Machine Translation (MT) is rapidly progressing towards quality levels that might make it appropriate for broad user populations in a range of scenarios, including gisting and post-editing in unconstrained domains. For this to happen, the field may however need to switch gear and move away from its current technology driven paradigm to a more user-centered approach. In this paper, we discuss how ethnographic techniques like Contextual Inquiry could help in that respect, by providing researchers and developers with rich information about the world and needs of potential end-users. We discuss how data from Contextual Inquiries with professional translators was used to concretely and positively influence several R&D projects in the area of Computer Assisted Translation technology. These inquiries had many benefits, including: (i) grounding developers and researchers in the world of their end-users, (ii) generating new technology ideas, (iii) selecting between competing development project ideas, (iv) finding how to alleviate friction for important ideas that go against the grain of current user practices, (v) evaluating existing or experimental technologies, (vi) helping with micro level design decision, (vii) building credibility with translators, and (viii) fostering multidisciplinary discussion between researchers.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2008|
|Event||8th Biennial Conference of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas, AMTA 2008 - Waikiki, HI, United States|
Duration: 21 Oct 2008 → 25 Oct 2008
|Conference||8th Biennial Conference of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas, AMTA 2008|
|Period||21/10/08 → 25/10/08|