Dangers of Automated Translations with Artificial Intelligence

Although we can use artificial intelligence to quickly understand what the meaning of a non-essential text written in a language we don’t master, we cannot rely on this kind of tool when the outcome of the translation could influence our lives.

There are fields where any approximation can be fatal.

For example, a medical material needs to be correctly translated by someone who, besides knowing the language from which they need to translate, also has sufficient knowledge in that particular field and is prepared to translate specialized texts. Otherwise, the slightest mistake in conveying the meaning of a phrase or a sentence in this type of text can lead to unpleasant or even lethal consequences for a patient.

The same can happen in domains like legal, any kind of technical literature and specialized texts.

What is the solution?

If the text needs to be translated, the safest option is to turn to professionals. They know the risks, they are specialized, this is their area of work (they have experience), and, even though sometimes they resort to such automated translation tools to ease their work, they do so fully aware, with assumed responsibility for the translated text.

Revision of texts translated with artificial intelligence

It is also important that, even if they seem relatively correct at first glance, translations made with any tool using artificial intelligence be reviewed by a person who understands the language and the domain of the texts translated, precisely to avoid situations where the translation is approximate or outright incorrect.

Other applications of automated translations with AI

Subtitle applications with AI?

It is now possible to use applications that translate spoken language using artificial intelligence and provide automated subtitles. You have certainly noticed these with clips on Facebook and YouTube. It is true that often they seem to do their job, but many times it is obvious (especially for those who have knowledge of the language in the video) that automated translations fail to do what they are supposed to do and often they are poor or simply transcribe incorrectly, thus conveying something different from what the person speaking in the clip intended to render.

Interpreting with AI?

Situations are beginning to arise where an artificial intelligence tool is used as a mediator to facilitate real-time communication between two people speaking different languages. Google Translate offers such an application by default in Android operating systems (phones and tablets), and if you are in a tourist market, you can have a fairly decent conversation with a local merchant and understand each other well enough to go home with the desired souvenir.

But things are different when business people who need to negotiate a very important deal, possibly originating from different cultural backgrounds, may even end up arguing simply because they did not understand each other correctly.


Artificial intelligence is a technological wonder and is useful, but for now, especially in real work-related or serious situations, it is far from offering safe and correct, reliable solutions.

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