The following is a summary of the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jp-FEu_ub7M&t=1372s from 30 March 2023.
The translation industry has undergone a significant transformation over the past few years, largely fueled by the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies. Jurga Žilinskienė of Guildhawk, a London-based language service provider, led a comprehensive discussion on the implications of these technologies on the industry, particularly the role of freelance translators.
These advancements have not only revolutionized the industry but also significantly impacted the function of human translators, creating novel markets and demands. AI and machine learning can simplify the translation process by taking over tasks such as the initial translation and extraction of insights from unstructured data. However, AI’s capabilities have limitations, and human translators are still indispensable for providing context, cultural understanding, and complex translations. This evolving landscape signifies a growing need for domain-specific expertise and enhanced data security.
Guildhawk, a company with an equal split between coders and linguists, collaborates with over 3,000 freelance linguists globally. Their evolution from a traditional translation business to an entity leveraging machine learning algorithms exemplifies the industry’s paradigm shift. Their early-stage collaboration with Google Translate further underscores the expanding role of AI in translation, despite concerns over data security and the creation of “echo chambers.”
The changes instigated by AI also extend to the areas of interpreting and localisation, where human expertise remains crucial for ensuring accuracy and addressing cultural nuances. Industries like video gaming have seen an increased application of Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools and post-editing for quality assurance. However, potential ethical issues around data privacy, transparency, and responsible data usage must be addressed as AI continues to pervade the industry.
While AI language models like ChatGPT continue to improve, they are unlikely to entirely replace human expertise in the foreseeable future. Still, unexpected developments may stem from advancements in quantum computing, biology, and physics, emphasizing the need for continuous learning and adaptation.
Despite the industry’s significant strides, challenges persist, particularly concerning human-computer interaction and attempts to replace linguists with technology. Collaboration between linguists and technology experts is paramount for creating more effective and useful products. As such, technology students and coders need to understand the purpose and output of their coding, working closely with linguists to develop more effective solutions.
In conclusion, while AI holds substantial promise for the translation industry, a collaborative approach between linguists and technology experts is key to harnessing its full potential. The future of translation is likely to be a blend of human expertise and AI assistance, offering an exciting, promising landscape for freelance translators worldwide. Data security will remain a pivotal aspect, given that free tools like Google Translate may not guarantee data privacy. By embracing these changes, freelance translators can continue to thrive in this ever-evolving industry.