The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2023 - 6

ATA Statement on
Artificial Intelligence
The following statement on artificial intelligence
was drafted by ATA's Strategy Committee
and reviewed and approved by ATA's Board
of Directors. ATA believes it is important for
everyone involved in language services to
understand the potential and pitfalls of artificial
intelligence, as well as the transformative
impact it is having on the T&I professions. The
Association encourages its members to share
this information and stay informed of the latest
developments in the industry.
A
mong its many
roles, the American
Translators
Association (ATA) actively
follows technological
developments affecting
language services and
provides training to help
translators and interpreters
leverage them. The current
generation of artificial
intelligence (AI), based on
large language models, is one
such development currently
disrupting many professions,
including language services.
Translators and
interpreters, however, are
a step ahead when it comes
to language AI, as they have
been responding to the
impact of this technology, in
the form of neural machine
translation (NMT), since
2016, before the advent
of ChatGPT and other
6 The ATA Chronicle | November/December 2023
generative AI tools. As a
result, they have developed
creative ways to integrate
NMT into their toolkits while
simultaneously coming to
terms with its shortcomings.
For instance, translators and
interpreters now use NMTbased
tools to automate
repetitive texts, produce
a rough draft for editing,
respond to client requests
for immediate feedback on
content, and speed up the
translation process.
Yet, while automated
translation has proven
helpful-and even
welcome-as a tool for
certain low-stakes, timesensitive
tasks, it is less so for
others. This is especially true
for creative endeavors, where
human ingenuity is key, in
light of the reliance of AI
tools on previously produced
ideas and information.
Language experts are likewise
essential to multilingual
communications whenever
the stakes are high, helping
non-specialists determine
how and when to deploy
technology. For example, the
stakes are clearly high for a
patient with limited language
proficiency facing a critical
medical decision where a
trained medical interpreter,
rather than technology, helps
ensure better outcomes. On
the other hand, the stakes are
much lower for the average
diner using a translation app
to get the gist of menu items
before ordering a meal.
As the latest language
technology tools gain
traction, stakeholders
need to be aware of when
AI is being used and its
limitations. That starts
www.atanet.org
https://slate.com/technology/2022/09/machine-translation-accuracy-government-danger.html https://slator.com/cambridge-researchers-tackle-neural-machine-translations-gender-bias/ https://www.atanet.org/business-strategies/5-tedious-non-translation-tasks-chatgpt-can-do-amazingly-well/ https://www.atanet.org/business-strategies/5-tedious-non-translation-tasks-chatgpt-can-do-amazingly-well/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1955368/ http://www.atanet.org

The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2023

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