Google’s text-to-speech engine loves the iPad so much, it often ends sentences with the phrase “he now praises the iPad” for no obvious reason. The bug appears in Google Now, assuming you ask it the right question, as well as in Google Translate, which makes it easy to replicate and have some fun with.
To replicate this yourself, just head over to Google Translate and end a sentence with something like “end with,” “enraged with” or “filled with.”
Judging from this thread on Google’s Android bug tracker, the issue has actually been around since at least early October 2012. The issue only started to go viral yesterday, however, after the good folks over at Hacker News picked it up.
Of course, it would be great if this was an Easter egg that a mischievous developer added to Google’s text-to-speech systems after a few too many drinks, but the reality is probably a bit more prosaic. As the sleuths over on Hacker News found out, chances are this is just a badly trained algorithm.
Google’s systems likely looked at this story on MacNN. Here is the sentence that likely caused the bug: “Describing the negotiations last spring as being filled with “so much drama,” he now praises the iPad.” It’s not clear if this is an issue with Google’s algorithm or human error, but for some reason the system now thinks that it needs to complete sentences that end with the right sounds with “he now praises the iPad.”
Chances are Google will fix this bug soon, so if you want to have some fun with it, just head over to Google Translate and try it yourself.