Emerging Technologies as a Cause of Shadow Work Daniel Marcu putting machine translation in perspective

Less than 1 minute, my friend!

For once I want to link to a blog that I did not write myself, but that I think is a must read for everybody who wants to understand the impact of machine translation technology on the commercial environment the professional translator is working in.

If we don’t know what the quality of the machine translated sentences really is, we basically say to our customers: “yes we can translate this job for you and guess what, we do the first 50% of words for free“. As long as new translation technology is not qualifying correctly what we (have to) start to work on, WE are organizing our own shadow work.

I also read the book Daniel is referring to: “Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day” by Craig Lambert. Highly recommended. I now see shadow work everywhere, even in my own job!





Gert Van Assche

About Gert Van Assche

At Datamundi we're paying a fair price to linguists and translators evaluating (label/score/tag) human translations and machine translations for large scale NLP research projects.

2 thoughts on “Emerging Technologies as a Cause of Shadow Work Daniel Marcu putting machine translation in perspective

  1. Hi Gert, thank you for sharing. I will read this blog soon! I have to know, even if I already know I will not like it… But I can’t go on ignoring what’s happening and what will happen in near future.

  2. Silvia, nobody likes this, but I think it is true and we should understand the role we play and be wise enough to accept what we cannot change. But still fight it! We sometimes believe people in the low salary countries compete with us, but this shadow work made it clear to me: we compete with ourselves. The only thing we can do, and I wrote this before, is learn how to figure out quickly when new technologies are helpful or not. Use them when they are, and ignore them or fight them if they are not. Craig Lambert’s observations are so true. Sadly.

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