Forecasting erroneous neural machine translation of disease symptoms : Development of Bayesian probabilistic classifiers for cross-lingual health translation

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number9873
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number18
Online published19 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

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Abstract

Background: Machine translation (MT) technologies have increasing applications in health-care. Despite their convenience, cost-effectiveness, and constantly improved accuracy, research shows that the use of MT tools in medical or healthcare settings poses risks to vulnerable populations. Objectives: We aimed to develop machine learning classifiers (MNB and RVM) to forecast nuanced yet significant MT errors of clinical symptoms in Chinese neural MT outputs. Methods: We screened human translations of MSD Manuals for information on self-diagnosis of infectious diseases and produced their matching neural MT outputs for subsequent pairwise quality assessment by trained bilingual health researchers. Different feature optimisation and normalisation techniques were used to identify the best feature set. Results: The RVM classifier using optimised, normalised (L2 normalisation) semantic features achieved the highest sensitivity, specificity, AUC, and accuracy. MNB achieved similar high performance using the same optimised semantic feature set. The best probability threshold of the best performing RVM classifier was found at 0.6, with a very high positive likelihood ratio (LR+) of 27.82 (95% CI: 3.99, 193.76), and a low negative likelihood ratio (LR−) of 0.19 (95% CI: 0.08, 046), suggesting the high diagnostic utility of our model to predict the probabilities of erroneous MT of disease symptoms to help reverse potential inaccurate self-diagnosis of diseases among vulnerable people without adequate medical knowledge or an ability to ascertain the reliability of MT outputs. Conclusion: Our study demonstrated the viability, flexibility, and efficiency of introducing machine learning models to help promote risk-aware use of MT technologies to achieve optimal, safer digital health outcomes for vulnerable people.

Research Area(s)

  • Digital healthcare services, Health/medical translation, Machine learning, Machine translation, Symptoms translation, Vulnerable people

Citation Format(s)

Forecasting erroneous neural machine translation of disease symptoms : Development of Bayesian probabilistic classifiers for cross-lingual health translation. / Ji, Meng; Xie, Wenxiu; Huang, Riliu; Qian, Xiaobo.

In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 18, No. 18, 9873, 09.2021.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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