About Signal AI

Signal AI is one of the leading companies turning the world’s data into knowledge and empowering communications teams and business leaders across a range of industries to make better decisions. Signal AI supports clients strategically by providing their C-suite and Boards with better data and insights to navigate the corporate landscape through «trainable» artificial intelligence.

Powered by ML models trained to detect client specific topics and entities, Signal AI’s platform enables organizations to track defined challenges in real time. From competitive landscape and changes to regulation, to monitoring reputation and supply chains, the Signal AI platform gathers relevant data and applies proprietary machine learning analysis, in turn empowering smarter and faster decisions.

Signal AI communications and reputation management customers include banks, law firms, governments and NGOs, including AIG, E.ON, EY, Telefonica, BNP Paribas and numerous Global Fortune 1000 list clients including Deloitte, HSBC, and Citi. In September 2020, Signal AI was named as the second fastest growing UK AI company in the Sage Tech Track 100.

The Challenge

Speed is critical to Signal AI’s clients and foreign content in particular poses problems for global communication teams who need to stay ahead of the news cycle.

Back in 2017, when Signal AI was considering how to make the world’s non-English information available to their clients, it was common for media intelligence companies to charge a premium for access to foreign content, translating it only manually on request and with a significant delay. Moreover, foreign content was only accessible to users who were willing and able to search in the foreign language itself.

Signal AI wanted to overcome this bottleneck and give their clients instantaneous access to non-English information structured and analyzed by their AI platform. But it was not clear how to port Signal AI’s machine learning models to the 50 plus list of languages that Signal AI’s clients were interested in analyzing. This is where Signal AI decided to experiment with automatic machine translation.

The Solution

Signal AI realized that with the right machine translation service provider, they could translate and provide insights from the estimated 50% of the world’s information that is not in English.

Machine translated data could be fed into Signal AI’s platform as English, allowing Signal AI’s existing machine learning models to be applied to the data, irrespective of the language it was originally in. Moreover, the insights and indexed documents and entities would be searchable immediately using English search terms, and the source would be available in English or in the original language as preferred by the client, all in real time.

Signal AI quickly gathered a list of requirements for their prospective machine translation provider. The service would need to support a large number of languages (over 50 at least), support extremely high throughput with low latency and produce high quality English translations.

With machine translation from over 90 languages into English, automatic language detection and an API that easily scales to translate billions of symbols a day, Yandex Translate was an obvious partner for Signal AI.

First integrating Yandex Translate’s API in 2017, Signal AI has since seen translation quality significantly improve with successive generations of Yandex’s state-of-the-art Neural Machine Translation system.

In addition, building on their experience and infrastructure serving translations to millions of users a day, Yandex Translate has developed a specific high throughput solution for clients such as Signal who require massive amounts of data translated with extremely low latencies.

The Results

Signal AI’s platform currently ingests around 100 million documents per month. Some 36% of these are translated from non-English language sources in over 50 languages and nearly 200 countries.

By translating all foreign language sources in real-time and annotating them with their custom AI models, Signal AI is able to notify their users of a critical foreign language news story within seconds of it breaking wherever that story appears first and whatever language it is written in.

Translating data from hundreds of thousands of sources daily into English would be neither possible nor cost effective if done by human translators who can take hours to translate a single news article.

Dr Miguel Martinez, Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist, Signal AI, «Yandex has been a valued partner as we have scaled our AI platform globally, helping to provide accurate and in the moment translation from over 50 languages, and ultimately driving better decisions by our clients, especially those who rely on our non English language news insight.


Dr Miguel Martinez,
Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist
Dr Miguel Martinez,
Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist

When Signal AI was a start-up company with competing priorities and a small in-house research focused on other NLP components (e.g., entity linking and topic classification) we decided to partner with Yandex to translate all the non-English content we have access to. Without this partnership, we would have not been able to scale our data processing pipeline to multiple languages without significant changes in our data architecture, resulting in a huge opportunity cost for Signal AI.

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