"Will Artificial Intelligence render human translators obsolete?"

""gulfnews""

Time was when you took along a hefty edition titled ‘100 Common Phrases in Italian’ (or some other language depending on your destination) on your foreign holiday to help you communicate. These days, all it takes is an app. Once impossible to imagine, technology that allows people to communicate instantly with each other in different languages is now a reality.

An earpiece that allows two people who speak different languages to communicate and understand each other? Yes, thanks to Waverly Labs, the Brooklyn-based firm. Converting foreign language text into the language you read? Yes. There are a host of options including apps such as iTranslate and Translate Voice. Want to know what that signpost means on your travels? Google Translate app’s camera function will help you. Just point and know.

Experts say AI powered translation will change the way we live. Schools could gain access to education that would otherwise be foreign to them and politicians could exercise their diplomatic flair with a host of nations. According to Dr Saihong Li, professor of translation studies at the University of Stirling, UK, translation could become so advanced that people won’t even know translation is taking place. “Translation technology really plays a crucial role in politics, travel and in everyday life.”

At the 7th Abu Dhabi Translation Conference held in the UAE last November, one of the workshops was themed: ‘Can a Robot Replace the Translator?’

At the 7th Abu Dhabi Translation Conference held in the UAE last November, one of the workshops was themed: ‘Can a Robot Replace the Translator?’


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