The mission of Translators without Borders is to provide people access to vital knowledge in their language through translation and interpreting, building language translation capacity at a local level, providing translation and simplification services that are culturally appropriate, accessible and open source, and raising awareness globally of language barriers.
Contract length: 7 months with the possibility of extension
Hours: Part-time (40%)
Location: Flexible; home-based
Application deadline: 10 Aug 2020
Start date: 1 Sept. 2020
Owing to the urgency of the vacancy, screening and interviews will commence immediately and the candidate can be selected at any stage before the closing date.
About Translators without Borders
Translators without Borders (TWB) envisions a world where knowledge knows no language barriers.
The US-registered non-profit provides people access to vital knowledge in their language by connecting non-profit organizations with a professional community of translators, building local language translation capacity, and raising awareness of language barriers. Originally founded in 1993 in France (as Traducteurs sans Frontières), TWB translates millions of words of life-saving and life-changing information a year.
Translators without Borders is providing two-way communications to provide multilingual information on COVID-19 through an advanced chatbot using natural language processing and AI. The conversational AI assistant, or chatbot, provides up-to-date information and responds to the concerns of marginalized language speakers as they ask questions in an open format. The data collected informs communication strategies, using a semi-supervised classification model to analyze trends and provide insight on needs. This will result in more effective and targeted messaging to fight misinformation. The Chatbot is being launched on WhatsApp in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 3 languages with plans to expand to Bangladesh and Nigeria in the coming months.
In this role, the Junior NLP Engineer will join the small but growing TWB tech team, with support from the Gamayun Computational Linguist. The core of the role will be on maintaining the Natural Language Understanding (NLU) components in the assistant, building NLU pipelines, and training new models.
- Ensure that we have the right NLU pipeline for the initial use case (FAQs)
- Provide support for the multilingual assistant, and advise on deployment architecture needed (testing the bot )
- Support automatic build process (especially consistency checks on the model in Google Sheets)
- Set up automated testing and propose an evaluation reporting mechanism
- Set up models for new languages, and help onboard local content teams
These responsibilities are approximate and may change over time.
The Junior NLP Engineer should be enthusiastic about the importance of increasing access to knowledge through language. The right candidate is an energetic team player, flexible and dynamic in approach, who agrees with TWB´s basic beliefs and values and who can work remotely with team members based throughout the world.
- Degree in computer science or linguistics, MS with specialization on machine learning/ computational linguistics preferred
- Practical machine learning experience with a good understanding of its underlying processes; experience with handling language data (text and speech)
- Solid programming skills in Python, other programming languages a plus
- Experience with virtual assistant development desired (preference with Rasa)
- Knowledge of state-of-the-art speech technology; experience with voice interfaces (ASR and TTS)
- Experience working with a variety of languages (ie. not only English and including languages using non-Latin writing systems)
- Excellent working knowledge of written and spoken English
- Working knowledge of French desired
- Proactive and collaborative approach to working in a team
Translators without Borders employees and volunteers are made of people who believe passionately about the value of this work and take personal responsibility for achieving the mission. Translators without Borders’ mission and organizational spirit embody the core values established in its strategic framework:
Excellence: As the leading voice for communicating humanitarian information in the right language, Translators without Borders is a leader in the translation industry and in the non-profit sector.
Integrity: Translators without Borders believes that every person, whether it’s the people who we serve, our volunteers or our staff, has value, deserves respect, and has inherent dignity.
Empowerment: Translators without Borders believes in using language to empower people around the world to control their own development and destiny.
Innovation: Translators without Borders recognizes and celebrates the power of innovation to address humanitarian and crisis issues around the world.
Sustainability: Translators without Borders recognize that meeting our mission necessitates the establishment and maintenance of a solid financial and organizational infrastructure.
Tolerance: Our staff and volunteers are highly knowledgeable and skilled; value each other, our partner and our recipients; create a supportive work environment; and, conduct themselves professionally at all times.
Translators without Borders is an equal-opportunity employer, committed to diversity and inclusion, and encourages qualified candidates of all genders and from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization.