sharda: A habit of yours that you hate.
Vasco Pedro: Procrastinate when faced with boring tasks.
Saksham Sharda: Work from home or work from the office.
Vasco Pedro: Office.
Saksham Sharda: Most embarrassing moment of your life.
Vasco Pedro: Pass.
Saksham Sharda: How many hours of sleep can you survive on?
Vasco Pedro: Six.
Saksham Sharda: Your favorite app?
Vasco Pedro: WhatsApp.
Saksham Sharda: The biggest mistake of your career?
Vasco Pedro: My biggest mistake was selling my first startup.
Saksham Sharda: The first movie that comes to your mind when I say the word technology.
Vasco Pedro: Star Wars.
Saksham Sharda: How many cups of coffee do you drink in a day?
Saksham Sharda: Favorite Netflix show?
Vasco Pedro: Madman.
The Big Questions!
Saksham Sharda: That was the end of the rapid fire. Now we’re gonna go to the long questions. The first one is: Where do you think the future of language translation is headed now that AI is in the game?
Vasco: I think we are going to see a set of products rise that will enable companies to be global much sooner. So a lot of the overwhelming amount of content that is being created right now can only be translated and used in multiple languages with the help of AI. And that must happen so that any company can operate in any market.
Saksham Sharda: Do you think this is going to lead to the preservation of multiple languages in the world or the decline toward a singular language?
Vasco Pedro: I think it’s impossible to have a single world language. I think there’s a fundamental inherent human trait of creating language. An overabundance of information tends to preserve languages.
Saksham Sharda: And one of the problems that your company is facing when you’re trying to bring this technology to the market.
Vasco Pedro: The underlying problem is that it’s a surprisingly complex problem. And it’s underappreciated in the complexity because humans are language experts and so they tend to discount how hard it is to do what they do by a machine.
Saksham Sharda: And is a language translation another form of the other things we are seeing with AI right now like image generation and what else was really at the forefront of image innovation, content creation, AI content creation, so AI Translation? Is that another symptom of the rapid expansion of AI in every sector.
Vasco Pedro: Oh, I see. Well, machine translation was the original I feel so you could argue that AI was created because of machine translation. So we’ve been trying to solve this first 60-something year, and it’s not quite there yet. So I think it doesn’t advance quite as fast as some of the other fields that we’re seeing.
Saksham Sharda: So what year did you start your company, and how long has it been?
Vasco Pedro: 2013. And it’s been nine years. So we have offices in eight places, Lisbon, London, Edinburgh, Romania, Cebu, San Francisco, New York, and Pittsburgh. The headquarters in Europe is in Lisbon, and the headquarters in the US is in San Francisco.
Saksham Sharda: And where do you think your next growing market is going to be?
Vasco: So right now, our market is the US and Europe. I think Japan would probably be a good candidate beyond that.
Saksham Sharda: And to what extent is this platform going to be relevant in Asia? Because it’ll be your first time launching in Asia? Or is it already being used widely in Asia?
Vasco Pedro: We have about 130,000 translators on the platform, and those are everywhere, and certainly in Asia, from a customer perspective, there’s a lot of leisure which is the fastest-growing translation market. But in Babel, we have maybe a couple of customers there, but nothing is to be more opportunistic than purposeful.
Saksham Sharda: Why Japan, in particular, for launching the next?
Vasco Pedro: Because Japan is a big enough market that cares about language and about the nativeness of the interactions with all the brands that are there. They’re also used to paying for technology. And so they tend to value what we can provide.
Saksham Sharda: Okay, so the last question is of a personal kind, what would you be doing in your life if not this?
Vasco Pedro: So, I love building things. So probably I would be building something. I also have a Ph.D. in natural language processing. I was a researcher for a while, so if I somehow wasn’t building something, I probably would be in academia.
Saksham Sharda: Thanks, everyone for joining us for this month’s episode of Outgrow’s Marketer of the Month. That was Vasco who is the Co-founder & CEO of Unbabel.
Vasco Pedro: Pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Saksham Sharda: Check out the website for more details and we’ll see you once again next month with another marketer of the month.