Moshe Sakal, author: “Literature should not approach artificial intelligence as a threat, but as an opportunity”

Moshe Sakal, author: “Literature should not approach artificial intelligence as a threat, but as an opportunity”

Eden, the first cinema in my hometown of Tel Aviv, opened in 1914. The first film shown was The last days of Pompeii (Mario Caserini, 1913), shortly after the start of the First World War. “The films were imported from Egypt, the chairs from Greece and the projector from France”That’s what it said in the newspaper Haaretza hundred years after the birth of this legendary cinema.

Silent films in Eden were accompanied by an orchestra. In 1930, the first sound film in Palestine was shown there with much fanfare. However, the orchestra musicians disputed their dismissal in the cinema. After numerous negotiations between the General Federation of Workers of Eretz-Israel (Mandatory Palestine) and the cinema owners, it was agreed that the latter would continue to pay them for more than a year after the end of their work.

By reading the recent article entitled “Literary Translators Victims of Artificial Intelligence”, in The worldI remembered this anecdote.

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in the publishing world raises valid concerns about the rights of translators, including the requirement to work with texts pre-processed by AIs, which impacts their working conditions and status. Post-publishing contracts based on automated translations, such as DeepL, result in lower prices, and the lack of transparency among some publishers about the use of AI is a concerning issue. In addition, post-editing can sometimes take more time than traditional translations.

To be surprised and alarmed in equal measure

However, AI challenges should not be approached as a threat, but as an opportunity. Because, as with any technological revolution, it is very likely that one day the current discussions about AI and the passionate debates that arise from them will seem to us as absurd and outdated as the protests of musicians in silent films in the cinema of Eden.

Man has consciously chosen to create a machine that can compete with himself, but now he is concerned about the potential superiority of his own being. Indeed, it is difficult not to be amazed – and alarmed – by the impressive ability of AI: it can think and act much faster than us, with unparalleled precision – partly because the machine, unlike us, is not disturbed by the external factors. distractions from life.

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