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Maarit Koponen (University of Eastern Finland)

Machine translation as a tool for multilingual information: different users and use scenarios

(December 1, 2022, 15:00 CET)

Summary: Recent advances in machine translation quality have improved its usefulness as a tool to satisfy the demand for multilingual information and communication. Machine translation is nowadays a common part of professional translation workflows, but it is not a tool exclusive to translators. Users of machine translation can be found, for example, in public service institutions and newsrooms looking to produce and disseminate information in multiple languages. At the same time, machine translation can also offer a way for people to access information that may not otherwise be available in their language. Effective and responsible use of machine translation, however, requires a clear understanding of the potential risks as well as potential benefits. In this talk, I discuss how machine translation is used for producing and accessing information and how various situational factors affect its use in different scenarios.
Bio: Dr Maarit Koponen currently works as Professor of Translation Studies at the University of Eastern Finland. She has previously worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki and as a lecturer at the University of Turku after receiving her PhD in Language Technology at the University of Helsinki in 2016. Her research focuses on translation technology, particularly machine translation, and the effect of technology on translation both in professional and non-professional settings. Starting in October 2022, Koponen leads a work package focusing on linguistic barriers to information accessibility and technological solutions as part of the research project DECA (Democratic epistemic capacities in the age of algorithms), funded by the Academy of Finland Strategic Research Council. She chairs Working Group 7 “Language work, language professionals” of the EU COST Action “Language in the Human-Machine Era” (LITHME). She has also worked as a professional translator for several years.

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