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Babel: Translation, Empire, and AI 巴別塔:翻譯、帝國與人工智慧


School of Chinese Seminar


Babel: Translation, Empire, and AI


Speaker: Professor Carlos Rojas 羅鵬教授

Date: June 20, 2024 (Thursday)
Time: 16:30-18:00
Venue: CRT730, Run Run Shaw Tower, HKU
Language: English




Published in 2022 R. F. Kuang’s novel Babel: An Arcane History is set in 1830s England and describes a fantasy world in which European imperialism relies on a translation endowed with a magical power. Coincidentally, three months after the publication of Babal, the release of ChatGPT offered a similarly magical combination of language, profit, and power. Taking Babel as its starting point, this paper will explore the relationship between translation in a pre-digital era and contemporary generative AI systems like ChatGPT.


匡靈秀的小說《巴別塔學院》發生在十九世紀三十年代的英國,描寫的是一個帝國主義依賴依賴一種神奇的翻譯功能的幻想世界。巧合的是,《巴別塔學院》出版三個月後,ChatGPT 的發布也提出一種語言、利潤和權力的類似神奇結合。本文以《巴別塔學院》為起點,探討前數位時代的翻譯與 ChatGPT 等當代人工智慧系統之間的關係。


Professor Carlos Rojas is professor of Chinese Cultural Studies and Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies at Duke University. He is the author, editor, or translator of many volumes, including English translations of ten books by Yan Lianke.


All are welcome