Hello! Add a chat auto translator for Global chat please!

Case number:845818-2009271
Topic:Game: Social
Opened by:donuts554
Opened on:Saturday, March 28, 2020 - 21:17
Last modified:Friday, April 3, 2020 - 02:54

Hello! My name is donuts554. I request to have a chat auto translator in the Foldit global chat!

This can possibly go for all of the other chats, as there are also Foldit Veterans who do not speak fluent English, especially someone in my group, so this should apply to all chats, but the Global chat, which is the biggest chat, is of the highest priority. But one chat is still not enough, as all of the chats are technically global chats.

The Foldit Global chat interface we have functioning in March 2020 is not working properly. The very purpose of a Global chat is to communicate to other players around the world without any harmful difficulty in the medium that the information is transmitted through. But, in the Global chat we have now, people around the world can not understand each other when they try to speak different languages. This is a major problem, and I would have labeled this as a bug, as this is not a true Global chat, and is mostly an English chat.

The solution I am suggesting to resolve this problem is an Auto-Translator! Here are the details to my solution:

The purpose of this Auto-Translator is to have all of the messages in the chat to be auto-translated into a set language that can be changed in the General Options or any other form of Foldit Settings in the form of a drop-down menu where you can pick and choose the language you want all of the messages to be translated into.
The software for the auto-translation can either be from a third-party source or natively made by the Foldit developers. Volunteers can also translate some common words and phrases including but not limited to “what”, “puzzle”, “helixes”, “segment score”, “hydrogen bond”, etc. The languages I would strongly suggest to be a set language are the ones that are in the list of the “Translations of Foldit” page, because those translations are not truly translated. The chat isn’t.
Also, the Chat Auto-Translator itself can be disabled and enabled in the General Options or any other form of Foldit Settings.

One reason I strongly suggest a chat Auto-Translator is for future anti-bullying problems. People can bully others in a different language and this would be a huge disadvantage to English speaking moderators.
For example, when I was at Foldit at March 2020, a German called another person a cockroach in German, but I didn’t know who the person was referring to.
Also, a group of people who do not speak English can target one English-speaking Foldit player, or even an English-speaking moderator! This would make the chat a very hazardous place to type in, and directly contradicts the purpose of those chats.

Also, people who do not speak English are very underrepresented and misrepresented by being ignored by other Foldit players.
For example, there was this one person who spoke poor English and needed help for a beginner puzzle in Global chat in Foldit in March 2020. Even though he spoke his urgently needed questions in English, no one in the Global chat answered him, as I was away from the keyboard going on some important errands at the time. By the time I had gotten back, it had been 30 minutes since he had asked the question, and he was offline. This represents the loss of a potential Foldit solution that could have contributed to the diversity of the solutions in Foldit. This problem can be resolved by having the chat auto- translator reword the parts of the problem so that it is easier to understand.

Additionally, another reason I strongly suggest a chat Auto-Translator is that you get to respond to another person’s question who does not speak the same language quickly, especially for Moderators who like to answer a lot of questions.
People who know what they are typing type faster than those who do not.
For example, In March 2020, I could not stop a group of Germans from revealing their own ages in time, because I had to tediously translate each message into English. If that one German person had asked for something more personal, the situation could have unfolded in a more harmful and cataclysmic way. Plus, a group of Germans type really fast in German, so it would be almost impossible to translate every single message into English in time before another couple messages pop up in the chat.

Furthermore, another reason I strongly suggest a chat Auto-Translator is that you can automatically correct accidental typos. Even though this seems like a minor problem in English, but when dealing with translating other languages, it is a major one at that field. A single typo has the potential to dramatically alter a meaning into something that was not intended, and this typo correction should come before auto-translation. This typo problem can cause the auto-translator to output nonsense words or possibly swear words that the foreign language speaker did not intend to speak.

In addition, another reason I strongly suggest a chat Auto-Translator is that you may also change the words in to synonyms of different tones, like what Grammarly does to your messages.
(Grammarly is like a way better version of that auto-correct your typed messages. Please search it up on Google to see more details.)

Moderators sometimes speak too harshly, honestly.
For example, in March 2020, in the Foldit Global chat, I was talking to an Italian person who only spoke Italian and was repeatedly speaking in all capital letters, such as “COVID-19 vs. PENICILLINA” (PENICILLINA is Penicillin, the first anti-biotic medicine)
repeatedly in the Global chat.
(I do not remember whether the “vs.” part was lowercase or uppercase, but it seemed likely that it would be tedious to switch between capital and lowercase letters.)
I then told the Italian player in Italian to “stop typing capital letters or my ears will explode”. The player then said “si” in lowercase letters, meaning “yes” in English. After I said so, a moderator then threatened to remove him/her from the chat if he/she didn’t start speaking in more lowercase letters. The Italian player then said “ok sorry”. I then responded to the moderator that he didn’t have to be that harsh by saying “you don’t have to be that much”, so that I would not make the moderator angry.
The above example shows that some Foldit players who break the Foldit community rules do not always have a harsh personality, and maybe because of the influence of other chatting environments in their foreign country.

Also, another reason I strongly suggest a chat Auto-Translator is that it can automatically censor bad words or possibly censor spam from bots or other advertisers, and possibly personal info and automatically convert uppercase letters into lowercase letters.
This would enforce the Foldit community rules at “ fold.it/portal/community rules “, by preventing any of those bad things from happening in the first place. This prevention is very beneficial, because this would also mean less people being removed by chat moderators, and therefore there would be more players in Foldit, and therefore encourage more diversity in the solutions in Foldit.

There is also the possibility that chat moderators can accidentally remove players, and this problem can possibly be resolved by a chat Auto-translator. Accidentally removing players is a very inconvenient problem, and the Auto-Translator can remove players with a reason by detecting whether they had violated the Foldit community rules. I propose this possibility as a possible next step for the Auto-Translator, not as an initial step, because this Auto-Translator can also mis-function.

In addition, sometimes moderators are inactive and busy, and people could break the community rules without being dealt with. This problem can also be resolved by having the chat auto-translator also function as a sort of chat auto-moderator as well, by the process as stated by the paragraph above this one.

Additionally, another reason is that notifications are in English. The chat auto-translator can automatically translate those notifications into the set language.

Some people encourage talking to other professional players who speak the same foreign language, but this is a bad idea. One of the reasons to this is that those professional players are mostly inactive. I have not seen much of those players talk in Foldit either.

Furthermore, another reason is that this auto-translator has the potential to automatically answer frequently asked questions (FAQs), that are simple at first. This relieves others from tiringly having to repeatedly answer those same questions with the same answer.

In addition, another reason is that this chat auto-translator has the potential to be an automatic clickable url shortener. An automatic clickable url shortener automatically turn helpful urls into clickable, short urls. Some of the people reading this might wonder that it would make harmful urls clickable too. But this auto-translator has the potential to also block harmful-urls in a blacklist. Therefore, I strongly recommend that the auto-shortener should only work for whitelisted urls. The idea for an automatic clickable url shortener has also been supported by Susume, a professional Foldit player who is also a moderator.

For example, in March 2020, the user Tlaloc has posted a series of YouTube urls in the Global chat to resolve the beginner’s problems. But, all of those urls were un-clickable and long, so they were white and were cut off by the right-hand border of the Global chat. Tlaloc is contributed a series of very helpful recipes to Foldit and was trying to be a helpful player. I do not want useful help for beginners to be suppressed in Foldit.

Additionally, urls are long nonsense strings of letters and numbers, that the beginners might not understand. This chat auto-translator can turn the nonsense urls into actual clickable words that would shorten the urls. This is like the clickable Foldit usernames in the Foldit chats, where clicking on the player’s username redirects into that respective player’s home page. This would make Foldit players more human-like and not robotic too.

For example, a moderator had posted a url to the Intro Puzzles page in the Foldit Fandom wiki. It was only after I said that the page contained some helpful tips and videos that the beginner players who needed help said “Thanks you!” in gratitude to the moderator’s help.

Also, the use of third-party url shorteners and translators is tedious and the third-party software can possibly record information that was not meant to be recorded into their databases.

The reasons above show that this one auto-translator can solve multiple major and minor problems at once, hitting a whole aviary of birds with one stone! This auto-translator can also be a virtual moderator, clickable url shortener, and as a grammar rewriting software in multiple languages!

I strongly encourage for any questions, concerns, and comments for me to reconsider any of my statements, and I will try to resolve them as soon as possible. Major problems must be prevented, not resolved when they happen. This goes the same for any problems in what I am saying in my Feedback description. Thanks!

Thank you for thoroughly reading this! I am looking forward for this suggestion to be integrated into Foldit’s software in the future! :D

From, donuts554.

(Sat, 03/28/2020 - 21:17  |  3 comments)

joshmiller's picture
User offline. Last seen 9 hours 10 sec ago. Offline
Joined: 09/08/2017
Groups: Foldit Staff

Thanks for the idea donuts! I've added this to the list of feature requests, I will do my best to honor this request when possible!

Joined: 06/20/2019
Groups: Go Science

You are welcome! Thank you for adding it your list! This auto-translator will help us connect with other Foldit players around the globe, so I hope it gets added as soon as possible so the major problems I have listed are prevented.

Joined: 06/20/2019
Groups: Go Science

Hello! Is it OK for me to revise this and re-post the revised post in Feedback again? Now, there are several inaccuracies in my post, and that I've learned to use HTML tags to make my text a lot more readable.

This is a very urgent issue, so I would like someone to reply to this comment as soon as possible, or you can send me a Private Message.

Another reason I would like for this to be revised and re-posted is that I would like to answer any questions that other veterans or beginners have about my idea, and resolve any inaccuracies in my idea. I want this idea to be as convenient as it can possibly be, so that it would not start any more harmful problems later in the future, once the developers finish integrating my feature request into Foldit.

I also strongly encourage any suggestions on any alternate solutions to this problem. To me, my solution sounds very convenient once it has been put into action, but seems very inconvenient in the process of putting it into action. So, I would like any suggestions to be posted here or directly to me through a Private Message.


Developed by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Institute for Protein Design, Northeastern University, Vanderbilt University Meiler Lab, UC Davis
Supported by: DARPA, NSF, NIH, HHMI, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, Boehringer Ingelheim, RosettaCommons