Written by 11:57 pm Art

– Japanese Art Translators Replaced by AI, Igniting Controversy

Western television and anime localization teams have faced criticism recently for incorporating “woke” language into English dubs that was not present in the original content. This has led some companies to turn to artificial intelligence (AI) as a means of reducing human intervention or eliminating it altogether.

The integration of AI in this sector is already in progress. For instance, the official X account for “The Ancient Magus’ Bride” manga announced on December 21 that it would soon release an English version simultaneously using AI translation developed by the Japanese company Mantra.

Additionally, Funimation, a popular American anime streaming service, recently merged with Crunchyroll, a streaming platform owned by the Sony Group Corporation. The company has revealed plans to utilize a “hybrid” AI localization system, with human oversight for reviewing and editing the outcomes.

Opinions among fans are divided on these developments. While some argue that AI translations lack the authenticity provided by human translators, others believe that this shift will prevent localizers from injecting political biases and contemporary social issues into translations, thereby straying from the original creators’ intentions.

Max Maybury, a tech enthusiast and co-owner of Ai-Product Reviews, highlighted that the use of AI in Anime localization aims to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of translation processes. However, this move has sparked controversy within the creative community.

Critics of human translators have expressed concerns about the alleged introduction of progressive perspectives into translations from Japanese to English. There is apprehension that AI, potentially influenced by specific ideological leanings, might distort the original Japanese texts, leading to a loss of authenticity and cultural fidelity.

Katrina Leonoudakis, a seasoned translator and localization expert who previously worked with SEGA and Funimation, criticized the adoption of AI in localization as “embarrassing” and “disappointing.” She emphasized the importance of investing in human expertise for quality outcomes rather than opting for AI-generated content.

The debate surrounding the use of AI in anime localization has triggered discussions about the integrity of translations, the role of human translators, and the risks of introducing personal biases into the content. Balancing AI efficiency with cultural authenticity remains a challenge in the localization process, as highlighted by the reactions to localizers accused of ideological alterations in translations.

The individuals involved in these controversies, including Leonoudakis, Marchi, Asmongold, and Sony, have not responded to requests for comments from Fox News Digital.

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Last modified: January 19, 2024
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