As we have shown in the first part, automatic text verification systems aim to become useful resources. However, these applications are by definition tools that help in writing, and they should never replace the human proofreader, especially if the goal is publishing. Until now, there were a lot of questions that technology could not face.
Where should we focus our attention?
We cannot trust technology when text revision involves a comprehensive and careful reading in order to find ambiguous sentences or inconsistencies from the author (e.g. changing in a story the name of the same character), or decide whether a footnote would be necessary, etc.
Apart from this, we must give attention to another type of revision. It is called conceptual or technical revision, and it consists in examining the text to see if it conforms to the terminological conventions which are typical of the related subject. In fact, this task should not be assigned to a specialist in spelling and style, but rather to a specialist in the given subject (a physician for a handbook of medicine, an engineer for a technical text, etc.).
Despite these facts, we must note that language technologies specialists have begun to handle information on a semantic basis. Examples of this are the recognition of anaphoras and coreferences. We believe that, in the near future, there will be major advances in the detection of certain lexical ambiguities or misuses.
Why should publishing professionals make use of automatic proofreading?
We assume that revising a text is a time-consuming task. Thus, we believe that publishing professionals can go a step further, and not just confine themselves to the process of looking for information in dictionaries, grammars, and other reference books. The new automatic proofreading systems are certainly helpful:
- You can save time on tedious tasks that the proofreader can perform easily.
- You can focus your efforts on activities that involve human processing.
- You can improve the quality of the final revision.
- You will have more time left to meet the tight deadlines imposed by the publisher.
[English version of ¿Qué aporta la corrección automática al profesional de la edición? (parte 2)]