An overlooked side effect of not recognizing dialect

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by iceaura, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/a...raphers-need-understand-black-english/581671/
    AI voice recognition commonly incorporates a single dialect of whatever language it is handling.
     
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I wouldn't say that the stenographers made any "mistake". They were not there to understand Spanish or "Black English". The person/company/government that hired them may have made a mistake by not understanding that "Black English" was that different from standard English but you can't blame the stenographers.

    After all, we're not talking about not understanding an accent. If I say "I'll going to take a TV" and it really means "I'm not going to take a TV", who can be expected to understand that?

    If you ever get arrested for anything and you end up confessing, I guess your defense later could be "When I said I killed a man, it actually means, I didn't kill a man".

    AI isn't likely isn't going to do what a stenography isn't able to do (read minds).
     
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, they are. That is in fact their job - accurately transcribing testimony. When they transcribe testimony inaccurately, they are making a mistake.
    1) That's not what he said. The difference is significant.
    2) Anyone assessing legal guilt or innocence is expected to have understood the testimony in a court of law. At a minimum they are expected to know what that testimony actually was, what the witnesses actually said.
     
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I see iceaura's point. Taking the account ia wrote as literal, the stenographer didn't record, they interpreted and paraphrased.

    Someone who does understand the dialect has lost critical information from the original testimony.
     
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  8. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    A stenographer's job is to record what is said word-for-word, whether it makes any sense or not. Human perception being what it is, there are times when he/she will "hear' something that makes sense rather than what was actually said. However, it's hard to see how, “He come tell ’bout I’m gonna take the TV,” could be changed to, “I’m gonna take the TV,” without some active interpretation on the part of the stenographer.
     
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    How about "He came talking about "I'm gonna take the TV"? Would you think that was a fair interpretation? According to the article it's still wrong.
     
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    There's that word again...
     
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  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Interpretation is necessary when going from one language to another.
     
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Ah, but it wasn't going from one language to another; it was going from one dialect to another.

    All the words were English words. All s/he hadda do is write em down.

    : you had one job emoticon :
     
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    In court that role is performed by an interpreter - an official, appointed, professional translator. Their translation is then accepted as the testimony.

    The stenographer's job is to accurately record the testimony. The court's job is to carefully evaluate the testimony. It turns out that accuracy of recording and evaluation suffer due to incomprehension of dialect, more than most expected.
     

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