Proofreading: How AI is Changing the Way I Work

Nicole Carmen D. | 

March 26, 2024

“I didn’t expect the future to be realized much sooner.”

As a language nut, I wasn’t too excited when the likes of ChatGPT took the world by storm. I liked scanning catalogs of synonyms, scrutinizing their nuances to see which one best fit a sentence. I liked writing papers, turning word vomit into chiseled paragraphs. I liked playing sales rep, IT guy, and scientist all in one day. And I’ve always prided myself on liking those. So, I viewed this platform as a threat to my creativity and employment. I didn’t expect the future where technology coopted jobs in the cultural imagination to be realized much sooner with bodiless, almost sentient robots.

Thankfully, I’m not out of a job—heh—and I’ve realized that AI has so far been more of a boon than a bane in my line of work.

About proofreading

More often than not, the files I edit are formulaic. My work on promotional copy, for example, tends to revolve around a few words—provide, offer, give, supply. Rarely do I get head-scratchers in the form of hard science research papers or files of a more creative nature. When editing is just a matter of retrieving old tricks from a battered book rather than novel handiwork, AI can take the reins.

From a practical standpoint, AI saves you time, energy, and money better spent on more demanding tasks. In our branch within the company, our nascent AI Translation and Postediting (ATPE) service is applied to projects involving Filipino, our native language, and English. It features heavily in proof of contact projects, notorious for their repetitive use of everyday expressions such as “Have you eaten?” and “Good morning.” If Google Translate is smart enough to discern these expressions from gibberish—people tend to horrifically misspell and abbreviate them, mind you— why not make it the new person on the job? With the simple language of these expressions, I also realized that if something can be read and translated instantaneously, it’s worth translating yourself.

Aside from ATPE, templates, glossaries, and translation memories have removed redundant project orders for translation and the possibility of inconsistency across projects and translators. What happens to the translators, you ask? They’re usually relocated to more challenging projects, spared from the tedium of proof of contact projects, which, ironically, can cause more errors when handled manually. In summary, these AI initiatives have so far enabled a faster turnaround of files and a better hold on quality.

A more reliable Google

Those of us who aren’t in the legal profession may find it hard to mimic its archaic language. Instead of browsing lengthy legal documents to find the proper expressions, ChatGPT can give you a decent outline in legalese or teach you how to word “Whereas” clauses. With its precise delivery of information, ChatGPT is seen as the successor to Google, saving us many clicks and a visit to a Reddit forum.

Leave the brainwork to us

At the end of the day, AI doesn’t and shouldn’t have the final say. ChatGPT or Google Translate is no match for our ability to translate even the most obscure and absurd cultural expressions. Editors can’t count on such platforms to diligently fact-check proper nouns as we do, adopt our inhouse style, or even understand supposedly foolproof prompts sometimes. Well, about the second point, we have successfully incorporated our stylebook into Grammarly, but there’s a long way to go before we can do the same for other platforms.

There’s no need to fear AI at work if you know how to use it to your advantage. Give it all the dirty work while you make your ingenuity shine. Have it translate hundreds of the same greetings while you localize the Filipino slang it hasn’t learned yet. Add a personal touch to its work. Use it as a guide, and don’t be indebted to its suggestions. When you relegate the routine and repetitive, you can reclaim creativity and relish in the craftsmanship of editing once again.

At Lexcode, we deliver outputs optimizing human translation and AI translation. Request a quote for your translation needs now!

Top posts

Proofreading: How AI is changing the way I work

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments