Augmenting professional interpreters#

AI can support the work of professional interpreters by means of a so-called digital boothmate, i.e. a particular kind of computer-assisted interpreting (CAI) tool specifically designed to support conference interpreters during the delivery of simultaneous interpretation.

While general CAI tools can use AI to support professional interpreters during the preparation of an assignment, for example by automatically creating multilingual glossaries or summarizing the content of preparatory documents, a digital boothmate prompts interpreters with relevant suggestions in real-time while interpreting.

Digital boothmates typically prompt with so-called “problem triggers”, i.e. units of speech that are particularly difficult for simultaneous interpreters, such as specialized terminology, numbers and proper names.

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The goal of a boothmate is to increase the quality of the interpreter’s rendition in the target language.

A digital boothmate is a concatenation of several modules. The number and typology may vary depending on the implementation. In its most simplified version, it is composed by a cascading system of:

  • speech recognition to transcribe the original speech in real-time

  • a language model to select the relevant information from the speech

  • a module to display such information to the interpreter

Here is a simple schema: