01 Nov 2023

Generative AI and ITI's response

Generative AI and other emerging technologies have been developing apace during recent months, resulting in considerable hype in the media. This has generated both a degree of pessimism, as well as more useful and considered thinking.

Key issues facing the language services sector

There is a risk that public perception of the value of linguistic skills may decline but, on the other hand, there is an opportunity to highlight the considerable expertise offered by language professionals operating in specialist sectors. Having participated in a wide range of sector discussions in recent months it seems that there is a growing consensus that the key issues for the language services sector are likely to centre on the following themes:

  • The human is, and will continue to be, essential to ensuring high quality, accurate and ethical translation and interpreting outcomes
  • The evolution and regulation of generative AI technologies is out of our control, but we might need to selectively challenge some developments
  • New models of working could offer the potential for new commercial opportunities and diversification
  • Much more content will (need to) be translated in the future
  • The most skilled linguists will be in greatest demand i.e. commercial success will lie in specialisation rather than generalisation.

ITI's response

Recognising the importance of this issue for ITI members, the ITI Board has been actively discussing the topic and will revisit it regularly. As a result of its discussions, the Board has agreed a series of objectives that will guide our actions over the coming months. We will:

  • Continue to champion the value of human translators and interpreters
  • Ensure that the Board has access to knowledge and experience to support informed decision-making
  • Support ITI members to learn about generative AI tools and how to use them to enhance and adapt their businesses
  • Seek out opportunities to collaborate with other organisations on shared initiatives in this policy area.

An AI Working Group has been established to support us with these priorities.

Over the summer we ran open meetings with ITI members on the topic of generative AI. A summary of the discussions can be found by following the link below.

ITI members have access to further resources and information to help build understanding of the use and development of generative AI in translation and interpreting in My ITI.