Yet other translation industry experts disagree that computers will ever become as intelligent as humans. Crista Busse, program manager at Precision Language and Graphics believes that computers will never reach the same level of intelligence as humans. “Emotion has a lot to do with intelligence and computers will never be able to develop emotion,” Crista says. While computers are able to solve complex problems with structured algorithms, computers will never be able to tap into the complexity of human emotion and language, she shared. “Ever-evolving cultural context is also something that computers may not fully understand or catch up to with humans, no matter how much data they have in their system,” Crista added.
But what if these predictions come true and computers are indeed able to conquer human intelligence, what is the fate of the translation industry and the companies who use them? Will companies cease to hire translators and replace them with super computers that can do the job? These questions can be answered with a bit of history. During the industrial revolution, it was believed that machinery would replace the need for manual labor – but manufacturing continues to be an industry that employs millions of people. The key, as many industry experts believe, is for human translators to adapt to these technological changes. Computers have become a natural part of us in such a short period of time and perhaps in 2029 we will depend on each other more than we’re used to. Human translators, with their ability to comprehend human emotions, and the computer, with its ability to handle a large amount of information – may be able to output more powerful translations in the future.
And while some people continue to feel threatened by a computer takeover, it is important to realize that technological booms have benefited humans in a vast variety of ways, including medicine and food production output. Instead, we should use our abilities and the resources available to harness increased computer intelligence and learn from it as opposed to shunning the technology. In 2029, it may be more likely that humans may have outsmarted the computer by making it forever useless without humans by their side.