Everything we disllike about AI generating art, we should have disliked about AI generating translations. It's the same process, the same consequences. So what's the difference? The AI are still bad at translation, that's the only difference. Nobody would publish an entire book translated by an AI and get away with it. (Some did, and didn't.)
Maybe that's why I dislike "player's skill" so much? If "player's skill" is akin to avoiding in-game mistakes, it's useless. It could even be detrimental to a good game. "Player's skill" should be knowing how and when to make mistakes.
And not a "rubbing-my-hands-with-a-sardonic-smile" thank you either. A real thank you, a heart-felt thank you. They make mistakes so the story can become even better.
The entirety of Crime and Punishment is built on this: one error, and all its consequences.
When your players make mistake, thank them.
But for wrongness to be used to full effect, the tension should be released, or at least the possibility of release should be hinted at.
They must act wrong, or think wrong, or harbor wrong beliefs, or take a wrong turn. Wrongness is good. Wrongness is tension.
This kind of conceptual link is very easy to do for us, but still hard for machines, because it's not only a question of contexts, it has to do with intent. Was the intent to use the milkman as a concept or to refer to the actual milkman (who is "le laitier", by the way)? Mots humans could tell the difference. AIs don't and won't before a long long time.
Why should we translate milkman as postman, in french? Because that's not obvious, that will not be the most frequent translation, the one which AI will pick up, and yet it is vastly superior in many contexts, as it buils on the various idiomatic bridges between the two languages. In french, the milkman's son is the postman's son. Who's the dog chasing? The postman. The concept of "man going from door to door every day", in other words the milkman in English, is simply the postman in French.
Every now and then, a publisher asks me to rewrite a translation "because it's clunky in some places". More and more often, it's not that it's clunky. It's that is absolutely awful, DeepL-made through and through, and I only need a nanosecond to know it, when this publisher, whose work is mainly to develop good tastes in book-related matters, had no clue.
If we settle for generic tastes, mass-induced amalgamations and most common denominators, we will end up with AI translations and AI art and everybody will be pleased. Except for the artists, but who need those?
The problem is: will I be alone? The problem could be the same for visual arts very soon. Will we settle for the mediocre, the vaguely pleasing, the functional? The only difference is taste. It's a matter of taste. The one topic we say we shouldn't discuss.
Translator, writer and narrative designer with a bass guitar and a mean ttrpg collection. All cheese-related toots will be written in french.
A Mastodon server for RPG folks to hang out and talk. Not owned by a billionaire.