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Google Rolls Out Gender Specific Translation to Reduce Bias

Google said it is also thinking about how to address non-binary gender in translations, though it is not part of this initial launch

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In a bid to reduce gender biases in its translation service, Google has started rolling out a feature that provides feminine and masculine translations for some gender-neutral words on the Google Translate website.

The feature is currently available only for a few languages, although Google plans to bring it to more languages soon.

So one can now translate single words from English to languages like French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish. As of now, translations for short phrases and sentences that mention a person in a gender-neutral way is available for the English and Turkish language pair.

“In the future, we plan to extend gender-specific translations to more languages, launch on other Translate surfaces like our iOS and Android apps, and address gender bias in features like query auto-complete,” James Kuczmarski, Product Manager, Google Translate, said in a blog post on Thursday.

Google Translate learns from hundreds of millions of already-translated examples from the web.

Historically, it has provided only one translation for a query, even if the translation could have either a feminine or masculine form.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

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.”

“Now you’ll get both a feminine and masculine translation for a single word – like ‘surgeon’ when translating from English into French, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish,” Kuczmarski said.

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“You’ll also get both translations when translating phrases and sentences from Turkish to English. For example, if you type ‘o bir doktor’ in Turkish, you’ll now get ‘she is a doctor’ and ‘he is a doctor’ as the gender-specific translations,” Kuczmarski said.

The new feature is part of Google’s efforts to promote fairness and reduce bias in Machine Learning.

Google said it is also thinking about how to address non-binary gender in translations, though it is not part of this initial launch. (IANS)

Next Story

Google To Stop Services For explorer Edition of Glass Soon

The latest update does not affect Glass Enterprise Edition devices, Google noted

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Google said the latest update removes Glass connection to backend services. Pixabay

Google has announced that it will end support for the Explorer Edition of Glass in February 2020.

Google said that the wearable device is receiving a final update that needs to be installed manually.

“Glass Explorer Edition is receiving a final update that you will need to manually install. After February 25, 2020, this update removes the need and ability to use your Google account on Glass,” the tech major said in a statement.

According to Google’s statement, if you do not update the device, and you are currently signed in and using the device, it will continue to work, but mirror apps, like Gmail, YouTube and Hangouts, will no longer work.

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Google has announced that it will end support for the Explorer Edition of Glass in February 2020. Wikimedia Commons

Google said the latest update removes Glass connection to backend services.

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After the final update, MyGlass app, which allows users to manage device settings, will also stop functioning. However, the users will still be able to pair it directly to their phones via Bluetooth.

The latest update does not affect Glass Enterprise Edition devices, Google noted. (IANS)