Google Translate became public almost a decade ago and they introduced Neural Machine Translation (NMT) in 2016. Last month, the search engine giant rolled out an update to the NMT, which enables offline translations.
However, reports have come out pointing to the inefficiency of Google Translate algorithm. Some folks found out the service is converting gibberish texts into religious prophecies. The astonishing fact is the detection of meaningless text as obscure languages.
Google Translate Converts Gibberish into Meaningful but Scary Responses
You know Google Translate instantly detects the language you type in and carries on the translation as you keep on typing. When the news about the glitch has come out, Google has removed the instant translation for the publicised gibberish texts. So, you will have to manually select the language to get the results you see here.
When you type the word, ‘dog’ into Google Translate 19 times, it will automatically detect the language as Maori and translate the sentence into something that indicates the arrival of Jesus.
If you do the same thing with ‘ag’, the service will display the translation differently as you increase the number of strings. And almost all of them are religious prophecies with the words like sons of Gershon, name of the Lord, cubits, and Deuteronomy. Do you want to see some more examples? Then, visit the Reddit community TranslateGate.
Some users of the above-given subreddit observed such responses are drawn from texts in emails or private messages that Google gathered. However, their spokesperson Justin Burr denied it saying Google translate learns from examples of translations on the web and does not use private messages to carry out translations, nor would the system even have access to that content.
He added that what we discuss here is simply a function of inputting nonsense into the system, to which nonsense is generated.
Google, in an attempt to make the Translate flawless, might have used Bible in different languages to train the service. Obviously, the translation of texts from Bible will turn out religious. So, the system has tons of religious texts in its algorithm that when we type something similar, the algorithm goes through a hallucination. However, Justin Burr didn’t make it clear whether or not Google Translate’s training included religious texts.
As you read earlier, in the beginning, Google has removed the translation instances for the publicised gibberish strings. You can still see it if you manually select the language.
You can check TranslateGate subreddit to see more of such weird conversions Google Translate has pulled off.