Sam Berner on the ethics of machine translation

The rise of technology is always a hot topic at translation conferences, and the AUSIT National Conference 2018 in Adelaide was no exception – Sam Berner, a legal translator based in Queensland, gave a thought-provoking talk entitled: “Ethical Questions for the Age of Intelligent Machines”.

Most such discussions revolve around the question of whether MT will ever replace human translators – which Ms Berner boldly asserted is fundamentally the wrong question, her premise being that we do not, and cannot, know what will happen and how technology will develop in the future. While I don’t personally fully agree with this statement, Ms Berner instead posed a set of questions which are worth thinking about:

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