China’s Biggest Messaging App May Be Racist

Black Couple

Source: JenniferPhotographyImaging / Getty

You know we’re living in crazy times when even technology starts to spew racial slurs.

WeChat, China’s biggest messaging app, is under fire for translating the phrase “black foreigner” to the N-word. Ann James, an American living in Shanghai, was the first to spot the disturbing mistake when she tried to translate an incoming Chinese message into English, which resulted into a text that said,  “The n****r’s still late.”

The original Chinese message used the term, hei laowai, a.k.a. “black foreigner,” but WeChat apparently has an agenda of it’s own.

 

 

After being dragged for the mishap, the company told Chinese outlet Sixth Tone that the translation was “based on its neural machine learning engine, that picked up the term from broader usage. We’re very sorry for the inappropriate translation. After receiving users’ feedback, we immediately fixed the problem.”

Hopefully, racist robots are not in our near or distant future.

 



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