Gizmodo en Espanol had a small but dedicated team who wrote original content tailored specifically for Spanish-speaking readers, as well as producing translations of Gizmodo's English articles. The site represented Gizmodo's first foray into international markets when it launched in 2012 after being acquired from Guanabee.
Now newly published articles on the site now contain a link to the English version of the article and a disclaimer stating (via our translation from Google Translate). Yep, Gizmodo en Espanol is not even using own of the more professional translation AIs but a "not bad but often needs serious editing" version churned out by Google.
As might be expected Gizmodo's pivot to AI translation has gone as smoothy as the first voyage of the Titanic. On social media site X, journalist and Gizmodo reader Victor Millan noted that some of the site's new articles abruptly switch from Spanish to English midway through, possibly due to glitches in the AI translation system.
For Spanish-speaking audiences seeking news about science, technology, and Internet culture, the loss of original reporting from Gizmodo en Espanol is potentially a major blow. And while AI translation technology has improved significantly over the past decade, it is no where near the point where it can fully replace human translators.
Subtle errors, mistranslations, and lack of cultural knowledge can impair the quality of automatically translated content. However, it is incredibly difficult to convince accounts in a "content creating industry" that it is rubbish. What it will take is a high profile court case where an AI translation creates a lot of hot water for a company.