Keynote Speaker

Lynne Bowker

Bio: Lynne Bowker, PhD, is Full Professor at the University of Ottawa, where she holds a cross-appointment between the School of Translation and Interpretation and the School of Information Studies. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and incoming Canada Research Chair in Translation, Technologies, and Society. She is the director of the SSHRC-funded Machine Translation Literacy Project, and author of the open access book De-mystifying Translation: Introducing Translation to Non-Translators (Routledge, 2023), both of which aim to raise awareness about translation and translation technologies within and beyond the translation community.

We need to talk about MT! Science communication as a tool to improve MT/AI literacy beyond the translation community

Abstract: We need to talk about machine translation (MT)! Three problems have converged to create a “perfect storm” for society: 1) translation is widely misunderstood by people outside the profession; 2) translation tools (e.g. neural MT, Large Language Models) are no longer in the hands of experts but of everyone; 3) these tools are easy to use uncritically. As a result, there is increasing misuse of translation tools with potentially serious consequences (e.g. in healthcare, legal contexts). Users need support to improve their AI/MT literacy, but it’s not always obvious how researchers can help. Increasingly, society needs researchers to engage in science communication to transform complex ideas (e.g. AI, MT) into accessible guidance that will empower people to use these tools ethically and responsibly. This presentation combines the hot topics of AI-based translation tools and science communication to help early career researchers navigate the social responsibility of supporting and improving AI/MT literacy in society.