Nowadays, humankind is immersed in a globalised and technological world which cannot help advancing and evolving to make our lives easier and more comfortable. If we suddenly go back to the past, only 30 years ago, we could not realise the enormous advances and discoveries that researchers and society had made in this short period of time. I am sure that our Top Three More Used devices were not even thought of in the 90s.
The translation industry has also become something completely different since its beginnings. We have left the traditional dictionaries on libraries shelves, and we have moved on to computer-assisted translation tools that encompass the majority of words, phrases, structures that we could ever imagine. Besides, there are even algorithms that give translation a try, and they almost succeed. Now, there is an AI system that could work as a search engine and as a problem solver. Chat GPT is said to become one of the most important advancements in decades, but which could be its main contributions to the translation world?
As we know, translators must deal with too many tasks that usually demand time we do not have. For instance, we have to understand every minimum detail from our client’s source text, and it is not easy at all when the client is not likely to give us some support. There are assignments that can be a complete mess with confusing ideas, paragraphs that are written incoherently, words that we have never heard of, etc. So, what does Chat GPT offer to translators? This AI system is daily improved by adding text corpora to its database, and users are the main responsible for the texts that are added. Every query, conversation, discussion is included and compared to other ones in order to find a solution, so it manages plenty of vocabulary, registers, structures. Therefore, it can rephrase sentences that can take us a while to understand, it can summarize every paragraph into concrete ideas, so you can easily save your efforts on analysing the text. Moreover, although it is not recommended to give it a try as a translator, you can also translate a small sentence, so you can see different approaches to your doubt.
Then, you can use this AI as a proofreader. Instead of contacting your old friend from the university to check your translation or trying to word by word correct the whole text, Chat GPT is provided with texts of different languages. It collects every language rule, so you will not need to pay extra attention to possible mistakes. Moreover, if you do not know, for example, which specific health term is more convenient in your translation, you can also make a request to the AI, and it will search for the term that fits better. It will not probably give you an answer to every specialised term, but it is just a matter of time until it once becomes true.
Another worthy application could be found when reviewing and post-editing translations. Whether it is a machine translation or a human translation, you just need to make the request and the AI will take part in the task. From suggesting ways to improve the fluency of your text to recommending language choices to sound more idiomatic and natural, this system will analyse the text to find all these tricky aspects that we cannot handle. It can set a turning point between an ordinary and an extraordinary translation.
In conclusion, as in every aspect in which a machine can take part, the time that we spend when we combine our knowledge and training with the wisdom of a machine is dramatically reduced. However, we must think positively about these machines, they have not substituted us in every aspect of our lives. It only depends on us, on the limits that we want to set on these revolutionary technologies, we are the main responsible for their success and their failures.