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The Robot Interpreter

I recently heard a fellow interpreter on the witness stand for the first time. Of course, I was curious, and as I heard the first rendition come out of her mouth, my reaction was “wow, she’s good!” In fact, for a moment I even thought she was using sim-consec, the technique by which you combine simultaneous and consecutive interpreting modes with the aid of a special pen and notepad. Basically, while you take your notes the pen acts as a recorder, and you can play back from any point in the recorded event, listening through earbuds connected to the pen. One of the manufacturers of this “smartpen” technology, describes it like this: Real ink on real paper is immediately digitized and transcribed in the Livescribe+ app where they can be stored, shared, tagged, and searched, making notes more useful than ever before. The app can also record audio and sync it to notes taken at that time in the form of a pencast.

Well, as it t