Interpreters and Translators

38%
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Will "Interpreters and Translators" be replaced by AI & Robots?

There is a small chance this occupation will be replaced by robots/AI. However, our poll suggests a higher chance of automation: a 55% chance of automation within the next 2 decades.

Automation Risk Level

Start worrying

or 38% probability of automation

Projected Growth

29%

by 2024

Median Annual Wage

$46,120

or $22.17 hourly

People Employed

51,350

as of 2016

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How this compares with other jobs: 266 out of 706

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How likely do you think this occupation will be taken over by robots/AI within the next 20 years?

Job description

Interpret oral or sign language, or translate written text from one language into another.

SOC Code: 27-3091

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Comments

omer (No chance) says
No wayyyy. I mean think about the way you quickly understand another human's voice in an another language or his/her written stuff. Human feelings cannot be replaced by those high tech products/softwares. The only thing that they can do is, making our job easier for us -the translators & interpretators-
You can't beat human brain, you just help it unwillingly and unwittingly, as a robot...
Sep 01, 2019 at 02:55 PM
Me (Highly likely) says
It will happen in a very near future and there's no doubt for that. Maybe in some very important situations, like life saving operation, we will need translators a bit longer to avoid robot's mistakes but some day translators will be useless even in that picture.
Aug 09, 2019 at 11:34 AM
Tatiana (Small chance) says
Because this is a profession that does not rely solely on automation or direct interpretation.
Aug 08, 2019 at 01:34 AM
RB (Likely) says
It will replace the most jobs in 20 years to the point where most translators and interpreters go extinct, but it will take much more time replacing some of the... um... abstract areas, like literature, i think.
Jul 25, 2019 at 08:51 AM
Steve says
I think the number of professional translators will drop in future, as some work will be taken over by machines. However, there will always be areas where companies/banks/hospitals will not and cannot rely on a machine, as the text/content is too critical to risk any mistakes. This will be where the human translator will always be preferred. What's more, proofreading jobs should remain secure, as companies who do use machine translation will probably still want it checking by a human to be certain the context/subtleties have been interpreted correctly. So imho, no fear of the profession compelely disapearing any time soon.
Jul 22, 2019 at 01:07 PM
Ada (Small chance) says
Small chance. Have you ever tried the likes of gurgle translate or Babelfish? They are garbage at understaning nuances, context, subleties. I work as a translator and I don't fear a thing.


Jul 19, 2019 at 06:11 PM
Tomas (Likely) says
Maybe not right now, but it the future, digital translators will become better and better, till the point they replace humans
Jul 13, 2019 at 05:31 PM
Lakkir (Highly likely) says
Neuronal networks are already at the level of an interpreter as making translations, same error rate, they will be replaced soon
Jul 07, 2019 at 11:46 PM
Sarah (Highly likely) says
With the use of translation apps, translators are extremely likely to be laid off
Jun 25, 2019 at 10:15 PM
AC (Highly likely) says
Obviously artificial intelligence will be able to accurately translate in real time, reproduce/adapt voices and intonations... In my opinion it's one of the most threatened jobs
Jun 06, 2019 at 03:57 PM
Lucas Custodio (Highly likely) says
Today is effortless to make electronic tools with real-time translation in several languages, in a close future, human translators will be senseless.
Jun 01, 2019 at 12:02 PM
Lee Springer says
If you've noticed, public schools no longer teach children cursive (USA, IL) and typing as a form of writing/communication is slowly becoming the norm.

I predict that once communication via technology (emjoi, sms, email, mms) becomes preferable by humanity standards; then robots/technology will have the ability to translate between languages as written context will have a finer structure.

Currently, human interaction and cultural phrasing is developed at the human to human interaction. Remove the human to human interaction and then we're "dependent" on the translating robot to decipher our communication.

I predict that the high majority of translations will be completed over technology in the near future.
May 29, 2019 at 06:14 PM
Hugrún says
I'm a student of applied translation and we discuss this topic a lot in class. This sector has been predicted to be automated for some 30 years and yet we still need humans for it. The more I study the more I am convinced that us translators are going to be fine. It will take machines ages to match the nuances that humans notice.
May 22, 2019 at 04:18 PM
Caio (Highly likely) says
We already have Google translator lol
May 13, 2019 at 12:27 AM
Jane (Could go either way) says
But it still sucks lol
May 23, 2019 at 09:28 PM
Anna (Small chance) says
I'm studying to be a translator/interpreter and I honestly can't see how robots could understand some complex contexts.
May 01, 2019 at 05:16 PM
Lee Springer says
Since you're using a computer comment. You've removed all emotional context that comes when translating in real-time [Human-to-Human].
As humanity progresses to communicate via computer portal we'll naturally conform to a unified and popular lingos, shorthand and digital pragmatics.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Want to stop the robots from learning?
- Turn off Voice to Text on Voice Mail
- Stop using captions
- Don't use Siri, Alexa, and Google Home
- Don't use FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger.
- Built in speech to text on your phone, tablet or computer

If you have to utilize any of the following you're assisting the robots.

Google Meet currently allows you to turn on real-time captions when communicating over their services. It's only a matter of time when the "caption button' turns into a 'translate' button allowing me to communicate 'face-to-face' with someone who does not speak english.
May 29, 2019 at 06:57 PM
Lily (Could go either way) says
I don't even understand what's your point.
Jul 11, 2019 at 04:26 PM
Andrea (Small chance) says
Despite the odds, I know for fact that interpreting and translation rely on context, human context and pragmatics.
Apr 20, 2019 at 07:26 PM
Marie (Small chance) says
Translations within a corporation might be replaced by robots/AI (as it is already now, to a certain extent) but critical topics and situations will always require a human being for translation/interpreting. Too much is at stake and AI's aren't even close to grasp every crucial subtlety of the language (whether it be oral or signed)
Apr 04, 2019 at 03:25 PM
Caroline Elias (Small chance) says
Cause I'm working in this field ... so I'm aware of possible misunderstandings. Languages are so "fluid", emotional, corporal language related ... depending on contexts, different cultural backgrounds and habits...
Apr 04, 2019 at 01:54 PM

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