Discussion Translators: Robots in Disguise?

A human hand touches a robotic hand. © Eva Beck / Goethe-Institut

Thu, 01.10.2020


Getting a grasp of A.I. at the Goethe-Institut London

The future of literary translation and Artificial Intelligence

To celebrate International Translation Day 2020, we are taking a glimpse into the future of literary translation in view of developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Our panel of experts will take part in an online discussion to address questions such as:
  • Which, if any, recent developments make the translation of literature by AI more feasible than in the past?
  • Can human creativity and sensitivity in interpreting literary texts be matched, or even surpassed by AI?
  • Does AI pose a threat to the future existence of literary translators, or could new online translation tools lead to significant changes in the way human translators work? 
Translator: Katy Derbyshire © Anja Pietsch The debate will be hosted by German to English literary translator Katy Derbyshire. Presentations will be given by:
Duncan Large, Academic Director of the British Centre of Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia, and
Lucia Specia, Chair in Natural Language Processing at Imperial College London.

Part of celebrations for International Translation Day 2020, coordinated by English PEN and the National Centre for Writing.
Katy Derbyshire is a translator of contemporary German fiction – including Olga Grjasnowa, Clemens Meyer and Heike Geissler – and publisher at the brand-new V&Q Books imprint. She also loves teaching literary translation to humans.  

Lucia Specia © Lucia Specia Lucia Specia is Professor of Natural Language Processing at Imperial College London and also part-time at the University of Sheffield and Dublin City University. Her research focuses on various aspects of data-driven approaches to language processing, with a particular interest in multimodal and multilingual context models and work at the intersection of language and vision. 

Duncan Large © Duncan Large Duncan Large is Academic Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation. He is also Professor of European Literature and Translation at the University of East Anglia.