Banks, the executive director of All Out, an advocacy organization, spearheaded a petition that gained 51,000 signatures in less than a day and quickly caught Google's attention.
"People use Google translate every day to make sense of the world, learning languages, trying to communicate," Banks told ABC News. "What we wanted to say is the common words aren't the same as the terrible words being used to describe us across time."
A Google spokesperson told ABC News that the company quickly worked to scrub the software of the derogatory language.
"We apologize for any offense this has caused people," the spokesperson said. "Our systems produce translations automatically based on existing translations on the web, so we appreciate when users point out issues such as this."
Banks said he was heartened by Google's response and always "expected Google to do the right thing."
"It’s important Google is able to provide an accurate translation of these words that describe so many people," he said. "We were really glad to see this change happen in hours, not weeks and months."