Harnessing the Power of AI For Academic Translation and Editing Work

Making sense of revolutionary AI tools

As the world continues to make sense of the proliferation of revolutionary AI tools, authors and publishers are searching for clarity on how these transformational tools will impact our common understanding of authorship and what constitutes original academic research and writing. 

These tools also open up new opportunities for EAL (English as an additional Language) authors to make their work better in less time. In the Q&A below, we try and summarize our findings from our research into OpenAI and similar tools as well as how we are operationalizing them for your benefit. 

What is ALE’s approach towards utilizing these AI technologies for academic writing?

At ALE, we are staunch believers in the power of human ingenuity and creativity as well as the advancement of technological tools that enable the goal of high-quality peer-reviewed publication to become more accessible to all scholars. As a result, we view AI technologies as tools that can elevate and sharpen your original innovative research and writing but not fill in for, or replace, the role of the scholar.

We have conducted a deep dive into the leading AI technologies and concluded that integrating a unique combination of AI technologies into our services will enable us to offer high-quality language services and publication support at a more affordable cost to authors while not sacrificing our high-quality work. 

However, the various limitations of these tools (outlined below) acutely demonstrate the critical importance of the human reviewer’s role (including both the author and professional editor) in ensuring that your content is sound and that the text reads smoothly. 

That is why we are piloting services that make use of the best parts of these tools while, at the same time, maintaining the crucial role human language experts play in the editing and review process.


Key features of AI editing and translation tools

What do these tools offer in the preparation of your manuscript?

The standout feature these AI technologies offer is the ability to edit and translate texts quickly and efficiently as well as to correct issues in real-time. Additionally, AI tools have the ability to elevate your language and style as well as adopt its tone to fit targeted audiences.


Ethics and acceptance of AI tools in academic research

Is it considered plagiarism to use an AI tool to produce a piece of writing?

Publishers are still trying to establish clear guidelines regarding the use of AI tools in the production and documentation of research. The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and JAMA’s current stance is that papers cannot be authored by an AI tool as they are unable to fulfill the requirements of authorship (most notable in that they are unable to take responsibility for erroneous facts). 

At ALE, we believe that as long as the authorship is maintained by the author, these tools can be used to enhance, and not replace, your writing. However, the question of the use of these tools for editing and revision has yet to be determined. 

Can AI tools replace the need for human editors?

Simply put, no. After having deeply explored the leading AI capabilities, we have identified a number of key limitations – including its inability to cite appropriate references and its lack of subject expertise – which further emphasize the vital role of the human reviewer.

Most importantly, these technologies are unable to think critically and as a result, are prone to introducing errors. As a result, critical thinking and rigorous review remain a cornerstone of original and innovative academic research. 

How can I find out if my target publisher accepts manuscripts produced by AI technology?

Before submitting a manuscript or book proposal to your target publisher, it is recommended you review your publisher’s official stance on the use of AI technologies. It is critical to do your homework in advance in order to make an informed decision on whether AI technology is appropriate for your research.

Are publishers able to flag writing produced by AI technology?

There are a number of red flags AI-produced text can generate which publishers are able to pick up on (please see our section on AI technology limitations below). There are also many new technologies being developed by scientists to both detect AI-generated text and produce cryptographic watermarks on AI-generated text. Therefore, it is important to always do your homework and have clarity on your publisher’s guidelines relating to AI technology.

Privacy and Confidentiality 

Taking every measure to keep all of your information and texts strictly confidential lies at the foundation of our commitment to all of our clients. Our employees and freelancers are signed to non-disclosure agreements and we keep hold your information under strict confidence. 

However, our AI service does include the use of third-party tools that will also have access to that information and use it to train their models which are available in the public domain. While we don't any significant sections of your text to be accessible or appear in other places online, we cannot guarantee that won't happen. Therefore, if you are concerned of the confidentiality of your materials, be sure to consider carefully before choosing our AI-empowered option.

Benefits and limitations

What are some key limitations of these AI tools?

While content produced by AI technologies is certainly impressive, there are a number of limitations to keep in mind. Key limitations often include:

  • Inability to properly cite references: AI technologies will make statements without properly citing its sources, and are known to even invent sources.
  • Inability to retain the author’s original voice: While these tools are able to adopt specific personas and voices, they are unable to mimic the author’s original style and tone.
  • Inability to think critically: AI technologies are unable to think critically about their claims, as they are “educated” solely on information input. 
  • Production of inaccurate information: Similarly to its inability to think critically, AI tools do – at times – produce erroneous information. 

Is the content produced by AI tools 100% accurate?

No. Content produced by AI tools is not 100% accurate and in most cases, does not provide references. We, therefore, encourage you to produce your own original text and use these technologies only as a means to sharpen your manuscript’s existing language. After considerable training and practice, our team has developed the skills and experience to optimally enhance your manuscript using AI.

What benefits do these AI tools offer researchers who are looking to publish?

When approved by your publisher, there are numerous benefits to these AI tools. For example, AI tools can be very helpful in cutting back on the cost and time of your manuscript writing. However, it is important that you use these tools smartly and strategically. We encourage you to learn more about ALE’s integrated services that combine AI technologies with human review.

How it functions internally and issues related to copyright/moral rights

You may have come across or utilized the well-known tool "ChatGPT," developed by OpenAI. Our services operate by utilizing OpenAI's developer integrations, allowing companies like ours to build on the same AI model that underlies ChatGPT.

OpenAI clarifies that they do not assert any copyright over content produced using their API and maintain a sharing and publication policy that some users might find pertinent.

There is also the matter of "moral rights" and the potential infringement of AI-generated content on the works of other artists or creators whose content the AI model has been trained on.

This topic is currently the subject of intense debate and we want to draw your attention to it so you can make an informed decision. Although we understand that some people may have concerns about this issue, we believe that, in general, using AI-generated texts is unlikely to infringe on others' works.

Limitations and constraints

As mentioned earlier, we employ OpenAI as the underlying technology, so their Terms of Use and usage and content policy apply to your utilization of this service. 

How is ALE integrating these tools into its services?

Can I use these services on my own?

While it is certainly possible to utilize some of these tools on your own, it does require a significant time investment to learn how to strategically and accurately use these tools in order to avoid embarrassing errors. Examples of necessary self-learning include: identifying which tools work best for you and why, how to prompt the technology methodologically, and how to make sense of both large and discreet errors that may ultimately flag your writing. 

How will ALE integrate AI technologies into its language and publication services?

At present, we are in the beta pilot mode of integrated AI and human editing and translation services. Our mission at ALE is to make high-quality language and publication support services accessible for all. By integrating AI tools into our core services, we will be able to lower the price of basic editing and translation services.

Please check with us in advance to confirm if your project is eligible for this service. You can find further information about these services here.

On what project types will ALE be piloting these integrated services?

We will be piloting these integrated services only on projects (up to 3,000 words) being translated into English or edited in English. We anticipate eventually expanding our integrated services.

Will all projects undertaken through ALE use AI technology?

No, you have the choice to select language and publication support services that do not require AI technologies.

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