Listen to 3 phones try to talk to each other via Google Translate

Phones in Google Translate Conversation Mode

Is this a sign of the coming apocalypse?

Google Translate keeps getting better and better, adding and refining features to help us deal with language barriers anywhere in the world. The app’s Conversation Mode is one of its best features, automatically recognizing and translating speech between participants. But what happens when three phones left in Conversation Mode try to talk to each other?

Magic, that’s what. Eery, confusing, hilarious magic. YouTube user jomatotu put two Android phones and an iPhone on a table and let them get to know each other in multiple languages. The results are not unlike a game of artificial-intelligence telephone.

It’s a good thing this conversation was so thoroughly unintelligible. We’re not sure what we’d do if the phones spontaneously started making plans to deal with us in our sleep.

Screengrab via jomatotu/YouTube

Eric Geller

Eric Geller

Eric Geller is a politics reporter who focuses on cybersecurity, surveillance, encryption, and privacy. A former staff writer at the Daily Dot, Geller joined Politico in June 2016, where he's focused on policymaking at the White House, the Justice Department, the State Department, and the Commerce Department.