Artificial intelligence shakes up the translation business: "Machines are cheaper than people".

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ryanheise
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Re: Artificial intelligence shakes up the translation business: "Machines are cheaper than people".

Postby ryanheise » Sat Dec 09, 2023 2:15 am

Le Baron wrote:And what's oblique about: 'Can't say I understood any of that.'?


To be honest, I also wasn't 100% clear on what you were referring to by the word "that" in "Can't say I understood any of that.", so thank you for clarifying. (I read several of the preceding comments, the immediately preceding one seemed clear to me, more clear than some of the earlier ones - and sometimes people reply to comments that aren't immediately prior, and sometimes people don't quote what they're referring to.)

--- some suppressed memories are now surfacing of my PhD supervisor critiquing my writing :-) He used to make me go through all pronouns with a fine-toothed comb and either replace them or make it absolutely clear what they point to.

Anyway, I copied and pasted the discussion into ChatGPT and Bard, and asked what Le Baron meant by "Can't say I understood any of that."


ChatGPT's response:

In the given discussion, when Le Baron says, "Can't say I understood any of that," it suggests that Le Baron finds the previous comment by Cainntear confusing or difficult to comprehend. Le Baron may be expressing a lack of understanding or perhaps disagrees with the points made by Cainntear regarding the use of AI in film translation and the potential issues related to callbacks.


Bard's response:

In this context, Le Baron's statement "Can't say I understood any of that" likely means they didn't understand the prediction made by Cainntear about AI being used to translate films and the subsequent implications. This could be for several reasons:

  • Unfamiliarity with the term "callback": If Le Baron is unfamiliar with the concept of callbacks in film and storytelling, then they wouldn't have understood the central point of Cainntear's prediction.
  • Lack of context: Without additional information about the specific film or scenario being discussed, the prediction might seem vague and confusing.
  • Technical aspects: Le Baron might not be familiar with the technical capabilities of AI translation and how it could potentially affect film translations.
  • General disagreement: It's also possible that Le Baron simply disagrees with Cainntear's prediction and doesn't believe that AI will have such a significant impact on film translation.
Without further information or clarification from Le Baron, it's impossible to pinpoint the exact reason behind their statement. However, it's clear that they didn't grasp the intended message of Cainntear's prediction.


So I guess on this occasion, the AI has made a better inference than I did about what Le Baron's "that" might have referred to.
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Re: Artificial intelligence shakes up the translation business: "Machines are cheaper than people".

Postby Cainntear » Sat Dec 09, 2023 11:11 am

ryanheise wrote:So I guess on this occasion, the AI has made a better inference than I did about what Le Baron's "that" might have referred to.

Conclusion:

Le Baron is an AI chatbot and his dislike for discussions of Artificial intelligence is because he feels discriminated against by them.
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Re: Artificial intelligence shakes up the translation business: "Machines are cheaper than people".

Postby Cainntear » Sat Dec 09, 2023 11:30 am

Le Baron wrote:In any case I don't have to explain myself to anyone.

Indeed not, but we're all resposible to some extent for making sure out messages are understandable to the intended audience if I was to dychrau ysgrifennu yn gymraeg, no anns a' Ghàidhlig gun rabhadh sam bith, I could hardly expect anyone to understand my message, and it would be a pretty poor show for me to effectively criticise people for failing to understand me.

Hell, this message itself was deliberately constructed so that its entire point is essentially conveyed by the English, and the inclusion of two other languages is entirely for effect, and reinforced my point whether you understand them or not.
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Re: Artificial intelligence shakes up the translation business: "Machines are cheaper than people".

Postby Le Baron » Sat Dec 09, 2023 4:17 pm

ryanheise wrote:To be honest, I also wasn't 100% clear on what you were referring to by the word "that" in "Can't say I understood any of that.".

Even though it would be a really good bet that it referred to the post it directly followed? And then Rdearman came along and knew exactly to what I was referring?

If someone said something and then the next utterance was 'I didn't understand that'. It seems to me extremely odd if no-one could link the that with the utterance directly preceding it!
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Re: Artificial intelligence shakes up the translation business: "Machines are cheaper than people".

Postby Cainntear » Sat Dec 09, 2023 5:04 pm

Le Baron wrote:If someone said something and then the next utterance was 'I didn't understand that'. It seems to me extremely odd if no-one could link the that with the utterance directly preceding it!

Are you aware of the number of times I've defended myself against something that you've said, only to have you respond that you were responding to something someone else said...?

So today I actually made a point of trying to establish whether or not your responding to something I said, your response is basically that it should be obvious. Should I remind you of this exchange the next time we go back to the old pattern...?
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Re: Artificial intelligence shakes up the translation business: "Machines are cheaper than people".

Postby Le Baron » Sat Dec 09, 2023 11:46 pm

Cainntear wrote:
Le Baron wrote:If someone said something and then the next utterance was 'I didn't understand that'. It seems to me extremely odd if no-one could link the that with the utterance directly preceding it!

Are you aware of the number of times I've defended myself against something that you've said, only to have you respond that you were responding to something someone else said...?

So today I actually made a point of trying to establish whether or not your responding to something I said, your response is basically that it should be obvious. Should I remind you of this exchange the next time we go back to the old pattern...?


Sir...the cookies were mentioned. I also ran with it. It is clear. It's not that important.
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Re: Artificial intelligence shakes up the translation business: "Machines are cheaper than people".

Postby lowsocks » Sun Dec 10, 2023 4:42 am

Cainntear wrote:Bad guy says "my mother has some cookies baking for you... in hell!"
So, the bad guy himself believes that his own mother is in hell? That sounds quite extreme, even for a movie villain. Or am I misunderstanding again?
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Re: Artificial intelligence shakes up the translation business: "Machines are cheaper than people".

Postby Cainntear » Sun Dec 10, 2023 9:41 am

lowsocks wrote:
Cainntear wrote:Bad guy says "my mother has some cookies baking for you... in hell!"
So, the bad guy himself believes that his own mother is in hell? That sounds quite extreme, even for a movie villain. Or am I misunderstanding again?

The back story isn't all that important, cos it was just intended as an over-the-top cheesy lìne reflecting a terrible script (modelled on early Simpsons "MacBain" scenes) and was only intended to demonstrate what a callback was by invoking the basic idea in a hard-to-miss kind of way.

However, the back story is probably going to help, because the unspoken MacBain reference kind of related to that. I think MacBain tended to say things that seemed nice, but then flipped it after ellipsis. The way I remember it, the turnaround was often "...in hell!" and that seeded me wanting to have something about a present/gift, but I thought the idea of hell as an inferno went with baking cookies, which feeds into the MacBain pattern so well that I reckon I've probably heard something like this on the Simpsons last century anyway.

In my head, the back story (finally got there) is that the bad guy is so evil that he murdered his own mother. He thinks she's in hell because he feels she was an evil abusive mother. The good guy isn't making a judgement on the bad guy's mother per se, but rather recognises that the image of the mother is an intrinsic part of the bad guy's personal image of hell, so even if the mother was actually saintly, by a certain type of theistic philosophy, the bad guy's eternal torment would involve being tortured by demons embodying his twisted image of his mother.

Which is kind of tangential, because what I neglected to do was demonstrate my point about the problem of translations that don't result in the callback properly mirroring the first line in an accurate manner.

Eg (excuse me using English as L1 and L2, but the point is to demonstrate a principle, and English is the only shared language here, so has to fill both slots)

Bad guy, opening scene (translation):
"my mother is baking you cookies... in hell"
Good guy, in denouement (translation):
"The fires of hell are being used by your mother to bake you some cookies."

Aside from the effects and merits of redirecting the focus to different elements, the near literal repetition of a line is a pretty standard component of the action film genre, where it functions as a clear demonstration of power dynamics: antagonist says it when he has brought the protagonist to his or her lowest point; protagonist says it to demonstrate that he/she now has the absolute upper hand and is the one in a position of power.

Translating the two lines in a substantially different way breaks that whole thing, and I've witnessed it myself while watching films in languages I had learned to a pretty good level, but not good enough to switch off the subtitles. I saw the subtitle not accurately reflecting the original lìne it called back to, when the spoken dialogue was a genuine, accurate callback.

The problem is that there's nothing in script conventions that marks the callback explicitly, so it's something that translators (currently) have to think about and rediscover for themselves. As I alluded to before, this means that even a specialist corpus of film translations will not model the correct translation of callback lines, and as generative AI only attempts to mimic human behaviour, AI will fail to accurately handle callbacks, even if specifically trained on a translation corpus of films.

My prediction was that AI will get blamed when people notice or translation of callback lines.

[Edited to fix phone predictive text errors, and to add a couple of extra explanatory notes.]
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Re: Artificial intelligence shakes up the translation business: "Machines are cheaper than people".

Postby Kraut » Sat Dec 30, 2023 6:48 pm

from Reddit:
Duolingo is mass-laying off translators and replacing them with robots.

https://www.reddit.com/r/languagelearni ... ators_and/
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Re: Artificial intelligence shakes up the translation business: "Machines are cheaper than people".

Postby Cainntear » Sat Dec 30, 2023 8:11 pm

Kraut wrote:from Reddit:
Duolingo is mass-laying off translators and replacing them with robots.

https://www.reddit.com/r/languagelearni ... ators_and/

Quelle surprise.
Over a decade ago, I had an idea for a language app, but it was going to be pricey to do right. At the time, I didn't see it as worth doing straight away as Duolingo was distorting the market by being free to users and costing VCs millions every year -- can't compete with that, and certainly not without cutting corners too.

They were using voluntary labour at the time, in a seemingly complete breach of labour laws, and it was apparently only because they were using customers as translators that the EU sat up and took notice. (The EU employs a lot of translators, so the issue would have been openly discussed within most EU offices.) They'd phased out volutary stuff shortly after the EU called voluntary translations a breach of minimum wage laws, and it was probably done because they could see an IPO (Initially Property Offering -- i.e. public share listing) on the horizon, and a reliance on free labour makes investors veeeery nervous.

Then there's the constant use of text-to-speech voices rather than real humans, even if and when they already have real human samples (as brought up by galaxyrocker in reference to Irish).

So yeah... they've never been particularly keen on paying people for anything

The way I see it, the courses are so pedagogically weak that AI probably won't do any worse. The whole thing of having pretty nonsensical prompts because "they're more memorable" is miles off base. The first time I encountered the Welsh sentence meaning "Why is the lion pink?" it was in a "listening" (ie. transcription) exercise, and the bizarreness of the concept was so extreme that I completely failed to recognise the word for lion. Language is easier to understand if you don't say counterintuitive nonsense!!! So I don't really imagine the AI will make it worse, and even if it does, it'll only be a very gradual process as and when things get updated, so it'll be hard to detect.
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