chapter  6
5 Pages

Human interpreting as a stopgap

WithJonathan Downie

Mastering the transition was all about finding the few areas where clients wanted humans to interpret. Instead, a master programmer from a large software house had taken to writing it as much out of pity than anything else. Any interpreter caught buying or selling shares in a company after interpreting for the managing director would find themselves hauled before a disciplinary committee and the courts. To phase out human interpreters is to hand over the power of human interlingual communication to the giants of big data and machine learning. A future with fully computerised interpreting poses risks not only to interpreters but to their current and future clients. Human interpreters are bound not to take financial advantage of what they discover while interpreting. It was a large conference, with interpreters covering ten languages, including two signed languages. Just this once, the avatars and apps had been given the day off. The title was unforgettable “The Last Human Worker.”