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Event-based fraud detection with direct customer calls using Amazon Connect

Several recent surveys show that more than 80% of consumers prefer spending with a credit card over cash. Thanks to advances in AI and machine learning (ML), credit card fraud can be detected quickly, which makes credit cards one of the safest and easiest payment methods to use. The challenge with cards, however, is that…

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Several recent surveys show that more than 80% of consumers prefer spending with a credit card over cash. Thanks to advances in AI and machine learning (ML), credit card fraud can be detected quickly, which makes credit cards one of the safest and easiest payment methods to use. The challenge with cards, however, is that in some countries when fraud is suspected the credit card is blocked immediately, which leaves the cardholder without a reason as to why, how, or when. Depending on the situation, it can take anywhere from a few hours to days until the customer is notified and even longer to resolve.

With Amazon Connect, a cardholder can be notified immediately of a suspected card fraud and interactively verify if the suspected transactions were indeed fraudulent over the phone. Amazon Connect enables an event-based reaction, which allows you to contact the cardholder directly via phone without the need for an agent-in-the-loop. This makes for a cost-effective and frictionless cardholder experience.

This post shows you how to build, train, and deploy a fraud detection model and rules using Amazon Fraud Detector and integrate predictions with Amazon Connect in order to connect with customers in real time. Amazon Fraud Detector is a fully managed service that uses ML and more than 20 years of fraud detection expertise from Amazon to identify potentially fraudulent activity so you can catch online fraud faster and more frequently. Amazon Connect is an omnichannel cloud contact center that helps you provide superior customer service at a lower cost.

Solution overview

In this post, we use the following services:

  • AWS CloudFormation sets up the resources for our contact flow.
  • Amazon Connect is your contact center in the cloud. It allows you to set up contact centers and contact flows. We use a template that you can upload that helps you create your first contact flow.
  • Amazon DynamoDB is the NoSQL data storage used to store your customer data. You can exchange it in your existing cloud infrastructure for instance with Amazon Aurora
  • Amazon Fraud Detector is the AI/ML service that lets you build, train, and deploy your ML models. We provide all the data and code for you in this artifact.
  • AWS Lambda handles the event-driven request coming from a transaction and the connection between Amazon Connect and your DynamoDB table.

The following diagram illustrates our serverless architecture.

Whenever a transaction is made, you can send the metadata of that transaction to a Lambda function (Step 1). This function invokes your Amazon Fraud Detector model and predicts whether this transaction is fraudulent. If it is, the function looks up customer data from the DynamoDB table (2), sends these attributes to Amazon Connect, and calls the customer (3) whose credit card is affected. When the customer picks up the phone (4), they can interact with Amazon Connect and learn more about what happened. The customer can then decide whether it was fraud. If it was, another Lambda function is invoked through Amazon Connect (5) and blocks the corresponding credit card by setting a flag in the DynamoDB table (6).

Prerequisites

For this walkthrough, you should have the following prerequisites:

Set up Amazon Connect and the associated contact flow

In this section, we walk through setting up Amazon Connect and our contact flow. We also discuss the contact flow in more detail.

Create an Amazon Connect instance

The first step is to create an Amazon Connect instance. For the rest of the setup, we use the default values, but don’t forget to create an administrator login.

Instance creation can take 1-2 minutes, after which we log in to the Amazon Connect instance using the admin account created previously. We’re now ready to create our flow and claim a number to attach to the flow.

Set up the contact flow

For this post, we have a predefined contact flow template that we can import from our GitHub repo.

  1. In the repo, select the file contact-flow/credit-card-fraud and choose Import.

For detailed import instructions, see Import/export contact flows.

  1. Under the name of the contact flow, choose Show additional flow information.

Here you can find the ARN of the contact flow.

  1. Note the following information from the ARN to use in a later step: the contact flow ID and contact center instance ID.

Claim your phone number

For instructions on claiming a number, see Step 3: Claim a phone number. Make sure to choose the previously imported contact flow while claiming the number. If no numbers are available in the country of your choice, raise a support ticket.

Understanding the contact flow

The following diagram shows our contact flow.

The contact flow does the following:

  • Enables logging
  • Sets the output voice to Amazon Kendra
  • Gets customer input using DTMF (only keys 1 and 2 are valid)
  • Based on the user’s input, the flow takes the following action:
    • Prompts a goodbye message stating no action will be taken and exits
    • Prompts a goodbye message stating an action will be taken, invokes a Lambda function to log the credit card in your DynamoDB table, and exits
    • Fails with a fallback block stating that the machine will be shut down and exits

You can also enhance your system with an Amazon Lex bot.

Create the CloudFormation stack

We use a CloudFormation stack to set up our resources.

  1. Choose Launch Stack:

  1. In the Parameters section, provide the following information:
    1. The fraud detector entity name
    2. The event name of this detector
    3. The name of your fraud detector
    4. A name for your DynamoDB table, such as customer-table-fraud-detection
    5. The IDs of your Amazon Connect instance and your contact flow (which you noted when you set up the contact flow)
    6. The S3 bucket name you want to use (the word “sagemaker” needs to be present)
    7. The number you claimed in Amazon Connect
  2. Choose Next.

  1. Acknowledge the creation of new AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) resources and choose Create stack.

After the stack is deployed, you can find your AWS Lambda function, Amazon DynamoDB table, and an up-and-running Amazon SageMaker notebook called event-based-fraud-detection.

Build, train, and deploy the Amazon Fraud Detector model

In this section, we build, train, and deploy the Amazon Fraud Detector model using an example Jupyter notebook. You can build your model on the Amazon SageMaker console. For programmatic deployment, access the Amazon SageMaker notebook instance you created by choosing Open Juypter.

The instance contains a clone of the GitHub repository. It contains the example Jupyter notebook and example dataset. A config JSON was also created for you. To view these items, navigate into event-based-amazon-fraud-detector/fraud-detector-example.

Open the Fraud_Detector_End_to_End_Blog_Post.ipynb notebook to get started. For more examples on Amazon Fraud Detector, see the GitHub repository.

The notebook walks you through building and training the model. It also contains a lot of explanations and additional code that helps you deploy your first fraud detector.

Model metrics

This example also contains functionality to see and analyze the training metrics of your model. You can view these metrics interactively on the Amazon Fraud Detector console. On the Models page of the Amazon Fraud Detector console, choose the model that was trained. From there you can see several versions, if applicable, that were trained. Choose a version (for this post, version 1.0). The Model performance section contains an interactive graph similar to the following screenshot.

You can change thresholds to see how the confusion matrix changes. Furthermore, you can look at the ROC curve in the Advanced metrics section.

You’re model is now ready to be called on demand, for example from a website.

Add a customer record to your DynamoDB table

To add a record to your DynamoDB table, complete the following steps after the ML model is deployed:

  1. On the Amazon DynamoDB console, choose the table you created with the AWS CloudFormation template (for this post, thefraudtable).

  1. Choose Create item.

A new window appears that displays an example JSON string.

  1. Enter the JSON file example-customer.json provided in the examples folder of the downloaded GitHub repository.
    1. Change the fields last_name, first_name, phone_number, and salutation).
    2. Leave the customer­_id field as is. We use this ID when we test our whole architecture.
  2. Choose Create item.

Your first customer record is saved in the Amazon DynamoDB table.

Test your event-based architecture

To test the solution, complete the following steps:

  1. On the AWS Lambda console, choose the function fraud-detection.

We add a test event to this function, which is also part of the cloned GitHub repository and can be found in examples/lambda-test-event.json. In this test event, you find four different keys:

  • customer – The customer ID you gave your contact in the Amazon DynamoDB table. If you followed our guidance and didn’t change the ID when creating a customer in Amazon DynamoDB, you can leave this number as is.
  • card_number – Any number (this number is passed into Amazon Connect and the last four digits are read to the customer).
  • amount – A sample dollar amount that the customer hears when they are called.
  • payload – The metadata generated during the transaction. We use this to predict whether the transaction was fraud (for this test, it’s a fraudulent case to demonstrate that the fraud detector is working).

After you test the original payload, you can change numbers and see what prediction Amazon Fraud Detector makes based on new input.

  1. Choose Test.
  2. For Event name, enter a name.
  3. Enter the JSON example code.
  4. Choose Create.

  1. Choose Test

The Lambda function starts running, and you should get a phone call to the phone number you have placed in your Amazon DynamoDB table. If you choose to block your credit card during the call, your Amazon DynamoDB customer entry changes the field is_blocked from false to true.

Clean up

To avoid incurring future charges, delete the resources you created:

  • Amazon Fraud Detector model, events, entities, and detector
  • AWS CloudFormation stack
  • Amazon S3 bucket created by the build.sh script

Conclusion

Congratulations! You just developed your first event-driven fraud detection architecture. We deployed a complete serverless architecture in which we integrated Amazon Fraud Detector with Amazon Connect to connect with customers in real time if credit card fraud is detected. You can putting the AWS Lambda function fraud-detection behind an Amazon API Gateway and call it directly from your website. Or integrate the architecture into your existing transaction chain and call the AWS Lambda function any time a new transaction is made.

The advantage of this event-driven architecture is that the building blocks are completely exchangeable. For example, instead of predicting fraud, you might want to classify images on your shop floor. To do so, you could use Amazon Lookout for Vision as your backend ML model. An example for this can be found here. The opportunities are almost limitless. So, get started today!

About the Author

Michael Wallner is a Global Data Scientist with AWS Professional Services and is passionate about enabling customers on their AI/ML journey in the cloud to become AWSome. Besides having a deep interest in Amazon Connect, he likes sports and enjoys cooking.

 

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Customize pronunciation using lexicons in Amazon Polly

Amazon Polly is a text-to-speech service that uses advanced deep learning technologies to synthesize natural-sounding human speech. It is used in a variety of use cases, such as contact center systems, delivering conversational user experiences with human-like voices for automated real-time status check, automated account and billing inquiries, and by news agencies like The Washington…

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Amazon Polly is a text-to-speech service that uses advanced deep learning technologies to synthesize natural-sounding human speech. It is used in a variety of use cases, such as contact center systems, delivering conversational user experiences with human-like voices for automated real-time status check, automated account and billing inquiries, and by news agencies like The Washington Post to allow readers to listen to news articles.

As of today, Amazon Polly provides over 60 voices in 30+ language variants. Amazon Polly also uses context to pronounce certain words differently based upon the verb tense and other contextual information. For example, “read” in “I read a book” (present tense) and “I will read a book” (future tense) is pronounced differently.

However, in some situations you may want to customize the way Amazon Polly pronounces a word. For example, you may need to match the pronunciation with local dialect or vernacular. Names of things (e.g., Tomato can be pronounced as tom-ah-to or tom-ay-to), people, streets, or places are often pronounced in many different ways.

In this post, we demonstrate how you can leverage lexicons for creating custom pronunciations. You can apply lexicons for use cases such as publishing, education, or call centers.

Customize pronunciation using SSML tag

Let’s say you stream a popular podcast from Australia and you use the Amazon Polly Australian English (Olivia) voice to convert your script into human-like speech. In one of your scripts, you want to use words that are unknown to Amazon Polly voice. For example, you want to send Mātariki (Māori New Year) greetings to your New Zealand listeners. For such scenarios, Amazon Polly supports phonetic pronunciation, which you can use to achieve a pronunciation that is close to the correct pronunciation in the foreign language.

You can use the Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) tag to suggest a phonetic pronunciation in the ph attribute. Let me show you how you can use SSML tag.

First, login into your AWS console and search for Amazon Polly in the search bar at the top. Select Amazon Polly and then choose Try Polly button.

In the Amazon Polly console, select Australian English from the language dropdown and enter following text in the Input text box and then click on Listen to test the pronunciation.

I’m wishing you all a very Happy Mātariki.

Sample speech without applying phonetic pronunciation:

If you hear the sample speech above, you can notice that the pronunciation of Mātariki – a word which is not part of Australian English – isn’t quite spot-on. Now, let’s look at how in such scenarios we can use phonetic pronunciation using SSML tag to customize the speech produced by Amazon Polly.

To use SSML tags, turn ON the SSML option in Amazon Polly console. Then copy and paste following SSML script containing phonetic pronunciation for Mātariki specified inside the ph attribute of the tag.

I’m wishing you all a very Happy Mātariki.

With the tag, Amazon Polly uses the pronunciation specified by the ph attribute instead of the standard pronunciation associated by default with the language used by the selected voice.

Sample speech after applying phonetic pronunciation:

If you hear the sample sound, you’ll notice that we opted for a different pronunciation for some of vowels (e.g., ā) to make Amazon Polly synthesize the sounds that are closer to the correct pronunciation. Now you might have a question, how do I generate the phonetic transcription “mA:.tA:.ri.ki” for the word Mātariki?

You can create phonetic transcriptions by referring to the Phoneme and Viseme tables for the supported languages. In the example above we have used the phonemes for Australian English.

Amazon Polly offers support in two phonetic alphabets: IPA and X-Sampa. Benefit of X-Sampa is that they are standard ASCII characters, so it is easier to type the phonetic transcription with a normal keyboard. You can use either of IPA or X-Sampa to generate your transcriptions, but make sure to stay consistent with your choice, especially when you use a lexicon file which we’ll cover in the next section.

Each phoneme in the phoneme table represents a speech sound. The bolded letters in the “Example” column of the Phoneme/Viseme table in the Australian English page linked above represent the part of the word the “Phoneme” corresponds to. For example, the phoneme /j/ represents the sound that an Australian English speaker makes when pronouncing the letter “y” in “yes.”

Customize pronunciation using lexicons

Phoneme tags are suitable for one-off situations to customize isolated cases, but these are not scalable. If you process huge volume of text, managed by different editors and reviewers, we recommend using lexicons. Using lexicons, you can achieve consistency in adding custom pronunciations and simultaneously reduce manual effort of inserting phoneme tags into the script.

A good practice is that after you test the custom pronunciation on the Amazon Polly console using the tag, you create a library of customized pronunciations using lexicons. Once lexicons file is uploaded, Amazon Polly will automatically apply phonetic pronunciations specified in the lexicons file and eliminate the need to manually provide a tag.

Create a lexicon file

A lexicon file contains the mapping between words and their phonetic pronunciations. Pronunciation Lexicon Specification (PLS) is a W3C recommendation for specifying interoperable pronunciation information. The following is an example PLS document:

Matariki Mātariki mA:.tA:.ri.ki NZ New Zealand

Make sure that you use correct value for the xml:lang field. Use en-AU if you’re uploading the lexicon file to use with the Amazon Polly Australian English voice. For a complete list of supported languages, refer to Languages Supported by Amazon Polly.

To specify a custom pronunciation, you need to add a element which is a container for a lexical entry with one or more element and one or more pronunciation information provided inside element.

The element contains the text describing the orthography of the element. You can use a element to specify the word whose pronunciation you want to customize. You can add multiple elements to specify all word variations, for example with or without macrons. The element is case-sensitive, and during speech synthesis Amazon Polly string matches the words inside your script that you’re converting to speech. If a match is found, it uses the element, which describes how the is pronounced to generate phonetic transcription.

You can also use for commonly used abbreviations. In the preceding example of a lexicon file, NZ is used as an alias for New Zealand. This means that whenever Amazon Polly comes across “NZ” (with matching case) in the body of the text, it’ll read those two letters as “New Zealand”.

For more information on lexicon file format, see Pronunciation Lexicon Specification (PLS) Version 1.0 on the W3C website.

You can save a lexicon file with as a .pls or .xml file before uploading it to Amazon Polly.

Upload and apply the lexicon file

Upload your lexicon file to Amazon Polly using the following instructions:

  1. On the Amazon Polly console, choose Lexicons in the navigation pane.
  2. Choose Upload lexicon.
  3. Enter a name for the lexicon and then choose a lexicon file.
  4. Choose the file to upload.
  5. Choose Upload lexicon.

If a lexicon by the same name (whether a .pls or .xml file) already exists, uploading the lexicon overwrites the existing lexicon.

Now you can apply the lexicon to customize pronunciation.

  1. Choose Text-to-Speech in the navigation pane.
  2. Expand Additional settings.
  3. Turn on Customize pronunciation.
  4. Choose the lexicon on the drop-down menu.

You can also choose Upload lexicon to upload a new lexicon file (or a new version).

It’s a good practice to version control the lexicon file in a source code repository. Keeping the custom pronunciations in a lexicon file ensures that you can consistently refer to phonetic pronunciations for certain words across the organization. Also, keep in mind the pronunciation lexicon limits mentioned on Quotas in Amazon Polly page.

Test the pronunciation after applying the lexicon

Let’s perform quick test using “Wishing all my listeners in NZ, a very Happy Mātariki” as the input text.

We can compare the audio files before and after applying the lexicon.

Before applying the lexicon:

After applying the lexicon:

Conclusion

In this post, we discussed how you can customize pronunciations of commonly used acronyms or words not found in the selected language in Amazon Polly. You can use SSML tag which is great for inserting one-off customizations or testing purposes. We recommend using Lexicon to create a consistent set of pronunciations for frequently used words across your organization. This enables your content writers to spend time on writing instead of the tedious task of adding phonetic pronunciations in the script repetitively. You can try this in your AWS account on the Amazon Polly console.

Summary of resources

About the Authors

Ratan Kumar is a Solutions Architect based out of Auckland, New Zealand. He works with large enterprise customers helping them design and build secure, cost-effective, and reliable internet scale applications using the AWS cloud. He is passionate about technology and likes sharing knowledge through blog posts and twitch sessions.

Maciek Tegi is a Principal Audio Designer and a Product Manager for Polly Brand Voices. He has worked in professional capacity in the tech industry, movies, commercials and game localization. In 2013, he was the first audio engineer hired to the Alexa Text-To- Speech team. Maciek was involved in releasing 12 Alexa TTS voices across different countries, over 20 Polly voices, and 4 Alexa celebrity voices. Maciek is a triathlete, and an avid acoustic guitar player.



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AWS Week in Review – May 16, 2022

This post is part of our Week in Review series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS! I had been on the road for the last five weeks and attended many of the AWS Summits in Europe. It was great to talk to so many of you…

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This post is part of our Week in Review series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!

I had been on the road for the last five weeks and attended many of the AWS Summits in Europe. It was great to talk to so many of you in person. The Serverless Developer Advocates are going around many of the AWS Summits with the Serverlesspresso booth. If you attend an event that has the booth, say “Hi ” to my colleagues, and have a coffee while asking all your serverless questions. You can find all the upcoming AWS Summits in the events section at the end of this post.

Last week’s launches
Here are some launches that got my attention during the previous week.

AWS Step Functions announced a new console experience to debug your state machine executions – Now you can opt-in to the new console experience of Step Functions, which makes it easier to analyze, debug, and optimize Standard Workflows. The new page allows you to inspect executions using three different views: graph, table, and event view, and add many new features to enhance the navigation and analysis of the executions. To learn about all the features and how to use them, read Ben’s blog post.

Example on how the Graph View looks

Example on how the Graph View looks

AWS Lambda now supports Node.js 16.x runtime – Now you can start using the Node.js 16 runtime when you create a new function or update your existing functions to use it. You can also use the new container image base that supports this runtime. To learn more about this launch, check Dan’s blog post.

AWS Amplify announces its Android library designed for Kotlin – The Amplify Android library has been rewritten for Kotlin, and now it is available in preview. This new library provides better debugging capacities and visibility into underlying state management. And it is also using the new AWS SDK for Kotlin that was released last year in preview. Read the What’s New post for more information.

Three new APIs for batch data retrieval in AWS IoT SiteWise – With this new launch AWS IoT SiteWise now supports batch data retrieval from multiple asset properties. The new APIs allow you to retrieve current values, historical values, and aggregated values. Read the What’s New post to learn how you can start using the new APIs.

AWS Secrets Manager now publishes secret usage metrics to Amazon CloudWatch – This launch is very useful to see the number of secrets in your account and set alarms for any unexpected increase or decrease in the number of secrets. Read the documentation on Monitoring Secrets Manager with Amazon CloudWatch for more information.

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

Other AWS News
Some other launches and news that you may have missed:

IBM signed a deal with AWS to offer its software portfolio as a service on AWS. This allows customers using AWS to access IBM software for automation, data and artificial intelligence, and security that is built on Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS.

Podcast Charlas Técnicas de AWS – If you understand Spanish, this podcast is for you. Podcast Charlas Técnicas is one of the official AWS podcasts in Spanish. This week’s episode introduces you to Amazon DynamoDB and shares stories on how different customers use this database service. You can listen to all the episodes directly from your favorite podcast app or the podcast web page.

AWS Open Source News and Updates – Ricardo Sueiras, my colleague from the AWS Developer Relation team, runs this newsletter. It brings you all the latest open-source projects, posts, and more. Read edition #112 here.

Upcoming AWS Events
It’s AWS Summits season and here are some virtual and in-person events that might be close to you:

You can register for re:MARS to get fresh ideas on topics such as machine learning, automation, robotics, and space. The conference will be in person in Las Vegas, June 21–24.

That’s all for this week. Check back next Monday for another Week in Review!

— Marcia



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Personalize your machine translation results by using fuzzy matching with Amazon Translate

A person’s vernacular is part of the characteristics that make them unique. There are often countless different ways to express one specific idea. When a firm communicates with their customers, it’s critical that the message is delivered in a way that best represents the information they’re trying to convey. This becomes even more important when…

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A person’s vernacular is part of the characteristics that make them unique. There are often countless different ways to express one specific idea. When a firm communicates with their customers, it’s critical that the message is delivered in a way that best represents the information they’re trying to convey. This becomes even more important when it comes to professional language translation. Customers of translation systems and services expect accurate and highly customized outputs. To achieve this, they often reuse previous translation outputs—called translation memory (TM)—and compare them to new input text. In computer-assisted translation, this technique is known as fuzzy matching. The primary function of fuzzy matching is to assist the translator by speeding up the translation process. When an exact match can’t be found in the TM database for the text being translated, translation management systems (TMSs) often have the option to search for a match that is less than exact. Potential matches are provided to the translator as additional input for final translation. Translators who enhance their workflow with machine translation capabilities such as Amazon Translate often expect fuzzy matching data to be used as part of the automated translation solution.

In this post, you learn how to customize output from Amazon Translate according to translation memory fuzzy match quality scores.

Translation Quality Match

The XML Localization Interchange File Format (XLIFF) standard is often used as a data exchange format between TMSs and Amazon Translate. XLIFF files produced by TMSs include source and target text data along with match quality scores based on the available TM. These scores—usually expressed as a percentage—indicate how close the translation memory is to the text being translated.

Some customers with very strict requirements only want machine translation to be used when match quality scores are below a certain threshold. Beyond this threshold, they expect their own translation memory to take precedence. Translators often need to apply these preferences manually either within their TMS or by altering the text data. This flow is illustrated in the following diagram. The machine translation system processes the translation data—text and fuzzy match scores— which is then reviewed and manually edited by translators, based on their desired quality thresholds. Applying thresholds as part of the machine translation step allows you to remove these manual steps, which improves efficiency and optimizes cost.

Machine Translation Review Flow

Figure 1: Machine Translation Review Flow

The solution presented in this post allows you to enforce rules based on match quality score thresholds to drive whether a given input text should be machine translated by Amazon Translate or not. When not machine translated, the resulting text is left to the discretion of the translators reviewing the final output.

Solution Architecture

The solution architecture illustrated in Figure 2 leverages the following services:

  • Amazon Simple Storage Service – Amazon S3 buckets contain the following content:
    • Fuzzy match threshold configuration files
    • Source text to be translated
    • Amazon Translate input and output data locations
  • AWS Systems Manager – We use Parameter Store parameters to store match quality threshold configuration values
  • AWS Lambda – We use two Lambda functions:
    • One function preprocesses the quality match threshold configuration files and persists the data into Parameter Store
    • One function automatically creates the asynchronous translation jobs
  • Amazon Simple Queue Service – An Amazon SQS queue triggers the translation flow as a result of new files coming into the source bucket

Solution Architecture Diagram

Figure 2: Solution Architecture

You first set up quality thresholds for your translation jobs by editing a configuration file and uploading it into the fuzzy match threshold configuration S3 bucket. The following is a sample configuration in CSV format. We chose CSV for simplicity, although you can use any format. Each line represents a threshold to be applied to either a specific translation job or as a default value to any job.

default, 75 SourceMT-Test, 80

The specifications of the configuration file are as follows:

  • Column 1 should be populated with the name of the XLIFF file—without extension—provided to the Amazon Translate job as input data.
  • Column 2 should be populated with the quality match percentage threshold. For any score below this value, machine translation is used.
  • For all XLIFF files whose name doesn’t match any name listed in the configuration file, the default threshold is used—the line with the keyword default set in Column 1.

Auto-generated parameter in Systems Manager Parameter Store

Figure 3: Auto-generated parameter in Systems Manager Parameter Store

When a new file is uploaded, Amazon S3 triggers the Lambda function in charge of processing the parameters. This function reads and stores the threshold parameters into Parameter Store for future usage. Using Parameter Store avoids performing redundant Amazon S3 GET requests each time a new translation job is initiated. The sample configuration file produces the parameter tags shown in the following screenshot.

The job initialization Lambda function uses these parameters to preprocess the data prior to invoking Amazon Translate. We use an English-to-Spanish translation XLIFF input file, as shown in the following code. It contains the initial text to be translated, broken down into what is referred to as segments, represented in the source tags.

Consent Form CONSENT FORM FORMULARIO DE CONSENTIMIENTO Screening Visit: Screening Visit Selección

The source text has been pre-matched with the translation memory beforehand. The data contains potential translation alternatives—represented as tags—alongside a match quality attribute, expressed as a percentage. The business rule is as follows:

  • Segments received with alternative translations and a match quality below the threshold are untouched or empty. This signals to Amazon Translate that they must be translated.
  • Segments received with alternative translations with a match quality above the threshold are pre-populated with the suggested target text. Amazon Translate skips those segments.

Let’s assume the quality match threshold configured for this job is 80%. The first segment with 99% match quality isn’t machine translated, whereas the second segment is, because its match quality is below the defined threshold. In this configuration, Amazon Translate produces the following output:

Consent Form FORMULARIO DE CONSENTIMIENTO CONSENT FORM FORMULARIO DE CONSENTIMIENTO Screening Visit: Visita de selección Screening Visit Selección

In the second segment, Amazon Translate overwrites the target text initially suggested (Selección) with a higher quality translation: Visita de selección.

One possible extension to this use case could be to reuse the translated output and create our own translation memory. Amazon Translate supports customization of machine translation using translation memory thanks to the parallel data feature. Text segments previously machine translated due to their initial low-quality score could then be reused in new translation projects.

In the following sections, we walk you through the process of deploying and testing this solution. You use AWS CloudFormation scripts and data samples to launch an asynchronous translation job personalized with a configurable quality match threshold.

Prerequisites

For this walkthrough, you must have an AWS account. If you don’t have an account yet, you can create and activate one.

Launch AWS CloudFormation stack

  1. Choose Launch Stack:
  2. For Stack name, enter a name.
  3. For ConfigBucketName, enter the S3 bucket containing the threshold configuration files.
  4. For ParameterStoreRoot, enter the root path of the parameters created by the parameters processing Lambda function.
  5. For QueueName, enter the SQS queue that you create to post new file notifications from the source bucket to the job initialization Lambda function. This is the function that reads the configuration file.
  6. For SourceBucketName, enter the S3 bucket containing the XLIFF files to be translated. If you prefer to use a preexisting bucket, you need to change the value of the CreateSourceBucket parameter to No.
  7. For WorkingBucketName, enter the S3 bucket Amazon Translate uses for input and output data.
  8. Choose Next.

    Figure 4: CloudFormation stack details

  9. Optionally on the Stack Options page, add key names and values for the tags you may want to assign to the resources about to be created.
  10. Choose Next.
  11. On the Review page, select I acknowledge that this template might cause AWS CloudFormation to create IAM resources.
  12. Review the other settings, then choose Create stack.

AWS CloudFormation takes several minutes to create the resources on your behalf. You can watch the progress on the Events tab on the AWS CloudFormation console. When the stack has been created, you can see a CREATE_COMPLETE message in the Status column on the Overview tab.

Test the solution

Let’s go through a simple example.

  1. Download the following sample data.
  2. Unzip the content.

There should be two files: an .xlf file in XLIFF format, and a threshold configuration file with .cfg as the extension. The following is an excerpt of the XLIFF file.

English to French sample file extract

Figure 5: English to French sample file extract

  1. On the Amazon S3 console, upload the quality threshold configuration file into the configuration bucket you specified earlier.

The value set for test_En_to_Fr is 75%. You should be able to see the parameters on the Systems Manager console in the Parameter Store section.

  1. Still on the Amazon S3 console, upload the .xlf file into the S3 bucket you configured as source. Make sure the file is under a folder named translate (for example, /translate/test_En_to_Fr.xlf).

This starts the translation flow.

  1. Open the Amazon Translate console.

A new job should appear with a status of In Progress.

Auto-generated parameter in Systems Manager Parameter Store

Figure 6: In progress translation jobs on Amazon Translate console

  1. Once the job is complete, click into the job’s link and consult the output. All segments should have been translated.

All segments should have been translated. In the translated XLIFF file, look for segments with additional attributes named lscustom:match-quality, as shown in the following screenshot. These custom attributes identify segments where suggested translation was retained based on score.

Custom attributes identifying segments where suggested translation was retained based on score

Figure 7: Custom attributes identifying segments where suggested translation was retained based on score

These were derived from the translation memory according to the quality threshold. All other segments were machine translated.

You have now deployed and tested an automated asynchronous translation job assistant that enforces configurable translation memory match quality thresholds. Great job!

Cleanup

If you deployed the solution into your account, don’t forget to delete the CloudFormation stack to avoid any unexpected cost. You need to empty the S3 buckets manually beforehand.

Conclusion

In this post, you learned how to customize your Amazon Translate translation jobs based on standard XLIFF fuzzy matching quality metrics. With this solution, you can greatly reduce the manual labor involved in reviewing machine translated text while also optimizing your usage of Amazon Translate. You can also extend the solution with data ingestion automation and workflow orchestration capabilities, as described in Speed Up Translation Jobs with a Fully Automated Translation System Assistant.

About the Authors

Narcisse Zekpa is a Solutions Architect based in Boston. He helps customers in the Northeast U.S. accelerate their adoption of the AWS Cloud, by providing architectural guidelines, design innovative, and scalable solutions. When Narcisse is not building, he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, cooking, and playing basketball.

Dimitri Restaino is a Solutions Architect at AWS, based out of Brooklyn, New York. He works primarily with Healthcare and Financial Services companies in the North East, helping to design innovative and creative solutions to best serve their customers. Coming from a software development background, he is excited by the new possibilities that serverless technology can bring to the world. Outside of work, he loves to hike and explore the NYC food scene.



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