What is computer-assisted interpreting?

Computer-assisted interpreting or CAI covers the various ways in which digital technologies are used to assist and support interpreters in all phases of their workflow: preparation (pre-booth), interpretation (in-booth) and follow-up (post-booth). Computer-assisted interpreting (CAI) tools have been around for over a decade and aim at optimizing the entire interpreting process and improving the interpreter’s output quality.

So far, there are two generations of CAI tools. First-generation CAI tools focus mainly on enhancing terminological management and designing multilingual glossaries, while the second-generation offers more advanced functionalities designed to offer support in the different phases of the interpreting process. Second-generation CAI tools offer advanced search functions increasing its in-booth usability. Other features range from automatic term extraction and translation to filling a glossary by highlighting a term in textual material.

Thanks to general technological advancements and developments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) a new and third generation of CAI tools is on the horizon. The Ergonomics for the Artificial Booth Mate (EAMB) project will create the first AI-enhanced tool for interpreters. Our artificial booth mate will use speech recognition technology to analyse real-time speech and offer in-booth support to interpreters.



Computer-assisted interpreting (CAI) tools have numerous benefits, but empirical research on interpreting technology has long remained on the back burner. Thanks to recent advances in interpreting-related technologies, the topic is gaining more attention. In 2018, Claudio Fantinuoli (ed.) (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) published the first book entirely dedicated to the subject of technology and interpreting. This recent publication tackles various subjects, from CAI tools to remote simultaneous conference interpreting and can be read here.

Fantinuoli, C. (ed.) (2018). Interpreting and technology. Language Science Press.




The EABM project is funded by the European Commission (DG Interpretation)