Google Translate: stop gender discrimination

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Steven L. Ken

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The restyling that involved the Web interface of Google translator, unveiled in recent days, is not the only news that affects the bigG service. Another is that which aims to clear the field of any form of gender discrimination showing the translation of single words or entire sentences in both their female and male versions. L'Italian is one of the languages ​​supported immediately, along with English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, with others to be added to the list soon.

Google, translation has no gender

An example is shown below: translating the word "worker" from English into Italian, the Mountain View platform shows both "worker" and "worker" as a result, indicating in brackets what the term is female and which one male.

At the moment, the news only concerns the version of Google Translate accessible from the browser desktop, but in the future it will also be extended to mobile applications distributed on Android and iOS devices. More information can be found on the official support pages. Below is an excerpt from the documentation.

In many languages ​​you can have male and female translations of single words. In a smaller number of languages, however, you can also have male and female translations for short phrases and expressions that refer to a person in a neutral way.

The problem is with AI

BigG's commitment aimed at eliminating all forms of gender discrimination from its platforms and services will also lead to a modification of the code that deals withauto-completion of queries.

A problem whose nature is to be found in the information fed to the machine learning system that manages the service: if users usually associate terms such as "strong" or "doctor" with the male universe and "nurse" or "beautiful" to the female one, Google Translate will simply replicate the behavior. Here, then, is the dynamic object of the intervention announced today, closely linked to the learning methods used to educate algorithms. In addition, non-binary genders will also be taken into account in the future, with full respect for those who do not recognize and identify with the man-woman system.

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