The Week in Review: September 25, 2023

In this edition of the Week in Review, a diverse array of news stories.

We delve into the impact of AI-driven translation apps on the U.S. asylum system, where errors are causing significant concerns.

Then, we explore the remarkable efforts of Project Gutenberg in making thousands of audiobooks available for free using synthetic speech.

We also remember the trailblazing translator Edith Grossman and her profound influence on the world of literary translation.

Lastly, we touch on the ongoing negotiations in Hollywood’s writers’ strike, where artificial intelligence is a pivotal point of contention. Each of these stories offers a unique perspective on the evolving landscape of technology, literature, and the arts.

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

AI’s ‘insane’ translation mistakes endanger asylum cases (via The Union Leader)

Critics are concerned about AI-driven translation apps in the U.S. asylum system due to frequent errors. Errors can lead to unjust denials, such as a case where attorneys missed vital details due to a translation app breakdown. Roughly 40% of Afghan and Haitian Creole asylum cases have faced problems due to machine translation. Government and aid organizations use AI for cost-cutting, but its extent in U.S. immigration processing lacks transparency. Critics argue that machine translation isn’t yet reliable for high-stakes situations like asylum due to training and accuracy issues. OpenAI prohibits using AI in high-risk government areas like asylum. Poor AI translations have resulted in application rejections, highlighting the need for improved accuracy in the asylum process.

Project Gutenberg puts 5,000 audiobooks online for free using synthetic speech (via Techcrunch)

Project Gutenberg has rapidly converted thousands of its books into audiobooks using synthetic speech, offering them for free on platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts. This move addresses the accessibility gap for older and less-known titles that are financially unviable for traditional audiobook production. Project Gutenberg collaborated with MIT and Microsoft to develop AI-generated speech for narration, overcoming formatting challenges in their archive. The initial selection is eclectic, but future releases aim to include more books. To make the audiobooks engaging, the project uses dynamic voice and tone adjustments based on context, particularly in emotional dialogues. The code used is documented on GitHub.

Edith Grossman: a beacon in the translation community, an artist across cultures (via MultiLingual Magazine)

The world of literary translation mourns the loss of Edith Grossman, a luminary figure in the field, who passed away at 87. Her impact on Latin American and Spanish literature translation remains profound. Grossman, known for her meticulous work, advocated for translators to receive recognition and insisted on having her name on book covers. Her translations of literary giants like Gabriel García Márquez and Don Quixote earned her accolades but also sparked debates about faithfulness and source choices. Her legacy serves as a guiding light for translators, emphasizing the artistry and complexity of their work. Grossman’s contributions have elevated the quality and cultural resonance of translated literature, leaving an indelible mark on the field.

Writers strike negotiations hung up on language over AI, sources say (via NBC News)

Hollywood writers and producers have made significant strides in their discussions to conclude the 145-day strike. The primary point of contention that remained was the integration of artificial intelligence. The writers were opposed to studios using their content to educate chatbots in the art of writing, whereby A.I. would be fed with old scripts to enable chatbots to produce content in a comparable style, as reported by NBC News.

Press Releases and Event Recaps

Eddie Arrieta
Eddie developed the startup world for the past decade, cofounded ventures, and deepened his knowledge of media, communications, business intelligence, and growth. Today, he is focused on identifying global expansion opportunities through communications, technology, and innovation, specifically in AI, ML, and blockchain. As a remote professional, Eddie believes we can build a world where opportunities are available to all.


Weekly Digest

Subscribe to stay updated

MultiLingual Media LLC