Convergence: human-machine integration in translation and interpreting
1 to 3 February 2023 in Guildford, UK.
About the conference
In 2023 the University of Surrey’s Centre for Translation Studies celebrated its 40th anniversary. To mark the occasion and as a natural progression from the Convergence Lecture Series, CTS was proud to host its first ever Convergence Conference. The conference created the opportunity to bring together innovative research reflecting the complexity of contexts and the effects of using digital and AI-driven technologies in translation and interpreting.
In a globalised society and economy, few people remain unaffected by the design and delivery of language services. As the demand for these services increases, the use of technologies adds new layers of complexity to the processes of translation and interpreting, calling for innovative and adaptive multidisciplinary approaches. The ‘technological turn’ in translation and interpreting requires all stakeholders to develop a better understanding of the impact and potential of translation interpreting technologies, and of the products and services they facilitate. This understanding will help mitigate obstacles and barriers, driving genuine innovation that harnesses the full potential of the digital transformation and the ‘AI revolution’.
The Convergence Conference promoted responsible and smart integration of the capabilities of human agents and machines in the fields of translation and interpreting, embedded in multidisciplinary framework that enables the generation of new theoretical perspectives and practices of research. Our point of focus was the integration of research on human, machine- assisted, semi-automated and fully automated translation and interpreting workflows, exploring the crucial role each workflow can play in supporting effective global and local communication, and in building a sustainable society.
Convergence 2023 received an overwhelming response, with more than 1000 registrations worldwide, offering a diverse programme of presentations, panel discussions, and workshops, covering a wide range of topics related to the theme of ‘Convergence’.
We were thrilled to have such an engaged audience and it was a great pleasure to see so many colleagues come together to share their expertise and insights. The overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from attendees has been truly inspiring, and we are grateful for their invaluable contributions, which directly attributed to the success of the event.
In addition, the hybrid format of the conference allowed attendees to join from all around the world, increasing the diversity of perspectives and experiences shared. We were delighted by the level of enthusiasm and engagement displayed by the attendees during the various interactive Q&A sessions and poster presentations.
We are very pleased Slator, a leader in language industry news and market intelligence, published an article about the Convergence conference.
Our keynote speakers delivered inspiring speeches and if you missed the conference, you can find the presentations from our keynote speakers Dorothy Kenny and Will Lewis on our YouTube channel. Dorothy presented ‘Human and machine translation: a meeting of modes and minds? Will presented ‘Machine translation and natural language processing in crisis response scenarios’
The conference consisted of a series of individually tailored thematic sessions, each bringing together experts who offered innovative perspectives, new empirical approaches, and an analysis of use cases for the most advanced language technologies. The themes of the conference were:
- Embracing the complexity: hybrid practices for interlingual communication in real time
- Convergence and collaboration in translation and research
- Remote interpreting: towards a convergent research agenda
- Translation of creative content and technology
- Natural language processing augmenting translation and interpreting
- Widening media accessibility in the digital age
- Reducing language barriers in mental healthcare for refugees and other migrants
- Bringing together corpus linguistics in translation studies and machine translation