The Week in Review: May 5, 2023

If this first week of May is any indicator of how the rest of the month will be, it looks like it’s going to be a pretty busy May. 

Stateside, the Hollywood writer’s strike generated quite a bit of buzz — in part because of concerns over AI-generated content (and their concerns might be well-placed, considering what the Paramount CFO said about content localization in a story by The Wrap this week). Meanwhile, we’re also watching some fascinating stories unfold in the United Kingdom and Israel.

Plus, we’ve got press releases and blog posts from Duolingo, MotionPoint, and Lionbridge for you to add to your list of weekend reading.

Got news you’d like to share in next week’s Week in Review? Send it over to our editorial team here

UK students are abandoning language learning, so we’re looking for a more creative approach (via the Conversation)

Academics in the UK are rethinking language learning following a downward trend in higher education program uptake. According to the Conversation, enrollment in language programs has halved over the past 15 years, with institutions consequently closing down. The upshot is a real problem in language-learning access.

Fortunately, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and educators are pursuing innovative solutions to the problem. The launch of the open-access Creative Modern Languages project aims to identify creative solutions for academic language learning and work.  

Paramount CFO: We’re Already Using AI for Content Localization (via The Wrap)

Entertainment executives are wasting no time finding applications for AI technology in content localization. According to The Wrap, Paramount Chief Financial Officer Naveen Chopra is finding “very, very compelling economics” behind the use of AI in content localization. With all this unfolding in the midst of a much-publicized writer’s strike, it paints a complicated political and economic picture of entertainment localization’s future.   

Data localization and the future of cloud security: challenges and opportunities (via IT Wire)

While highly technical and dependent on inconsistent regional regulations, data localization can often be a necessary step for language service providers to guarantee. In an opinion for IT Wire, writer Jeff Broth breaks down the frustrations and opportunities that arise from the requirement to localize data. 

Israeli experts create AI to translate ancient cuneiform text (via the Jerusalem Post)

One of the oldest forms of writing in the world just got a modern touch.

A team of researchers at Tel Aviv University and Ariel University in Israel has used artificial intelligence to translate cuneiform text into English. More specifically, the researchers focused on using neural machine translation to render texts written in the Akkadian language — one of many languages written using cuneiform — into English. Although the tool fared better with Latin transliterations of Akkadian text, it’s also capable of translating the cuneiform text into English. 

Colorado expands translation access for parents of special ed students (via NBC News)

In the Week in Review for April 28, we highlighted a story about Colorado’s House Bill 1623, noting that if it passes through the state legislature, it could allow parents with limited English proficiency to be more involved in the development of their children’s Individualized Education Plans (IEP). Over the weekend, the bill passed the Colorado State Legislature.

“It’s going to drastically increase parental involvement in the IEP process,” a proponent of the bill told NBC News, following the bill’s passage. “This is going to lead to us better serving students.”

New Maryland law aims to prevent fraudulent sign language interpreters (via Yahoo)

The state of Maryland is taking steps to thoroughly vet sign language interpreters, so as to avoid a mishap like the incident in Tampa, Florida that went viral a few years back. 

According to a report from Yahoo News, deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals have long complained about fraudulent and unqualified sign language interpreters in the state. The new law would allow them to more effectively file a grievance against and potentially penalize interpreters who have caused harm.

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