I’ve listened to a speech about translation once. The speaker mentioned the impact of development of machine translation and artificial intelligence. A listener raised her hand. It was a student from department of translation who was worried by the video clip released by the two-way instant multiple language translator. And then, she asked the question that everyone cared “Will translators and interpreters be replaced by machines?”
The speaker regarded that the video exaggerated the functions of the translator. However, he believes that in the future, machines can produce translations that are very close to natural language with the implementation of artificial intelligence and enough data.
I believe that artificial intelligence will be able to write novels, but its flowery words, well-constructed structure, and climax of the plot are the products of data collecting, planning, and arrangement. You may say that massive reading, words selecting, plot setting are also the ways how writers wrote. However, the emotions and expressions generated from the inspiration of art works, the touch of life, the hardships and frustrations are the subtle qualities that machines can't acquire. It is these qualities that can only be obtained through feelings, conveyed through feelings, and can be felt by the human beings make us call humans’ works as creations while machines’ works can only be products. I think design works the same way.
Just as the speaker concluded at the end of the speech that translators will not be replaced if they learned to use machines instead of becoming machines. Designers can use machines to calculate the right materials, angles, producing methods as a reference for selection, and utilize humans’ sensibility and flexible mind that machines can't match.
However, in the era that science has become the new beliefs and people worship instrumental rationality. People become rigid, relying on technology yet afraid of it. Perhaps what we really should ask is not whether we will be replaced by machines or what the advantages of human beings are, but what make us human and how to maintain our “humanity.”
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