Google Translate's Mongolia Service Goes Horribly Wrong

from The Diplomat

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No Mongolian speaker would think of their language as gobbledygook but a Google glitch made it so.


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javidcf requested a fact check

The only source for the article is a Facebook page in Russian (I could not find the post, but I would not know how to search for it). After doing a couple of quick tests myself I could not replicate the behavior. Has anyone else reported this? Has Google said anything about it? Has it been fixed, maybe?


1 vote
tagged an exaggeration
No Mongolian speaker would think of their language as gobbledygook but a Google glitch made it so.

Google isn't marking or detecting goobledygook as Mongolian. This is a simple case of Garbage In - Garbage Out. The user typed in nonsensical text and told Google translate that it's Mongolian. A more accurate (but less sensational) headline might be "Google Translate fails to correctly reject nonsensical input claimed by the user to be Mongolian".


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tagged related information
That said, there is no telling what this function actually represents: a developer’s joke, a fried microchip, or some amazing advance of computer intellect

It represents the age old principle of Garbage in, garbage out.


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tagged a misleading statement
After all, didn’t we recently learn that Facebook had to shut down robots after they seem to have developed their own language?

Facebook shut down their chat bots because the goal was the create chatbots that could communicate with humans, but because of a shortcoming in the way they were trained they started producing sentences like "balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me". As the researcher explained: But since Facebook's team assigned no reward for conducting the trades in English, the chatbots quickly developed their own terms for deals. "There was no reward to sticking to English language," Dhruv Batra, Facebook researcher, told FastCo. "Agents will drift off understandable language and invent codewords for themselves. "Like if I say ‘the’ five times, you interpret that to mean I want five copies of this item. This isn’t so different from the way communities of humans create shorthands."