In addition to English, the developers taught the software Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, as more than half of all patent applications were filed in one of these languages in 2014. The programme learns by comparing existing patent documents with their official translations. WIPO’s database includes some 60 million sentences for Chinese alone. Artificial intelligence enables a better translation result than the previous statistics-based procedure.
Users can already gain an impression of the tool’s artificial intelligence and translate patent documents from Chinese into English using WIPO Translate NMT.
“One of the aims of the patent system is to make technology available. Language is a barrier to the universal achievement of that aim. This breakthrough for WIPO Translate means that a vast, and ever-increasing, trove of patent documents will soon be more easily accessible to innovators who search these records for inspiration or technical know-how,” said Francis Gurry, Director General of the WIPO.
Various international organisations, including some within the United Nations, already use the WIPO translation tool. In the future, other languages including French are also to be covered by WIPO Translate NMT. The database is additionally linked with other translation tools that are freely available online.