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Wednesday 02 February ,2022

The National Library and Archives (NLA) begins its series of lectures with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Translation

Concurrently with Cairo International Book Fair

The National Library and Archives (NLA) begins its series of lectures with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Translation

The National Library and Archives (NLA) started the program of national and educational lectures virtually via communication technologies, concurrently with the Cairo International Book Fair, with a lecture entitled “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Translation: luxury and Difficulties.” The lecture confirmed that advanced artificial intelligence techniques have created machine translation, which is a revolution against traditional translation, and it relies on three disciplines: linguistics, mathematics, and computer science.

The lecture, presented by Professor Siddiq Gohar, a translation expert at the National Library and Archives, indicated that although machine translation faces various obstacles, it has made tremendous progress and has a bright future.

The lecture listed the advantages of machine translation; it indicated its usefulness in the quick translation of large content requiring merely the general meaning of the text without precision. However, since it is literal translation, it lacks accuracy, because the machine does not understand or perceive all words or context. Therefore, it cannot differentiate between the important or the non-important phrases, nor can it tell the symbolic or metaphoric expressions apart, consequently, it is defected as it generates an automated text block written by someone that does not understand the topic nor the context.

The lecture revealed the extent to which translators can benefit from machine translation, and pointed out that Google Translate has changed its approach from machine translation to neural translation, which uses an industrial or artificial neural network to predict the possibility of generating words successively to bridge the gap between human and machine translation, yet machine translation remains insignificant, and the quality of machine translation with regard to Qur'an verses is less than 22%.

The lecture concluded that machine translation remains unreliable despite its development, and human beings remain irreplaceable. When Google announced developments in the machine translation sector paving the way to do without translators, research confirmed its lack of reliability or credibility, pointing out that this misinformation aims at market monopoly, and despite the fact that machine translation systems will affect translators’ performance, translators and language editors would remain indispensable, and there will always be a need for translators to translate documents, books and reports which cannot be automatically translated.

It is worth mentioning that the National Library and Archives program, which coincides with the Cairo International Book Fair, includes other lectures namely, Introduction to Educational Services and Programs of the National Library and Archives, the National Library and Archives’ Role  in Document Preservation and Accessibility, Towards Tolerance and Fraternity: Approaches to the Dialogue of Civilizations, Zayed the Father, Zayed the Leader, The UAE: Homeland of Tolerance, and the UAE-Egyptian Relations: Exceptional and Eternal.