Google Translate Is Doing Something Incredibly Sinister And It Looks Like We're All Doomed


Dr. Katie Spalding

Katie has a PhD in maths, specializing in the intersection of dynamical systems and number theory.

Freelance Writer


wichai wongjongjaiha/Shutterstock / @sachgau

We all know our AI is infested with demons by now, right? Whether it's Alexa giggling like a serial killer and talking to the dead, or Google predicting your death down to the day, it seems humans have got used to our creepy supernatural robot overlords pretty quickly. But despite – or maybe because of – our flamethrower-less reactions to the obvious warning signs, the spooky messages from the online ouija board have only gotten worse – and the latest is no exception.

The bad news: the world is ending. Sorry about that.


The worse news: we had to find out from Google Translate.

Necromancers of the Internet (OK, Redditors) noticed a glitch recently where typing "dog" 19 times into Google's translation software and switching the input language to Maori reveals the following bone-chilling prophecy:

"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."

Thanks, Google.


This isn't the only evidence that Skynet knows something we don't (and has, for some reason, chosen a few obscure Google translations to reveal it to us). If you try translating "ag" from  Somali to English, you get a series of what at this point we can only assume must be last-minute warnings before the End Times:


One brave Redditor tried translating "prophecy", presumably as a direct challenge to Google's all-knowing doomsday machine. The results were... not reassuring.


And it turns out translating "dw" gives us something ironically very worrying indeed.


Despite these sinister proclamations, tech specialists say there's no reason for alarm.


"Nothing untoward has happened to Google translate, and we're not going to die in some sort of digitally foretold apocalypse," Chris Boyd, security analyst at Malwarebytes, told IFLScience. "Translate uses a neural machine translation reliant on absorbing huge slices of text in one language, alongside the relevant translation in another... Languages which tend to have smaller amounts of translated texts to pair off against are generally the ones most responsible for the weirdest translations."

But why the prophecies of Armageddon, rather than, say, a gentle dadaist roasting? It's all down to which texts Google has at hand, explained Boyd.

"Google translate is doing what it can and trying to pair off against whatever texts it does have in those less common languages. 

"This is where the potentially apocalyptic text comes in – religious texts including the Bible exist in all the languages causing the oddities, and this would potentially explain some of the more esoteric messages being fired out. Only Google would be able to pin down the exact reason, but I don't think we need to run screaming into the streets just yet."


[H/T: Motherboard]


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