ChatGPT and the Future of Translation

ChatGPT has been the talk of the town and a much-debated topic in this age of technology. As Artificial Intelligence (AI) makes lifestyle and businesses easier, ChatGPT is proving to be the first step in revolutionizing how businesses carry out their operations.

Designed to carry out human-like operations, ChatGPT lends advanced capabilities to businesses worldwide, aiding in their operations and procedures. This new technology is capable of answering queries, generating text, translating languages, and executing language-related tasks. In addition, it is also used for many applications, including customer services, chatbots, and retrieval of information.

The past decades have witnessed a surge in the use of machine translation. Although human translation has not been completely replaced by machine translation, the viability of human translation has been a question of concern for many. Today, AI has taken over the translation landscape and ChatGPT is the latest technology to scale the translation horizon.

But what really is ChatGPT? What implications does it have for the translation industry? Will ChatGPT completely replace human translation? Let us take a look.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT, short for “Generative Pre-training Transformer” is an AI-based system that uses natural language processing to create answers. Just like a search query entered into the Google search engine, a user can ask any question from ChatGPT, and the AI responds with relevant answers. Amazingly, it can also continue the conversation in a way that mimics ordinary human speech. The reason why ChatGPT is able to answer queries and generate responses is that it analyzes and copies huge amounts of data written by people. The AI recalls things that were said in earlier conversations, thus acting as a huge library of information on all topics.

Developed by OpenAI, ChatGPT is an intelligent chatbot that has the capability to answer follow-up questions, challenge incorrect premises, and even admit its errors. Perhaps one of the reasons for its popularity is its ability to generate detailed responses and articulate answers across many subjects in real-time. This allows people to complete tasks quickly, such as composing essays, content, and code in quickly time.

Uses of ChatGPT in the Translation Industry

Given the wide range of features offered by ChatGPT, its efficacy, and use in the translation industry is still a matter of debate. As ChatGPT is trained on a large database of text, books, articles, and websites, it uses a deep learning algorithm to learn the structure of human language.
Here are some ways ChatGPT can be used to accelerate workflows in the translation industry:

  • Generation of Machine Translation

ChatGPT can be used to generate machine translations for a number of languages. A person can enter a source text in a language and the tool will generate the translation in another language. However, just like machine translation requires post-editing, ChatGPT also requires post-editing by a human translator. As always, combining machine translation and Human translation is the best approach.

  • Terminology Management

Terminology management is a function that is essential for accurate translation. ChatGPT can be used to manage this terminology in a translation project. By entering a term, a user can get suggestions of translations as well as definitions and usage examples.

  • Assessment of Translation Quality

Assessing translation quality is a difficult and cumbersome task for human translators. ChatGPT is a useful tool that can be used to assess the quality of translation. A user can enter a translated text and ChatGPT will compare it with the source text while suggesting corrections and improvements.

  • Language Identification and Content Generation

One of the most useful uses of ChatGPT for the translation industry is its assistance in content creation. ChatGPT can generate entire blogs, articles, as well as social media posts in a matter of seconds. Not only that, if a company is dealing with the translation of multilingual content, all it needs to do is to enter the text and the tool will identify the language it belongs to. This makes working with multilingual content creation easy and quick.

  • Workflow Assistance

Since ChatGPT is equipped to handle complex translation tasks, it can assist human translators in workflow management. This becomes possible when ChatGPT is able to execute translation tasks, answer translator queries, and assist with terminology management.

ChatGPT for the Translation Industry – The Up-sides

ChatGPT offers many prominent benefits for the translation industry. Let’s take a look at some of the key advantages of using ChatGPT for translation.
Reduction of time and cost

One potential benefit of ChatGPT technology is its ability to reduce costs and time resources for translation. With an ability to generate accurate translations within a short time, ChatGPT can allow translators to work more effectively and execute translation tasks faster, without compromising on quality. This can make translation services more affordable and accessible, especially for small businesses and industries.

  • Improvement in Translation Accuracy

ChatGPT has the ability to improve the accuracy of the translation, and hence, is an ideal tool for translation testing. By leveraging huge datasets and advanced machine learning algorithms, chatGPT can generate much more accurate and nuanced translations than those generated by traditional methods of translation.

  • Fast Turnaround

Typically, a human translation can take anywhere between hours and days to complete. This, of course, depends on the complexity and length of the translation project. By contrast, a ChatGPT translation is instant–all it takes is a few seconds to translate entire websites and books.

  • Wider Usage

The uses of AI-powered ChatGPT are not just limited to translation. ChatGPT is a general-purpose language model designed for machine translation. With the capability to perform a wide range of language-related tasks such as answering questions, summarizing texts, and writing creative content, ChatGPT has proved to be a multi-purpose tool. Apart from generating human-like text, ChatGPT performs various complex tasks, such as language generation, dialogue management, and language comprehension.

ChatGPT for Translation Industry – The Downsides

In addition to the benefits, there are some drawbacks of ChatGPT for the translation industry as well. Here are some of the major ones:
Lacks the accuracy and nuance for translation

Although ChatGPT seems to have taken over the world of translation by storm, linguistic experts are still doubtful about its translation accuracy. Currently, ChatGPT’s knowledge database is limited to performing translation only on the information provided by its creator company. This is why it lacks the ability to search for information outside its learning zone. Due to this, it also lacks an understanding of the context or nuance in language. Machine translation programs are specifically meant for translation and are individually trained by translators. Since ChatGPT is a shared-use AI tool, it is unable to achieve the same level of accuracy as a machine translation tool.

  • Subject to Biases

Since the translation by ChatGPT lacks an understanding of the context and nuances of the languages, it is subject to the biases of its creators. This is because machine translation programs that are meant for translation are individually trained by translators to suit their personal agendas. Consequently, the translation offered by CatGPT cannot reach the optimum level of accuracy which is the hallmark of a professional translation.

  • Data and Privacy Risks

It is common knowledge that ChatGPT is a model that is still in its developing stage. Any information typed into the chatbot may be used to train the model for further use. This means that although a user’s personal chat with the AI may not be shared with anyone, the AI model can still use the same phrases and terminology to answer other queries. As a result, any information fed to the model may be subject to leak and breach. In companies where data security and privacy are top concerns, ChatGPT may not be the ideal tool to adopt for translation.

  • Not Suitable for Regulated Industries

Some industries such as medical and law industries are highly regulated and use complex terminology and content. Translation of material for these regulated industries requires careful precision as it adheres to strict formatting guidelines. These guidelines can vary globally and this can cause changes in the entire layout of the content. Consequently, the content needs extensive adaptation that is not offered by ChatGPT. At this stage, ChatGPT does not have the capacity and knowledge to make all the required adaptations. Moreover, since the content of these regulated industries is highly sensitive, it is best to assign translation tasks to a human translator instead of relying on ChatGPT.

Challenges and Limitations of ChatGPT

Although ChatGPT is increasingly being adopted by global companies as an advanced AI language model, there are some limitations of the model that are:

  • Does Not Possess Common Sense

Even though ChatGPT comes with an AI-powered algorithm to solve complex problems, it lags behind in common sense compared to human translators. Granted, ChatGPT can generate human-like responses while having access to a large information database, but it does not have the background knowledge like humans. The information it shares is fed by creators and lacks contextual meaning. This means that the responses generated by ChatGPT may sometimes provide inaccurate responses to queries and questions.

  • Limitations in Understanding the Context

ChatGPT may be proficient in grasping language processing, but one of its limitations is that it does not take context into account when translating. The model lacks the function to show emotional intelligence like human beings and can struggle with the nuances of human communication. Similarly, if a user aims to use sarcasm or humor in his messages, the CHatGPT may fail to pick the intended meaning and would instead provide inaccurate and irrelevant translations.

  • Inability to Create Long-form Content

As ChatGPT is still in its initial stages, it has trouble generating long-form structured content. Even though the AI model is capable of creating grammatically correct and coherent sentences, it may have difficulty in translating long paragraphs and lengthy content which follow a proper structure or format. Consequently, ChatGPT is best suited for generating short pieces of content such as summaries and bullet points.

  • Cannot Multitask

The AI model has the capability to perform best when given a single task at a time. If it is given a single objective to focus on, the results may be accurate. However, if ChatGPT is asked to perform multiple tasks at one time, it may struggle to prioritize them, thus leading to a decrease in effectiveness and accuracy.

  • Generates High Computational Costs

The AI model of ChatGPT is a highly complex and intricate language model that requires substantial computational power and resources. This means that in order to operate efficiently, ChatGPT may require high computational costs. Running the model may be expensive and may need access to specialized hardware and software systems. In addition, operating the ChatGPT on low-end hardware with limited computational power can result in slower responses and reduced accuracy. Likewise, it can also affect the performance of the model as a whole, which is why companies should assess their computational power when using the model.

ChatGPT and the Human Touch

One query concerning the future of ChatGPT and the translation industry is whether it is good for the translation industry. The answer to this is both yes and no. On the one hand, when handling simple tasks, translators can use this model as a translation tool to assist them in their work. Individuals as well as small enterprises that have linguistic needs can reduce translation costs with this model. On the other hand, however, the revenue of the linguistic and translation service providers will be affected as more individuals will turn towards it as a cheaper alternative.

Even though ChatGPT is an affordable and accessible tool, it is not recommended to apply it for translation for official purposes. The human touch is still required alongside ChatGPT translation since a human is capable of handling cultural nuances and terms better. Likewise, creative translation cannot be provided by the AI model and a human can best handle creative translation and nuances.

Key Takeaway

ChatGPT is the latest talk of the town and an advanced AI model capable of lending high functionality. However, it has certain limitations and problems that make it less suitable for the translation industry. A proactive and planned approach by organizations can enable it to be used efficiently for translation purposes. Given the high capability and functionality of ChatGPT, the future is bright for the translation industry.

Read Also:

Human and Machine Translation: Pros and Cons

Top 20 Machine Translation Software In 2022

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