Recently, I have read a book named Artificial Intelligence written by Li Kaifu and Wang Yonggang. After reading the book, I can't calm down for a long time. The book discusses the three upsurges of artificial intelligence and the relationship between artificial intelligence and human beings, in which the content closely relevant to the translation industry is what types of work will be replaced by artificial intelligence. The book mentions that about 90% of people working in translation, news reporting, assistants, public security, sales, customer service, transactions, accounting, drivers, and housekeeping will be replaced by artificial intelligence in the next decade. What a horrendous proportion is this? The calculation of this number is justified.
At the end of 2016, Stephen Hawking wrote, in the British The Guardian, that "The automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining." From these words, it is easy to see Hawking's concern that artificial intelligence will replace human work. This concern also represents concerns of many scholars, scientists, and persons from various industries about artificial intelligence. Simple and repetitive work will eventually be replaced by artificial intelligence. This is the general trend. Even if you cover your eyes, it does not mean that there is no cliff ahead.
In 2018, Liu Qiangdong announced that in the next decade, Jingdong will lay off 50% of Jingdong employees, and these employees will be replaced by artificial intelligence and robots. At present, Jingdong has a total number of 160,000 employees, and the layoff of 50% means that 80,000 employees will lose their jobs. As early as 2016, Amazon in the United States has realized an unmanned warehousing. From goods in-warehouse to ex-warehouse, almost all jobs are done by artificial intelligence movers, which reduces the costs, greatly reduces the error rate, and improves the operation efficiency of warehouses. Ma Yun once said that it is no longer an era of physical strength, but an era of mental power. All simple and routine mechanical labor will be replaced by AI, and the social structure and various industries will face great changes.
As far as the translation industry is concerned, translation is basically a skilled job. Except literary translation, other types of translation such as industry standard translation and technical translation are basically repetitive routine labor, which is exactly what artificial intelligence is good at. However, the proportion of literary translation is small , which is only 20% to 30% of the translation industry. Although the emotions and subjective content involved in literary translation are what artificial intelligence is not good at, literary translation is also difficult for human translation. It is also difficult for general human translation to fully express the true feelings of an article. From this point of view, the proportion of artificial intelligence in the translation industry will become larger, and artificial intelligence will increasingly occupy the share of low-end translation practitioners. Therefore, if you want to continue to be engaged in the translation industry, you need to continue to increase your cultivation and practice your internal skills , so that you can become a high-end translation talent instead of being eliminated.