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ChatGPT Is Cutting Non-English Languages Out of the AI Revolution

AI chatbots notoriously are less fluent in languages other than English

Computer scientist Pascale Fung can imagine a rosy future in which polyglot AI helpers like ChatGPT bridge language barriers. In that world, Indonesian store owners fluent only in local dialects might reach new shoppers by listing their products online in English. "It can open opportunities," Fung said—then pauses. She's spotted the bias in her vision of a more interconnected future: The AI-aided shopping would be one-sided, because few Americans would bother to use AI translation to help research products advertised in Indonesian. "Americans are not incentivized to learn another language," she said.

Not every American fits that description—about one in five speak another language at home—but the dominance of English in global commerce is real. Fung, director of the Center for AI Research at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, who herself speaks seven languages, sees this bias in her own field.

"If you don't publish papers in English, you're not relevant," Fung said. "Non-English speakers tend to be punished professionally."

Please select this link to read the complete article from WIRED.

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