[CFP] International Conference at the Department of Translation Studies

Creativity and Translation in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Katharina Walter (katharina.walter@uibk.ac.at) and
Ass.-Prof. Dr. Marco Agnetta (marco.agnetta@uibk.ac.at)

Call for Papers

The rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) poses new challenges for language mediators. As machine translation systems are making great strides and many language services have come to be supported or partially automated by AI, the job market for human translators and interpreters is being redefined. However, humans remain indispensable to the language service industry – not only because they coordinate and correct machine output, but also because they continue to have the upper hand in certain areas of language mediation. There is widespread agreement that the benefits of human work are particularly evident in language services that require special creativity, which applies, for instance, to the transfer of pithy advertising slogans from one linguistic and cultural context to another, or to literary translation. At the same time, such language services are also gaining in importance overall, as witnessed, for example, by numerous publications on transcreation from recent years. Although AI is now also permanently transforming free speech production through applications such as ChatGPT, machines have so far lacked the contextual understanding that is required for high-quality transfers of nuanced and form-conscious texts between languages and cultures. For the time being, one shortcoming of machine translation is the fact that texts can only be grasped at the sentence level, not in their overall context. Nevertheless, AI-based applications are extremely useful tools for humans, even in highly sophisticated types of language mediation. In fact, in many creative industries specializing in language mediation and text design, the use of text creation software is already commonplace. Post-editing is booming and is increasingly finding its way into translation studies research and translator training.

The Department of Translation Studies at the University of Innsbruck takes these developments as a point of departure to reflect on potential tensions emerging between human and machine contributions to creative work in language mediation. On January 11 and 12, 2024, perspectives on the theory, practice or didactics of translation and interpreting are equally welcome to address questions that may include but are not limited to the following topics:

  • creativity in translation or interpreting,
  • enhancing creativity in the practice of language mediation,
  • promoting creativity in translator and interpreter training,
  • limits and potentials of neural machine translation with regard to creative work,
  • impact of AI on processes of language mediation,
  • examples of effects of AI use on translational creativity,
  • transcreation and AI,
  • AI and the language services market,
  • impact of AI on job profiles for translators and interpreters,
  • quality assurance in AI-assisted language services.

Please send your abstracts (no more than 300 words including title) for a 20-minute presentation in German or English by May 31, 2023, at the latest, to katharina.walter@uibk.ac.at and marco.agnetta@uibk.ac.at. Presentations can be held in person or online. A publication of the conference papers is planned.