press release
Published: 18 December 2023

Using AI-related technologies can significantly enhance human cognition, finds new study

Interpreters, translators and subtitlers should not fear artificial intelligence (AI), as training in new forms of real-time human-AI interaction (HAII) can increase their working memory and task-switching abilities, according to new research from Surrey’s Centre for Translation Studies.

The project focused on Interlingual Respeaking (IRSP), a new practice where live subtitles in another language are created through the collaboration of human and speech recognition software. IRSP is a cognitively demanding, real-time process where a language professional simultaneously translates incoming spoken language whilst also adding punctuation and content labels orally, as well as applying any editing required to speech recognition software that turns what the language professional says into subtitles.

The research included a purpose-made 25-hour upskilling course on IRSP (involving 51 language professionals), exploring its effects on cognition, particularly executive functioning (EF) and working memory (WM) that were measured before and after the course.

As AI continues to reshape the landscape of language-related practices, this study not only highlights the crucial role of human-AI collaboration but also identifies language professionals’ need for continuous exploration and adaptation in an ever-evolving field.

The study, which draws on a wider experiment carried out within the ESRC-funded SMART project (Shaping Multilingual Access through Respeaking Technology, ES/T002530/1, 2020–2023) including Dr Simon Evans as a co-investigator and wider international consortium of academic and industry stakeholders, has been published in Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence.

Note to editors

  • Dr Anna-Stiina Wallinheimo and Dr Elena Davitti are available for interview upon request.
  • For media enquiries, please contact

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