AI and Machine Learning to Redefine Content Creation and Delivery


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SDL’s Five Future States of Content Highlights Disruptive Trends to Watch in 2018

Maidenhead, U.K. – December 20, 2017 – SDL, a leader in global content creation, management, translation and delivery, today announced its Five Future States of Content, a series of disruptive content trends for brands to watch in 2018. With content at the heart of every customer journey, SDL predicts content will hit a new dimension of organizational importance, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) playing a leading role in automating content creation, translation, organization and delivery.

Self-creating and organizing content may seem like something out of a science fiction movie but advances in AI and ML make this, and other exciting advancements, a reality for brands now and in 2018. SDL’s Five Future States of Content report looks at where AI and ML are set to make the greatest impact in the way content is securely created, managed, translated and delivered to global audiences. The Five Future States of Content (register here for report available in January) include:

  1. The demand for content is too high to keep pace with: Content will create itself

In his book “The Grand Design,” world famous physicist Stephen Hawking argues that the universe can create itself out of nothing. But can the same be said about content? Thousands of writers would be needed 24/7 to create all the content required to power future digital experiences. Breakthroughs in AI and ML mean that in 2018 it will become possible for brands to automatically generate finely-tuned content from information stored in a variety of repositories across their business – giving every customer their own, truly unique experience.

  1. The amount of content is too overwhelming to manage: Content will organize itself

Creating content is only one of the many applications that Machine Learning is capable of. Brands will begin to use Machine Learning to create taxonomies of all their company’s content, summarizing and tagging it to facilitate better search results through content management systems, improving metadata and optimizing SEO, and enabling other enterprise systems to automatically discover existing content. This will maximize reuse and return on already invested content creation efforts and help form the next frontier of digital experiences.

  1. The waterfall methodology has dried up: Content will be agile

With the future of content creation and organization being accelerated by AI, content will need to be structured and formatted so that it is machine ready. SDL predicts that the old waterfall approach to creating and delivering content will become obsolete in favor of a continuous global content operating model. We’ll see more companies adopt this approach in 2018, enhancing global content and localization teams with AI and ML capabilities, like authoring tools and machine translation, to create and deliver engaging content at an extreme scale in response to our fast-paced society.

  1. The customer decides before they ever talk to your salesperson: Content will become your best seller

Brands are already shifting their sales priorities to focus on content creation rather than just selling. That’s because salespeople spend just one-third[i] of their day actually talking to prospects, and content never stops talking. SDL expects the creation, translation and delivery of content to become as much of a priority to sales leaders as incentivizing and training sales teams. SDL also predicts that the types of content that sells will expand rapidly beyond the traditional marketing materials into the realm of in-depth product information, a source of information that companies leave mostly untapped today. Our own research supports this trend: more than half (53%) of global customers are now consulting manuals, FAQs and technical content to learn more about a product before purchasing.

  1. Content is your biggest security risk: Content will be secured

Upcoming legislation, including Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), means that businesses will need absolute control of customer information. They will need to provide transparency, a full audit trail and complete data custody come May 2018. But companies outside Europe are failing to prepare, and we expect some big brands to be quickly hit with fines of up to 4% of revenues. In order to organize and secure high volumes of data in 2018, brands will turn to on-premise ML technologies to translate, analyze and automate their content supply chains.

“Content that creates itself, organizes itself, and scales globally with ease all sounds like the stuff of imagination,” said Peggy Chen, CMO, SDL. “But the rules of content and marketing are changing in 2018, and the emergence of new AI and Machine Learning technologies are powering this seismic shift. Smart companies know that this is the future they must prepare for if they’re going to thrive in the years ahead.”

SDL’s Five Future States of Content are based on 15 years of research and development into Machine Learning, translation and content management technologies, over 45 patents and 200+ peer-reviewed industry papers – providing unparalleled insight into the ways ML and AI are set to transform content creation and delivery in 2018. Pre-register here for the Five Future States ebook available January 1, 2018.

About SDL
SDL (LSE:SDL) is the global innovator in language translation technology, services and content management. Over the past 25 years we’ve helped companies deliver transformative business results by enabling powerful, nuanced digital experiences with customers around the world. Are you in the know? Find out why 78 out of the top 100 global brands work with us at and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

[i]How Salespeople Learn (June 2017)

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