Lost in Transl:AI:tion: Implications of machine translation for communication and comprehension

With the arrival of ChatGPT on the scene in November 2022 and the continuous improvements made to contemporary machine translation (MT) systems resulting in these now being a part of the AI family, many questions have arisen related to how educators and researchers should react to this technology. Yet, automatic translation does not only concern those within translation studies, but everyone who avails of these automated translation solutions for communication and comprehension purposes. This leads to more questions concerning, for example, the role this technology will play in society and the ethical considerations that will inevitably arise from the use of this technology.

In response to the impact of MT technology on society, we will hold a one-day symposium to serve as a platform for discussing how MT technology influences various spheres of our research areas and the ethical, practical, and theoretical challenges and possibilities that accompany its widespread use. The format of the symposium will be 15-minute position papers from researchers at the Faculty of Humanities. Scholars from all career stages and academic fields are encouraged to contribute.


09:10 – 09:15 Opening words with Lisbeth Verstraete-Hansen, Head of Department, Engerom
09:15 – 09:20 Welcome to the day’s proceedings
09:20 – 10:00 Keynote
Christian Hardmeier (IT University of Copenhagen)
10:05 – 10:45

Session 1

  • Marta Kirilova (NoRs) & Kristian Hvelplund (Engerom): Automating the subtitling process: speech recognition, machine translation and AI
  • Marian Flanagan (Engerom):Will the real translator please stand up?
10:45 – 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 – 12:00

Session 2

  • Alessandra Digsmed Bjerregaard (Engerom): ChatGPT and Literary Translation: Boon or Bane?
  • Tascha Lynggaard Nielsen (Infinitiv.dk): Rethinking Metrics for Evaluating and Enhancing Literary Machine Translation
  • Sophie Thorkildsen (Engerom): A Strange Case of HT and MT
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch (sandwich outside room 24.4.01)
13:05 – 14:35

Session 3 (Hybrid)

  • Daniele Eychenne (Pædagogisk konsulent ved CFU @KPH): Empowering Language Education: Integrating AI in Teaching French and German
  • Dea Jespersen (CIP): Exploring lower-secondary school students' use of MT in L2 writing assessment.
  • Simone Bianchetti (University of Milan): Beyond a simple writing assistant: Exploring document-level Machine Translation of non-English academic papers towards a multilingual international academia.
  • Raphael Berthele (University of Freiburg via Zoom): The effects of digital tool use on written texts in EFL: Complexity, accuracy, and fluency
14:35 – 14.45 Break
14:45 – 15:30 Panel debate on “Ethics and MT” + symposium round-up
15:40 – 17:00 Drinks reception – the yellow table, building 24, 2 floor
Symposium dinner at Scarpetta, Islands Brygge (more info to follow)

Sign up

Everyone is welcome to attend the symposium. There is no entrance fee, but it is necessary to register in advance (with regard to catering).

The deadline for registration is Thursday, 23 May.

Register for the symposium