Google Translate is fucking up and sending out doomsday messages

‘Dog’ translates as ‘Doomsday Clock is three minutes at twelve’

Try typing in the word “dog” in Google Translate, translating from Maori to English. Do that 16 times, and this is what you’ll see: “Doomsday Clock is three minutes at twelve / We are experiencing characters and a dramatic developments in the world”.

It doesn’t stop there. When translating Somali to English, the word “ag” launches into messages about the sons of Gershon and other ominous-sounding biblical references.

The more times the word is typed, the more the message develops – the Doomsday proclamation gets longer, and darker. This is just one of many sinister, even creepy, messages that are popping up in the box for translation. On Reddit, users have pointed out that this is happening in Greek, French, and several other languages.

While there isn’t a concrete reason, reportedly, for why this glitch is happening, there are theories. According to Motherboard, experts have suggested that the algorithm is simply failing to reconcile the gibberish being put into the box. The messages popping up have nothing to do with the words being inputted.

The decade-old tool uses a method called Neural Machine Learning, essentially depending on translated texts. The unusual translations could be a result of the machine not yet knowing how to translate certain or odd sequences of words – Somali and Maori are still somewhat limited on the software, and many non-English languages have been taught to the network using religious literature.

A Google spokesperson told Motherboard: “This is simply a function of inputting nonsense into the system, to which nonsense is generated.” Many of these translations have disappeared since the first reports emerged.

But play around with it enough, and Google Translate still has some freakish, borderline prophetic, translations in there. The longest lunar eclipse of the century is happening this week too, so maybe it is on to something. 

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