Thanks to a whopping big error by Google, this inoffensive vegetable was the cause of no small embarrassment to a town in Spain.
Here’s another reason why you don’t grant unchecked power to stupid human beings, who then turn it over to computers programmed by other stupid human beings. In other words, a lesson in humility.
A town in Galicia, in northwestern Spain, has an annual “rapini festival.” Rapini is a leaf vegetable, similar to spinach, that’s popular there.
In spreading the word of the festival, Google mistranslated the Galician word for rapini into the Castilian word for “clitoris,” thus advertising that the town was having a “Clitoris Festival” ( http://www.thelocal.es/20151102/galicia-celebrates-its-annual-clitoris-festival-thanks-to-google-translate ).
To say that the people of that town are highly cheesed off would be an understatement.
Things like this happen: always have, always will. Hey, it could’ve been worse. The computer could have lumbered the town with a Cholera Festival.
Let us learn from this not to rely overmuch on our technology. Remember: stupid in, stupid out.
[Editor’s Note: Yes, I know this subject matter is a bit beyond what is usual on this blog, or acceptable. But the incident really happened, and the lesson that it teaches is important.]