The AI Revolution and Human Value: Highlights from CLINT 2023, the IV Latin American Conference of the Translation Industry
By Clara Raffin Demarchi and Cecilia Poratti
On September 1st and 2nd, 2023, language enthusiasts, professionals, and experts from around the globe congregated in the picturesque city of Córdoba, Argentina, for the IV Latin American Conference of the Translation Industry. Organized by Translated in Argentina, this two-day event proved to be an intellectual and cultural feast for attendees.
The conference's theme revolved around the pivotal role of translation in today's interconnected world. It provided a platform for industry leaders to share insights, best practices, and emerging trends in the field. Attendees gained valuable knowledge on topics ranging from AI-driven translation tools to the preservation of linguistic diversity.
Distinguished speakers from diverse backgrounds captivated the audience with their expertise by emphasizing the irreplaceable role of humans in the digital era of translation.
Some of our favorite talks
In "Superpowers for Lifelong Learning", Gerry Garbulsky, Director of TED in Spanish and host of Aprender de Grandes, delved into the imperative of continuous learning in an ever-evolving world. In a society where the pace of change is accelerating, Gerry emphasized the necessity of embracing lifelong learning. Contrary to the often-held belief that certain ages mark the end of acquiring new skills or knowledge, he asserted that humans possess the inherent ability to continue learning throughout their lives. Throughout the engaging discussion, Gerry unveiled a set of "superpowers" that can empower individuals to navigate the challenges of perpetual learning successfully:
- Recognize our biases
- Generate fertile ground
- Build metaphors
- Maintain curiosity
- Leverage constraints
Attendees were inspired to challenge preconceived limitations and embrace a mindset that fosters ongoing personal and professional growth.
Arancha Caballero, Founder and Managing Director of Nuadda, delivered a thought-provoking closing talk titled "What does a person like me do in an automated world like this?". With automation and artificial intelligence increasingly permeating various facets of our lives, there is a critical need to redefine the meaning and value of our contributions and work. Arancha reflected on the aspects that truly distinguish us from machines. Drawing on classical wisdom, she invokes Aristotle's belief that the soul defines our unique identity. Amidst the accelerating pace of today's world, where immediacy pressures make adapting to frequent changes challenging, Arancha prompts us to explore the potential connection between this rapid pace and the rising concerns about mental health. Now is the opportune moment to scrutinize and map the relationships we have with our surroundings—colleagues, suppliers, clients, and, crucially, ourselves.
Arancha also moderated the Project Management round table, delving into key topics such as the significance of communication in project management, team coordination, and the steps of the process. The discussion explored the intricacies of project planning, addressing questions like how to effectively coordinate a team and what steps are involved in the process. Additionally, the participants tackled the crucial aspect of project evaluation upon reception, shedding light on what factors are important to consider when assessing a new project. Our very own Fiama Petroselli represented Essence Translations and provided valuable insights into the multifaceted aspects of project management, offering a comprehensive view of communication strategies, team coordination, and the essential elements of project planning and evaluation.
Jennifer Vela Valido, Ph.D., Director of the Linguistic Quality Program at Spotify, presented a compelling talk titled "Quality: Fit-for-Purpose". In a global market that demands increasingly precise, personalized, and culturally appropriate messages, translation and localization play pivotal roles. Jennifer emphasized the need to manage the quality of a growing variety of texts, languages, and client requirements by adopting innovative strategies that go beyond the traditional concept of quality control and the theory of "universal quality." The presentation explored the latest trends and challenges in translation quality management, offering insights into key factors such as collaborating with clients at diverse levels of translation management maturity, utilizing the latest standards from ASTM and ISO, and finding a balance between holistic and analytical quality systems. This talk equipped attendees with practical strategies to meet diverse client demands and create "fit-for-purpose" quality approaches that integrate both analytical and holistic data, including studies on the impact of translated text on user experience.
Jennifer also explored the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and quality control in her presentation "AI and quality control". The session delved into the transformative impact of AI, machine learning, and large-scale language models on managing, controlling, and evaluating translation quality. She highlighted the diverse applications of AI in translation quality management, ranging from predicting the quality level of a translation to automatically correcting errors, ensuring terminological coherence, and evaluating both machine and human translations. The ethical considerations of AI use in the translation industry were addressed, emphasizing how these advancements can streamline processes, reduce time spent on repetitive manual tasks, and enable translation professionals to focus on strategic, creative, analytical, and high-value-added tasks.
In an age of advancing technology, where AI and machine translation tools are becoming more prevalent, the conference highlighted the indispensable role of human translators. They bring nuance, cultural context, and emotional intelligence to the translation process, ensuring messages resonate with their intended audiences.
As the conference concluded, participants departed with a renewed appreciation for the power of language and its unifying force, reaffirming the essential human touch in the digital age of translation.