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Online translators are sexist – here's how we gave them a little gender sensitivity training

By Stefanie Ullmann, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Cambridge
Danielle Saunders, Research Student, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge
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Online translation tools have helped us learn new languages, communicate across linguistic borders, and view foreign websites in our native tongue. But the artificial intelligence (AI) behind them is far from perfect, often replicating rather than rejecting the biases that exist within a language or a society.

Such tools are especially vulnerable to gender stereotyping, because some languages (such as English) don’t tend to gender nouns, while others (such as German) do. When translating from English to German, translation tools have to decide which gender to assign English words like…


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