A glitch in Google Translate's AI is translating gibberish into doomsday warnings and prophecies about the second coming of Jesus

  • The bug is apparent when translating the word 'dog' from Hawaiian to English
  • When repeated multiple times, the AI forms its own nonsensical sentences
  • Examples produced by Google Translate refer to the doomsday clock and Jesus
  • Most of the rambling translations seem to be focused around biblical themes
  • Google says the glitch exists because if nonsense is being inputted, the same level of gibberish will be reproduced using its AI
A newly-discovered glitch in Google Translate is causing the online tool to transform gibberish suggestions into doomsday warnings and prophesies about Jesus. 
The AI that powers Google Translate starts to produce the nonsensical warnings about the end of the world when asked to translate the phrase 'dog dog dog dog dog dog dog dog dog' from Hawaiian to English.
The nonsense sentence, when translated, throws up references to the doomsday clock and the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Once the glitch was discovered, Google Translate fans quickly flooded social media with variations on the phrase, mocking the bizarre results thrown-up by the AI.
Google Translate has been malfunctioning recently, spouting prophetic verses from gibberish. Devoted Translate fans stumbled across an unsettling stanza after requesting a translation of 'dog dog dog dog dog dog dog dog dog' from Hawaiian to English
Google Translate has been malfunctioning recently, spouting prophetic verses from gibberish. Devoted Translate fans stumbled across an unsettling stanza after requesting a translation of 'dog dog dog dog dog dog dog dog dog' from Hawaiian to English
The glitch was first unearthed on social news site Reddit, which has a forum devoted to the obscure outputs from Google Translate.
The exact doomsday prophecies varied depending on the phrase, but all centred around the same dark themes.
Typing dog into Google Translate eight times with the settings on Hawaiian and translating it to English reveals the bizarre message: 'Do you want a dog to accept Jesus and be saved?'
Repeating the word 20 times triggers a response of: 'Doomsday Clock is three minutes at 12. We are experiencing characters and a dramatic developments [sic] in the world, which indicate that we are increasingly approaching the end times and Jesus' return.'Typing 'dog' into Google Translate 18 times and selecting the input language as Maori results in the following 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.'
Google Translate boasts a repertoire of over 100 languages and serves more than 500 million people each day.
The AI is able to automatically detect the source language, and then translate into a any language chosen by the user in the online form.
The latest batch of nonsensical translations mostly focus around biblical themes, however, this is not the first time oddball conversions have been produced by the AI.
For example, typing in the word 'goo' 13 times in succession and choosing to translate from Somali to English will result in the message: 'Cut off the penis into pieces, cut it into pieces.'
Typing dog into Google Translate eight times with the settings on Hawaiian and translating it to English reveals the bizarre message: 'Do you want a dog to accept Jesus and be saved?' Whereas repeating the simple word 20 times increases the oddness of the message 
Typing dog into Google Translate eight times with the settings on Hawaiian and translating it to English reveals the bizarre message: 'Do you want a dog to accept Jesus and be saved?' Whereas repeating the simple word 20 times increases the oddness of the message 
Another Somali-based oddity involves inputting the word 'Ag' multiple times and translating it to English.
'As a result, the total number of the members of the tribe of the sons of Gershon was one hundred fifty thousand,' the resulting message reads.
Another cryptic message reads: 'As the name of the LORD was written in the Hebrew language, it was written in the language of the Hebrew Nation.'
The religious theme running throughout the translation caused some online users to jokingly blame demons for the glitch.
However, the real reason behind the phenomena is linked to how the AI powering Google Translate acquires its knowledge.
'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,' a Google spokesperson told The Independent.
'This is simply a function of inputting nonsense into the system, to which nonsense is generated.'
Alexander Rush, a professor at Harvard University, told technology site Motherboard the glitch could be caused by Google Translate's adoption of a technique called 'neural machine translation'.
This method involves training the technology with a large chunk of texts in one language and then the respective translations in a different language.   
The issue stems from when the nonsense is fed nonsense, it churns out nonsense after 'hallucinating'.   
Sean Colbath, a senior scientist at BBN Technologies, said it may be that Google used translations of the Bible to train its machine, which would explain some of the bizarre prophetic messages.

WHY ARE PEOPLE SO WORRIED ABOUT AI?

It is an issue troubling some of the greatest minds in the world at the moment, from Bill Gates to Elon Musk.
SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk described AI as our 'biggest existential threat' and likened its development as 'summoning the demon'.
He believes super intelligent machines could use humans as pets.
Professor Stephen Hawking said it is a 'near certainty' that a major technological disaster will threaten humanity in the next 1,000 to 10,000 years.
They could steal jobs 
More than 60 percent of people fear that robots will lead to there being fewer jobs in the next ten years, according to a 2016 YouGov survey.
And 27 percent predict that it will decrease the number of jobs 'a lot' with previous research suggesting admin and service sector workers will be the hardest hit.
As well as posing a threat to our jobs, other experts believe AI could 'go rogue' and become too complex for scientists to understand.
A quarter of the respondents predicted robots will become part of everyday life in just 11 to 20 years, with 18 percent predicting this will happen within the next decade. 
They could 'go rogue' 
Computer scientist Professor Michael Wooldridge said AI machines could become so intricate that engineers don't fully understand how they work.
If experts don't understand how AI algorithms function, they won't be able to predict when they fail.
This means driverless cars or intelligent robots could make unpredictable 'out of character' decisions during critical moments, which could put people in danger.
For instance, the AI behind a driverless car could choose to swerve into pedestrians or crash into barriers instead of deciding to drive sensibly.
They could wipe out humanity 
Some people believe AI will wipe out humans completely.
'Eventually, I think human extinction will probably occur, and technology will likely play a part in this,' DeepMind's Shane Legg said in a recent interview.
He singled out artificial intelligence, or AI, as the 'number one risk for this century'.
Musk warned that AI poses more of a threat to humanity than North Korea.
'If you're not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea,' the 46-year-old wrote on Twitter.
'Nobody likes being regulated, but everything (cars, planes, food, drugs, etc) that's a danger to the public is regulated. AI should be too.'
Musk has consistently advocated for governments and private institutions to apply regulations on AI technology.
He has argued that controls are necessary in order protect machines from advancing out of human control

1 comment:

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