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Launching rockets into space is an extremely precise undertaking, involving years of testing, expertise, and hard work, which is why when Facebook users tuned in to watch a recent rocket leap into space, the scene didn't quote match up.
During a Facebook live stream, a NASA announcer declares 'And we have liftoff of the Antares NG-11 mission to the ISS.'
Facebook - Captions - Guitarist - G - Mission
However, Facebook's auto-generated captions conveyed a garbled, 'And we have liftoff of the guitarist G 11 mission to the ice sets.'
The launch of the Antares rocket, built by Northrup and Gunman went off without a hitch, taking its first step towards carrying 3.4 tons of cargo to the International Space Station.
Viewers - Algorithm - Misfires
But unfortunately for viewers, the algorithm's misfires didn't stop there.
More than a dozen times throughout the broadcast, captions flubbed the proclamations of a NASA announcer, with renditions like, 'to the ice sets, engines full-power,' and 'attitude is nominal.'
Ars - Technica - Launches - Space - Missions
As pointed out by Ars Technica, describing launches and space missions tends to entail a lot of jargon, making it difficult to translate for a system designed to interpret more colloquial human speech.
In this case, however, that still may not have been the issue as the rival streamer YouTube's auto-captioning still managed to interpret irregular words like 'Anatares' and abbreviations...
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