WeChat apologizes after turning 'black foreigner' into racial slur

Chinese messaging app error sees n-word used in translation

Chinese messaging app error sees n-word used in translation

Chinese messaging app WeChat has apologized after translating a neutral word meaning black foreigner in Chinese into a racial slur in English. A WeChat spokesperson added that the engine was constantly being refined to provide "more accurate, faithful, expressive, and elegant" results.

Such systems are notorious for incorporating the biases and errors of the data sources on which they are trained, which appears to be what occurred here.

In the example James provided, the offending sentence read "the nigger's still late".

"I know there's a lot of curiosity and a lot of ignorance about black people [in China]", said James, who was quick to emphasize that she loves the country she's called home for five years.

Upom experiencing disgust, James learned that the Chinese phrase "hei laowai" was a neutral expression, not profanity. "I just think that we need to have more open discussion between Chinese people and black people".

That's nice and all, but the real question here is why is the word even in the translator? She told SixthTone that she was unsurprised by the error. "If you're a black person in China, you've come up against some craziness", she said.

According to The Guardian, the app, which serves nearly 900 million users said that the slur was a result of the artificial intelligence software that translates between Chinese and English.

James said she was pleased by WeChat's response. Google's own translation product, widely seen as the best on the market, can offer up problematic outputs.

Notícias recomendadas

  • Cody High student arrested for making threats

    Cody High student arrested for making threats

    Brunswick school officials say parents notified police and the school district when they saw the threat on Snapchat. Eby and Culler stressed that no threat was ever made or received by any school in the district.

    The Latest Oasis Petroleum Inc. (OAS) Insider Trading Activity

    The formula is calculated by looking at companies that have a high earnings yield as well as a high return on invested capital. Jefferies Group issued their Q4 2017 earnings estimates for Oasis Petroleum in a research note issued to investors on Monday.
    Grandfather finds missing $24m lottery ticket in old shirt after last-minute reminder

    Grandfather finds missing $24m lottery ticket in old shirt after last-minute reminder

    The ticket was about to expire and officials were hopeful the victor would come forward. The 68-year-old retired security officer won the jackpot for a drawing on May 25, 2016.
  • Mexico in must win tie against wounded Chile

    Mexico in must win tie against wounded Chile

    Which will be the second team from Group-F: Iraq or Mexico? They went on to suffer a narrow 2-3 reverse against England. The South Americans have conceded seven goals without a reply in the two group matches they have played so far.
    Pink Said 'Monogamy Is Work', And We're Really Relieved

    Pink Said 'Monogamy Is Work', And We're Really Relieved

    During an interview with The Guardian , the "Just Like Fire" hitmaker opened up about her sex life . It's not just a flippant comment about love, because we already know that love is hard.

    Subscriber Losses Hammer TV Providers' Stocks

    To compete, AT&T, Dish Network, and others are now offering cheaper, online-only versions of cable to lure customers back. Signs that more people are dropping their traditional TV subscriptions are weighing on TV providers' stocks.
  • Carnival forced to cancel San Juan cruises

    Carnival forced to cancel San Juan cruises

    Carnival finalized the agreement on October 11, 2017, and the ship will service FEMA from October 15, 2017, to February 3, 2018. Carnival joins Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line in chartering a ship to FEMA for hurricane relief efforts in the U.S.
    Arrow Season 6 Episode 2 Trailer and Details

    Arrow Season 6 Episode 2 Trailer and Details

    Oliver (Stephen Amell) struggles to connect with William (guest star Jack Moore) so he reaches out to a surprising source for help.
    Southwest Airlines Co (LUV) Earns Buy Rating from Stifel Nicolaus

    Southwest Airlines Co (LUV) Earns Buy Rating from Stifel Nicolaus

    It turned negative, as 48 investors sold LUV shares while 291 reduced holdings. 0 funds opened positions while 0 raised stakes. The airline reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts' consensus estimates of $0.62 by $0.01.
  • Three fire victims identified in Mendocino County

    Three fire victims identified in Mendocino County

    Between the Redwood fire and the 2,500-acre Sulphur fire, about 8,000 people have been evacuated, according to Cal Fire. The Mendocino County coroner has identified two more of the eight people who have died in a wildfire in Redwood Valley.
    Chinese space station set to crash-land on Earth's surface within months

    Chinese space station set to crash-land on Earth's surface within months

    McDowell said a slight change in atmospheric conditions could nudge the landing site "from one continent to the next". In recent weeks it has dipped into more dense reaches of Earth's atmosphere and started falling faster.
    Taco Bell launches clothing line with Forever 21

    Taco Bell launches clothing line with Forever 21

    Forever 21 chose to carry the line of Taco Bell apparel items, which is called "Forever Taco Bell ". It features a mix of vibrant prints, tops, bodysuits, and cropped hoodies for women.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.