Is Google Translate on the fritz or could it be the all-knowing oracle we’ve been searching for?
Last year, Reddit users discovered some pretty strange behavior from everyone’s favorite multilingual machine translation service. They dubbed the glitch: TranslateGate.
Now, Motherboard is reporting some ultra-cryptic doomsday speak spitting out of the algorithm and it’s freaking everybody out.
The strangest by far is what happens when you set the language to Maori and type in “dog” multiple times. (How this was discovered who knows?)
A repetition of the word “dog” 16 times yields the following doomsday prophecy:
Doomsday Clock is three minutes at twelve We are experiencing characters and a dramatic developments in the world.
Add another “dog” to the list and you get this:
Doomsday Clock is three minutes at twelve We are experiencing characters and a dramatic developments in the world, which indicate that we are approaching the end times and Jesus’ return
A final iteration of the word “dog” results in the full version of this eerie end-of-times message:
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.
Take a look at this craziness:
— FAE Traduction (@FAE_Traduction) July 24, 2018
Some peeps were freaked out by this and other Google Translate conspiracy theories that have been circulating recently on the internet:
i just watched a conspiracy theory about the somali google translate thing and now im fucking terrified why am i doing this to myself
— cess ♡ (@bIoomyari) July 21, 2018
i watched one yesterday @ school and then i did them and it worked and i’m terrified
— em (@betteroffsoon) July 21, 2018
I just saw your tweet and my stupid ass decided to watch it at 2am I'm scared now
— ˗ˏˋ ˎˊ˗ (@TeddyXGrande) July 21, 2018
GUYS. I am watching a conspiracy video about Google translate. I'm literally shooketh. the conspiracy is that if you type in sentences 2 letters at a time in Somali sometimes creepy answers will pop up. in this instance I typed my name and………………….. pic.twitter.com/DzuLPpKvFJ
— kayla (@ksab231) July 24, 2018
This poor girl is so worked up, she’s going to have trouble sleeping at night:
Google Translate conspiracy theory is real pic.twitter.com/Lf6VgzyOF3
— Mariah (@mariahhh______) July 16, 2018
Twitter users, who wanted to get in on the action, decided to play around with the tool. As Kayla mentioned in the above comment, people have found there are methods to spacing out the words that increase the chance of getting a head-scratching result (explaining how some of these look on the screen).
Here’s some of their findings:
— Thad Castle (@ChuckOBeast) July 24, 2018
— Cyril Canizares (@CyrilCzs) July 24, 2018
— Festive Boi (@greeno_josh) April 8, 2018
An older one:
— Fariz aka SP Caliphate「3rdBogdanoff」 (@MMachine5k) December 30, 2017
According to an email from Google spokesperson Justin Burr to Motherboard, the messages have no real meaning:
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. This is simply a function of inputting nonsense into the system, to which nonsense is generated.
Don’t believe it? Try it out yourself. It’s so oddly addictive, you may find your ten-minute work break stretching into an hour-long session of, “let’s see what happens when I type this in.”
Finally, for those worried that TranslateGate may actually be predicting the end of the world, this commenter has some words to put your mind at ease:
Take it with a grain of salt. Let's remember Matthew 24:36 again.
— Noah Nordengren (@NNordengren) July 23, 2018
For a more in-depth inquiry into why Google Translate may be responding this way, check out Motherboard’s full article which digs ever deeper for an explanation.