How Translators Can Use AI Tools Now and What’s in Store?


Jun 25, 2023 @ 2:00 PM

AI technologies are like Felix the Cat’s magic bag of tricks, and they are taking shape online in ever-expanding ways. This presentation will cover some of the current tools and how translators can use them, ChatGPT in particular. We will avoid speculating on the emergence of a super-intelligent species misaligned with humanity’s survival. However, we will take comments from the species in the audience on what translators can do in the meantime, before the singularity.

Between the two presenters, we hope to cover both practical applications at present and macro factors affecting possible future economic impacts. A nuts-and-bolts demo of ChatGPT will include its use as a translation aid, thesaurus, and research tool, plus a few prompt engineering strategies.

In broader terms, perhaps we can ask what human translators bring to the table with our intuitive capabilities and ability to both read between the lines and understand a wider context. How can we advise our clients and produce better translations? Is every use of technology fair game? When do ethical considerations come into play?

Ultimately, how might these large language models affect the industry, including types of work and relationships among translation agencies, end clients, and freelance translators? In other words, will everyone here lose their jobs?!

We may not have all the answers, so come ready to take the mike and share your own comments from the audience, and bring your smartphones to make this a participatory session.