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On Demand, Webinar Series

Ethically Speaking … Translation Technologies, Ethics, and Translator Education

May 31, 2022

Learn about translation technologies and how they fit within the wider spectrum of cultural, social, political, and professional concerns.

When translation technologies first became widespread, the focus was on learning to use them and to integrate them into translation processes. Ethical issues received scant attention in the early days, but as technologies—including various forms of artificial intelligence—become increasingly pervasive, they are shaping the way we view the world and are changing the language industry at a speed and scale not previously experienced, bringing tremendous opportunities, but also exposing us to new risks.

The time is ripe to discuss questions of fairness, justice, and responsibility in relation to tool use and to consider how translation technologies fit within the wider spectrum of cultural, social, political, and professional concerns. Some of the more specific issues to be discussed in the webinar include the ownership, sharing, and commoditization of data and resources; confidentiality and privacy; professional identity, autonomy, workflow, remuneration, and job satisfaction; and risk and responsibility.

Bringing the conversation back specifically to education, we’ll explore how translator-educators can take steps to prepare the next generation to engage with translation technologies in an ethical way by considering the what, why, and how of integrating technology-related ethics into translator education.

This webinar was organized with the assistance of ATA’s Educators Division.

You will learn:

  1. The basics of data-driven approaches (including neural MT) and how such approaches are sensitive to data (potentially leading to algorithmic bias)
  2. How linked data can lead to a privacy breach
  3. Ways the various translation stakeholders (e.g., agencies, translators, clients, end users) can be affected by integration of technologies into the translation workflow
  4. The connections between translation technologies and sustainability
  5. Where and how ethics can fit into education on translation technologies

About the Presenter

Lynne Bowker is a certified French-to-English translator-educator with over 25 years of experience. She has an MA in Translation and a PhD in Language Engineering. Lynne is a professor at the School of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Ottawa in Canada where she teaches courses on translation technologies and directs the Machine Translation Literacy Project. She is the author and co-author of several books on translation technology, including Computer-Aided Translation Technology (2002) and Machine Translation and Global Research (2019). She recently contributed a chapter on translation technologies to the Routledge Handbook of Translation and Ethics (2021).

Purchase this Webinar


May 31, 2022
Event Categories:
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Presenter(s): Lynne Bowker
Duration: 60 minutes
Presenting Language(s): English
Level: All
ATA CEPs: 1.0

Code of Conduct

ATA is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all participants. By registering for this event, you agree to abide by the Code of Conduct for Virtual Programs.



American Translators Association