James Trinh

Homework 3
Fig.1 - Most accurate translation
Fig.2 - Not as accurate
Fig.3 - Lost in translation

Real-time translation is something that many people would appreciate, especially tourist and people going on vacations. Learning a new language is not a task many people will do, but yet they still want to experience a different culture. If real-time translation were perfected, then everyone would be able to communicate to one another, right? Well there are several issues that can stem from this.

One of the biggest issue that comes to my mind is that some language have words that describe certain concept that other language can't do so quickly nor efficiently. For example: the word "Kaizen" (改善) in Japanese is a word that mean change for the better. It's primarily use in businesses and I first learned of it during my internship this Summer. If we look past the translation errors of Google Translate, we can see that it'd have issue with spacing. Now if we consider real-time audio translation, some languages may lag behind since they are slower at communicating than others. This brings up another curiosity of mind pertaining to language "data rate" but that's a whole nother can of worm.

Now lets consider the worst that could come from this technology. Anyone with access to control this database could basically censor out messages from one another. If people were to wear this real-time translation device all day and completely rely on the translation, then whether it'd be audio or text translation, the owner of the database can change the meaning of message displayed. Whether it's just a mistranslation or with malicious intent, this brings up a lot of future problems. It'd be also wrong to allow the user too much control as they may censor certain things as well and become more close minded.

Overall, I feel that having this specific AR technology just on a handheld device like the phone is as far as this technology should strive to achieve rather than integrate it a step further.