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### American Translators Association’s Statement on Artificial Intelligence

American Translators Association issues statement on artificial conference; some observers question…

The American Translators Association (ATA) has issued a statement regarding artificial intelligence in the language industry. In a recent tweet, ATA emphasized the importance for individuals in language companies to understand both the potential benefits and risks associated with artificial intelligence, recognizing its transformative impact on translation and interpretation professions.

Shortly after the ATA’s annual meeting in Miami in October 2023, the organization released the official declaration on November 8th. The declaration covered various topics such as big language models, relational AI, machine translation, and technology-enhanced translation quality management, which were extensively discussed during the sessions. Specifically, training sessions for interpreters delved into ChatGPT, machine dubbing, and live captioning.

Regarding language AI advancements, the ATA asserted that translators and interpreters have adapted to the introduction of machine translation (MT) since 2016, incorporating innovative ways to utilize MT tools while acknowledging their limitations.

In critical scenarios requiring human intervention, automated language tools have proven to be valuable aids for human translators, according to the ATA’s statement.

The ATA stressed the importance of transparency in AI-generated translations, advocating for clear disclosures about potential limitations to ensure responsible usage of such technologies. The organization recommended seeking guidance from language experts to facilitate proper utilization of these tools.

The response to the statement on social media platforms was generally positive, with over 60 likes on LinkedIn and significant engagement on Facebook and Twitter. However, some individuals expressed reservations, with one commenter describing the statement as “wishy-washy.”

Another observer highlighted the need for transparency and candid discussions about both the benefits and drawbacks of AI in the language industry, emphasizing the importance of addressing challenges rather than solely focusing on the merits of AI technology.

Given the diverse perspectives within the ATA, varying opinions emerged, with some members expressing a desire for more consultation on such matters.

ATA reaffirmed its commitment to advocating for the value of translators and interpreters in multicultural processes and encouraged stakeholders to regularly visit its website for updates and developments.

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Last modified: February 27, 2024
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