Interpreting SAFE-AI Task Force Launches With a Mission to Guide Ethical Use of AI in Language Interpretation

On Thursday, September 14, the Interpreting SAFE-AI Task Force, representing a cross-section of expertise in interpreting and language access, officially launched and initiated its mission of framing best practices for the use of AI in language interpretation. 

In the wake of discussions on AI policy between tech magnates, including Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, and the bipartisan leadership of the United States Senate, the Interpreting SAFE-AI Task Force met to finalize its 45-member Stakeholder Assembly, introduce its bylaws, and launch a pivotal Perception Survey aimed at gauging the market's views on AI-driven language interpretation. The Task Force is poised to recommend best practices and regulations for AI in language services by 2024.

Following senate discussions, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer warned, "We also need help from those who are asking tough questions, who care about developing safeguards to minimize AI's risks." 

Echoing the Senate Majority Leader's appeal for diligent AI safeguards, the Task Force is strategically positioned to prioritize end-users' genuine needs over commercial or employment-centered considerations through a Perception Survey. This project is made possible by the fundraising efforts of the initial SAFE-AI workgroup. The work will be carried out by CSA Research and divided into two separate surveys:

  1. End-User Survey: "Automated Interpreting - Perceptions from Actual Users of Interpreting Services." This survey will be made available in American Sign Language and 10 spoken languages.
  2. Survey for All Other Audiences: "Automated Interpreting - Perceptions from the Market."

The Task Force will use the output to assess the state of acceptance in the market and expectations from the various stakeholder groups and recommend reasonable guardrails to mitigate risk and harm in health care, the justice system, and other key areas where language access is critical.

The 45-member Stakeholder Assembly is a diverse mix including Star Grieser, CEO of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID); Ludmila Golovine, CEO of Masterword, a language services company; and Andy Schwieter, Director of Language Access Services at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, who points out that "8% of Americans use languages other than English when seeking health care. AI could improve their access to that care, but we must ensure it is used safely. Communication mistakes in health care can harm patients."

According to Dr. Bill Rivers, interim Chair of the SAFE-AI task force, "[a] remarkable diversity of stakeholders came together today, from the interpreters in ASL and spoken languages, to language companies, to health care providers and state governments, and more, to create a unified voice on how to understand and shape the use of AI in language access." Star Grieser adds, "This work will help shape the future of our American Sign Language interpreting profession and also to serve to protect our consumers and communities - especially those who are among the most vulnerable within the Deaf, hard of hearing, DeafBlind, ASL-using people in all their diversity."

For more details or to participate in the Task Force's initiatives, visit

Source: Interpreting SAFE-AI Task Force