Google Translate’s Been Doing Weird Shit & A Reddit Group Is Investigating

I think most of us can agree that Google Translate isn’t exactly the most accurate tool when it comes to understanding something written in a language unfamiliar to you, but when it starts spitting out weirdly religious prophecies, maybe we need to start being concerned.

[jwplayer ufxzSg8Y]

As Motherboard reports, folks on Reddit have discovered a strange glitch where certain phrases are translated in a creepy way. For example, if you type “dog” in 19 times and translate it from Maori to English, it’ll serve up this little nugget of information.

“Doomsday Clock is three minutes at twelve We are experiencing characters and a dramatic developments in the world, which indicate that we are increasingly approaching the end times and Jesus‘ return,” it reads. 

I gave it a whirl for myself and sure enough, I got the same garbled bullshit.

Hmm, interesting way for God to deliver a warning. Just say it to my face, mate.

If you’re keen to dive headfirst into conspiracy theories about Google Translate’s penchant for cryptic messages, I have some good news for you. There’s an entire subreddit called TranslateGate that’s dedicated to the bizarre findings, many of which mention biblical terms like “cubits” and Deuteronomy, as well as straight-up spitting out “LORD”.

While folks have their own theories about the weird translations – including ghosts and demons – TranslateGate thinks it could be due to text gathered from emails or private messages. Google has told Motherboard this isn’t the case and that it’s “simply a function of inputting nonsense into the system, to which nonsense is generated”.

But the more likely explanation is down to something called neural machine translation, which behaves a little bit like Google DeepDream. Like the trippy visuals produced when the latter accentuates patterns, Translate is probably just doing the same thing, but with text. Why it’s weirdly religious, though, is not confirmed, but it could be because Google trains its algorithm with biblical texts, something they declined to comment on, Motherboard says.

Whichever way you slice it, it sure is some wacky shit.