Icelandair Apologizes for Poor Icelandic Skip to content
Icelandair airplane
Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Icelandair Apologizes for Poor Icelandic

Icelandair has apologized for poor Icelandic translations, which were generated using AI, on its in-flight entertainment system. Vísir reports.

“Terrorism against the Icelandic language”

The poorly generated AI text came to light when María Helga Guðmundsdóttir was recently traveling.

María stated to Vísir that she has worked in the field of translation for two decades, and that not a single sentence passed even the lowest standard for comprehensible Icelandic. The original Vísir piece called the AI-generated text an “act of terrorism” against the language.

María claimed that certain mistakes in the machine translation showed that the AI had likely not even been trained on Icelandic, and that it raised concern for the future of the language for one of the nation’s flagship companies to cut corners like this.

May take time to fix

Icelandair was, however, quick to respond. “I’m not sure what what wrong there,” stated Guðni Sigurðsson, an information officer for the airline, to Vísir.

Guðni stated that the individuals responsible for the in-flight entertainment apologized. “It’s of course of great importance to use that passengers can read information in the in-flight entertainment system in proper Iceland,” Guðni stated. Guðni also said to Vísir that their in-flight entertainment is managed by an international provider.

“The information is processed by a translation agency,” Guðni continued. “And it’s clear that the translations in question do not meet our standards. We apologize to our passengers and are working to correct the text.”

The updates may, however, take some time. Guðni stated that the in-flight entertainment is only updated every three months, and that planes need to be updated individually. Correcting the poor Icelandic in question may take some time.

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