“It’s about Respect, not about the Technology”: Insights from a Workshop Including Different Stakeholders on Genderfair Language and Language Technologies
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ISSN der Zeitschrift
Mensch und Computer 2022 - Tagungsband
MCI-SE03: Participation and Inclusion
With the increasing attention non-binary people receive in Western societies, strategies of gender-fair language have started to move away from binary (only female/male) concepts of gender. Nevertheless, hardly any approaches to take these identities into account into machine translation models exist so far. A lack of understanding of the socio-technical implications of such technologies risks further reproducing linguistic mechanisms of oppression and mislabelling. In this paper, we describe the methods and results of a workshop on gender-fair language and language technologies, which was led and organised by ten researchers from TU Wien, St. Pölten UAS, FH Campus Wien and the University of Vienna and took place in Vienna in autumn 2021. A wide range of interest groups and their representatives were invited to ensure that the topic could be dealt with holistically. Accordingly, we aimed to include translators, machine translation experts and non-binary individuals (as “community experts”) on an equal footing. Our analysis shows that gender in machine translation requires a high degree of context sensitivity, that developers of such technologies need to position themselves cautiously in a process still under social negotiation, and that fexible approaches seem most adequate at present. We then illustrate steps that follow from our results for the feld of gender-fair language technologies so that technological developments can adequately line up with social advancements.