Chinese messaging app error sees n-word used in translation | Technology | The Guardian

Chinese messaging app error sees n-word used in translation | Technology | The Guardian

Chinese messaging app WeChat has reportedly apologised after an AI error resulted in it translating a neutral Chinese phrase into the n-word.The WeChat error was reported by Shanghai-based theatre producer and actor Ann James, a black American. In a post on the service’s Twitter-like Moments feature, she wrote that it had translated hei laowai – a neutral phrase which literally means “black foreigner” – as the n-word.“We’re very sorry for the inappropriate translation,” a WeChat spokesperson told Chinese news site Sixth Tone. “After receiving users’ feedback, we immediately fixed the problem.”WeChat added that the translation engine it uses is a neural network-based service, which is always being tweaked for “more accurate, faithful, expressive, and elegant” output.

Source: Chinese messaging app error sees n-word used in translation | Technology | The Guardian