Can Digital Devices Replace Interpreters? by Lydia L. Callis
Lydia L. Callis
Sign Language Interpreter, Community Educator, Advocate
While walking the streets of New York, nearly every person I see is staring down at a screen, fully engaged with a digital device. Through technology, our world has become incredibly connected; yet disconnected at the same time. There is comfort in being able to communicate without regard to time or distance but somehow all this personal contact seems so impersonal, so two dimensional, so unnatural… Are we all truly eager to replace all human interaction with virtual realities?
Last week, the Internet was buzzing with news of a new device called Google Gesture, a wristband which could reportedly translate sign language into spoken language in real time. The viral clip turned out to be just a concept video released by a group of marketing students in Sweden, but it stirred up some interesting discussions about the role of technology in cross-cultural communication.
Although most deaf/HoH are content with their lives the way they are, it’s nice to imagine a world where everyone is able to communicate seamlessly, and deaf people are not excluded from certain spaces. Over the past 30 years, technology has been viewed as a solution to provide deaf individuals . . .