As a translator, I have seen many different tools, platforms and systems evolve from nothing to the complex ones that we can use today, for machine translation, computer-assisted translation (CAT), content management and project management. The evolution has been exponential (as in many other technologies), and so it will continue to be. I use many of those tools and systems together all the time, because they help simplify some of my tasks. But still the human factor is always behind them.

Users now demand different levels of quality, so they can have acceptable (or almost) machine-translated texts for free, or they can have those texts edited by pools or «clouds» of volunteers (also for free), or by a professional translator (usually not for free). The more they pay, the more quality they will get… supposedly.

That’s the obvious fact. But in my opinion, as CAT software evolves further towards the use of corpora and translation memories and other architectures that we cannot imagine yet, at some stage in the near future it will replace translators, and only editors and proof-readers will be needed.