Incident 532: AI translation is jeopardizing Afghan asylum claims

Description: A Pashto-speaking refugee's asylum claim was denied by a US agency for a discrepancy between oral and written recount of an event allegedly due to an error of their automated translation tool which swapped pronouns of her written statement from "I" to "we".


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Khoa Lam

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AI translation is jeopardizing Afghan asylum claims · 2023

In 2020, Uma Mirkhail got a firsthand demonstration of how damaging a bad translation can be.

A crisis translator specializing in Afghan languages, Mirkhail was working with a Pashto-speaking refugee who had fled Afghanistan. A U.S. court h…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.