Panel Discussion on Professional Translation in a Pre-Singularity World

Alan Melby, Joanna Drugan, Mikel Forcada, Dieter Rummel, and David Wood; Moderator: Olaf-Michael Stefanov

Short Abstract:  

- The Singularity (as described by Ray Kurzweil, a well-known futurist) is the point in time when machines become more intelligent than humans in every respect. We don't know whether this will ever happen. The panel will consist of people who do and people who don't believe in the Singularity, all discussing the future of professional translators in a pre-Singularity world, that is, the world we live in.

- The Singularity, if it happened, would change everything in unpredictable ways. Thus, the nature of a post-Singularity word is beyond the scope of the proposed panel.

- The question for the panel (and audience) is whether (in our pre-Singularity world) raw, that is, unedited, machine translation (MT) will be able to handle all types of translation tasks. Right now, it is satisfactory for only a few types. As it improves, what types of translation will still need professional human translators?

- Several prominent members of the world of translation have agreed to participate on the panel.