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Ethics and machine translation

Joss Moorkens

Neural machine translation (MT) can facilitate communication in a way that surpasses previous MT paradigms, but there are also consequences of its use. As with the development of any technology, MT is not ethically neutral, but rather reflects the values of those behind its development. In this chapter, we consider the ethical issues around MT, beginning with data gathering and reuse and looking at how MT fits with the values and codes of the translator. If machines and systems reflect value systems, can they be explicitly "good" and remove bias from their output? What is the contribution of MT to discussions of sustainability and diversity? Rather than promoting an approach that involves following a set of instructions to implement a technology unthinkingly, this chapter highlights the importance of a conscious decision-making process when designing a data-driven MT workflow.

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