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The scope of Artificial Intelligence's influence on translation activities

AI is an abbreviated form of the English phrase “Artificial Intelligence”, which translates as Artificial Intelligence. This concept encompasses a really wide range of terms, but is usually recognized as a set of technological practices for executing algorithms, as close as possible to human intelligence. In other words, the main objective of the creation and now development of artificial intelligence is the desire to obtain the most natural result; one that could be established by man.

Artificial Intelligence in industries in two words

It is worth noting that artificial intelligence, and I do not mean even in the domain of translation service, includes many sections, each of which has its own characteristics. The most famous of them is machine learning (from English - Machine Learning), as it is this section is actively used in practice. Today, when we talk about business or production, when AI is used, what is actually implemented is Machine Learning.

Also, before turning to the immediate topic, it is worth considering the most popular method of implementing Machine Learning. And it's called a neural network. This algorithm is based on connections between neurons, which play a key role in minimizing possible errors and deviations of the network. This method is really quite effective, because it is with its help that the information is processed as if it were a real human brain, and not by technology.

The wide application of AI allows us to be convinced every day that this tool for processing, analyzing, searching and verifying information is truly universal and applicable in almost all areas of intellectual activity. Artificial intelligence technologies are actively used in various fields, including healthcare, finance, automotive industry, robotics, education, marketing, gaming industry, etc.

The field of translations, whether professional or not, is also no exception. Today, artificial intelligence is literally becoming an integral part of this sphere, and we will try to find the most constructive reasons for this phenomenon.

How can artificial intelligence be useful in translation activities?

Machine translation: Artificial intelligence, including all its parts, has significantly improved the quality of machine translation. The tools we are all familiar with, including Google Translate, DeepL and Microsoft Translator, are based on the neural networks mentioned above. This method allows for more accurate and, more importantly, natural translation between languages. But despite these positive factors, machine translation still needs improvement to achieve more reliable results. Preserving context and language specificity is still considered a challenge for modern AI.

Improve translator productivity:

Human translation is obviously inferior in terms of efficiency, so it cannot go unmentioned that the productivity of translators is increased by the use of machine translation. Moreover, AI is effectively used to check the translation or refine it, i.e. it is more than likely that it will not completely replace human work.

Increase the availability of information:

The ability to translate data into a large number of languages really brings many benefits. For example, machine translation can help you reach a global audience when developing a business and other industries, or simply popularizing an important advertisement.

Possibility of obtaining customized translations (translations intended for a specific audience):

Artificial intelligence is also used to create this type of translation, based on the user's (client's) preferences and possible wishes.

Improve the quality of specialized translations (this group includes medical, technical and legal documents):

Using AI verification, it is possible to improve the quality and accuracy of human translation, thus reducing the risks of various problems that can arise when using incorrect translation in these areas.

But here it is also worth paying attention to the fact that today AI is not yet developed enough to perform full translation of specialized texts. Therefore, professional translators within the field of translation services focus specifically on their competencies in order to avoid unpleasant and even harmful consequences.

Now and finally, let us begin to consider the negative factors that contribute to the detrimental influence of artificial intelligence on the outcome of data translation:

Inevitable loss of nuance and essential context:

At this stage of its operation, the artificial intelligence cannot correctly perceive the specific nuances of the language and the context of certain expressions or phrases. Therefore, the accuracy of the translation is lost.

Limited AI functionality in translations of technical texts:

As mentioned above, machine translation has not yet reached the desired level of performance to be able to clearly translate specialized texts, including their terminology (which is extremely important when transmitting accurately). Therefore, in this context, artificial intelligence may face significant limitations.

Risk of loss of confidentiality:

The use of online machine translation services to translate sensitive information may present a significant privacy risk in the future, as data may be stored or used in inappropriate and certainly unintended ways.

The need for a verification also called detailed human post-editing of the translation:

Even despite such an active development of AI, human skills in translation are still the most valuable. Due to the high risk of the above-mentioned nuances occurring during machine translation, professional translators still need to carefully check the output of the technology.
Artificial intelligence is truly an important part of the modern translation industry, making it more efficient and accessible. However, it can disappoint translators from time to time. That is why, despite the significant benefits of AI's presence in translation activities, it is important to note that the human factor is still critical to achieve accuracy and improve translation quality. A balanced combination of customized AI technologies and the work of human translators allows you to achieve optimal results in the field of translation activities. Willingness and openness to innovation, as well as a clear understanding of the shortcomings of artificial intelligence, will help to find the desired balance and significantly improve the quality of translation of texts on any subject in general.

By following these recommendations, translators will be able to avoid:

Incorrect translations: incorrect AI techniques or insufficient understanding of the context by the machine translator can lead to this unpleasant consequence.

● Negative impact of AI on trust: incorrect and unverified translations can lead to a loss of trust in artificial intelligence on the part of the user. To avoid the following consequences, always check your computer results carefully.

Loss of cultural nuances and features: speaking of literary works, it is worth noting that at this stage the AI is not at all capable of capturing cultural features and language specificities. This negative factor can lead to a loss of meaning and idea of the original text (which may be full, for example, of metaphors).

Loss of the uniqueness of the human translation: literal translation may literally deprive the text of the uniqueness of the human translation. In this case, a detailed verification of the machine translation by a person will also be necessary.

In fact, the incorrect use of artificial intelligence can lead to negative consequences associated mainly with a significant decrease in the uniqueness and subtle analysis of data, which can only be provided by a person (but certainly not by a machine).

The role of a person in the translation process

We have mentioned very often before that the role of a person in translation activities is still the most important and prioritized one. Any translator who has tried to use the current version of artificial intelligence can easily come to this conclusion.

Indeed, AI is quite an effective tool, but even so, it has significant drawbacks. Sitting around waiting for the day when machine translation techniques will be perfect is not an option. Therefore, in our reality, it is important to find the most rational ways to preserve the quality of the information translated into a foreign language. For the time being, this means double-checking the result by a translator (i.e. a human). In this way, your confidence in the AI will be maintained and the quality of the translations will only improve.

Translation is a process (almost like a dialectic) that creates transnational social links and spaces, revalues ​​local cultures and brings third cultures to the foreground, it is a process to avoid contradictions, misunderstandings and sometimes even conflicts of a varied nature.