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OffbeatGoogle is fixing gender bias in its Translate service

08:41  07 december  2018
08:41  07 december  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Enter Google Translate , the automated service that makes so much of the web comprehensible to so many of us. That seems to have been demonstrated by a series of tweets showing Google Translate in the act of gendering professions in such a way that can only be described as problematic.

The result is services like language translation spitting those biases back out in subtle but worrisome ways. Earlier this year, for instance, examples of gender bias started cropping up on social media with Google Translate . Try translating terms into English from Turkish, which has gender -neutral

Google is fixing gender bias in its Translate service© Provided by The Next Web

Google Translate has previously displayed signs of gender bias by assigning genders to certain adjectives and words describing occupations. Thankfully, the company’s rolling out an update to fix this.

The company said that after the update, Google translate will provide both feminine and masculine translations for gender-neutral words:

Historically, it has provided only one translation for a query, even if the translation could have either a feminine or masculine form. So when the model produced one translation, it inadvertently replicated gender biases that already existed. For example: it would skew masculine for words like “strong” or “doctor,” and feminine for other words, like “nurse” or “beautiful.”

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Google Translate and other popular translation platforms often provide unintentionally sexist translations To Google ’s credit, Mountain View regularly tweaks Google Translate ’s algorithms to fix If source material used for translations has an aggregated bias in terms of one gender being

Google Translate was accused of sexism by a Turkish and a Finnish tweet recently, because, according to the authors of the tweets, when it translated certain Also, she states that “ it does not matter which way the gender bias goes, but the fact that the algorithm is built this way, does matter

Right now, this update is applicable to translations from English to French, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish. Additionally, when you translate from a gender-neutral language like Turkish, you’ll get two results as shown below:

You can try out Google Translate on the web here to test the company’s claims. The search giant said that it’ll roll out these improvements to Translate’s iOS and Android apps soon.

The Mountain View company noted on the blog that it’s determined to remove gender bias from its products, and it’s working on improving the auto-complete feature for search queries next. Recently, Google removed some auto-complete suggestions from Gmail, as they were leaning towards one gender.

It’s good to see companies working on removing gender bias in technology products. While such biases are essentially a reflection of how humans use these tools, experts have warned that it can hardwire sexism in people – so it’s important to adjust for that and build technologies to serve humanity better.

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