Alumni news: Amandalynne Paullada

Submitted by Joyce Parvi on

2021 PhD Amandalynne Paullada was interviewed on 7-27-22 by Kirsten Martin of Notre Dame Technology Ethics Center concerning her article "Machine Translation Shifts Power", which was published in 2021 in The Gradient while she was still a PhD student.

In the article and the interview, Paullada gives examples of how grave misunderstandings can result from the crudeness of machine translation crudeness or from taking statements taken out of context.  She also points out that machine translation can be used to exert power, and to gain access to information that would otherwise be extremely difficult or time-consuming to come by.

Paullada starts talking about 1:40 into the 21:29 podcast (scroll down to 6. Lost in Translation: When Machines Learn Language), which also touches on cultural sensitivity of machine vs. human interpretation, linguistic colonialization and suppression of indigenous languages, paranoid reading of high-stakes translations, translation without permission, and data ethics.

Paullada is currently a post-doctoral fellow in UW’s Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education (on a training grant from the National Library of Medicine).  Her research there concerns ethical considerations for the use of language technology in healthcare and methods for cultural adaptation of healthcare interventions.  Trevor Cohen is her faculty advisor.

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