Steven Schwaitzberg

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Steven Schwaitzberg
Posted almost 2 years ago
Steven Schwaitzberg: A universal translator for surgeons
This is only a beginning . You are right none of these modes are exclusive. We do need to build trust in person and build on that anyway we can ---- interpreters , machines translators, anything to keep the dialogue going. This research is not about the state off the art today, it's about tomorrow. If we get hung up on the state of the art today we will be missing a million opportunities in our futures. Alan Kay ( Xerox PARC) said it best, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it. "
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Steven Schwaitzberg
Posted almost 2 years ago
Steven Schwaitzberg: A universal translator for surgeons
Quite agree ...we have found that there is a huge cadre of surgeon in India whose e English is perfect. We can teach, converse and even examine in those settings without a hitch. There are other pockets like that where much of medicine is in English such as Saudi Arabia, Isreal or Singapore just to new a few .......but it's a big world out there......
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Steven Schwaitzberg
Posted almost 2 years ago
Steven Schwaitzberg: A universal translator for surgeons
Eleonore - I have have taught surgery in many places around the world. The enormity of the gap and the disparity both in clinical expertise and access to care we would consider the standard in the US( without even getting to exotic) is far beyond what you realize. Unless you have traveled these paths and talked to the surgeons, doctors and nurses as I have who are eager to learn and at the same time have a few things to teach us your vitriol seems particualry uninformed. We do teach the teachers and we do teach the practicioners and we struggle with the language. The army of imagined trained medical interpreters simply does not exist. I work in a safety net hosptial and sometimes more than half of my patients do not speak english. Yes we use phone service, and some video service when face to face is not available, but we still have needs in spite of that. I agree todays technology is not yet good enough, thats why I gave this talk to show a protoype with all its imperfections, but the volume of material that needs to be translated exceeds your imagination especially when you multiply the numbers of languages. We need to devote resources to fill the unmet needs. Finally it you had any idea who many thousands and thousands of hours have been DONATED by SAGES surgeons all over the world creating the educational programs and teaching surgery in countries and cities and towns large and small you would be ASHAMED of your comment. No surgeon makes a dime, and the society struggles to break even on the programs like FLS. I have no financial stake in the project I spoke about. We do it to improve patient care and clinical outcomes. Most recently a SAGES team went to Africa to discuss with leaders there how we might assist with the education of their trainees. feel free to go to www.sages.org
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Steven Schwaitzberg
Posted almost 2 years ago
Steven Schwaitzberg: A universal translator for surgeons
You have outlined key challenges especially in realtime environments One thing that may help is applying these techniques to recorded video that might allow the speaker to review the captioning before translations. We are at the infancy of this work, but I remember the day I flipped open my Star Tac cell phone and called a friend in Japan 7 thousand miles away . When I got off the call I was ready to say "beam me up Scotty" I am not discounting the immense value of human interpreters, but this work needs to get done as well.
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Steven Schwaitzberg
Posted almost 2 years ago
Steven Schwaitzberg: A universal translator for surgeons
Constantina - I apologive for my simplification for the audience.. YOU have it exactly right . Human interpret - machines can only translate. The unmet needs are so great we need more of both. WHile we can refine the lexicons to be very good with a lot of hard work, the cultural competency that interpreters bring to the table will remain unmatched for many years to come if ever.