If you Google the word 'idiot' under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. How would that happen? asked lawmakers to Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Washington: Google CEO Sundar Pichai had just the right answer for why American President Donald Trump’s face pops up on google when someone types idiot — “Our algorithms have no notion of political sentiment in it."
Pichai tried to explain how the algorithm works in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who was reacting to Republicans' allegations that Google employees manipulate results for political reasons, sarcastically asked, “So it’s not some little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what we’re going to show the user?”
Pichai replied to the question saying that they do not manually intervene on any particular search result.
The Google CEO further explained, according to the Verge, by saying, “Any time you type in a keyword, as Google we have gone out and crawled and stored copies of billions of [websites’] pages in our index. And we take the keyword and match it against their pages and rank them based on over 200 signals — things like relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it. And based on that, at any given time, we try to rank and find the best search results for that query. And then we evaluate them with external raters, and they evaluate it to objective guidelines. And that’s how we make sure the process is working.”
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas also asked Pichai if he had ever directed an employee to manipulate search results, to which he replied that it's not possible for one person, or even a group of people, to do that because there are so many steps in the process.
However, neither Smith nor the Republicans on the panel were satisfied with the answer.
Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, pointed out that when he googled the Republican health care bill or the GOP tax cuts the first several pages listed negative articles. "How do you explain this apparent bias on Google's part against conservative points of view, against conservative policies?” he asked.
Pichai replied, “Congressman, I understand the frustration of seeing negative news, and, you know, I see it on me…What is important here is we use the robust methodology to reflect what is being said about any given topic at any particular time. And we try to do it objectively, using a set of rubrics. It is in our interest to make sure we reflect what's happening out there in the best objective manner possible. I can commit to you, and I can assure you we do it without regards to political ideology. Our algorithms have no notion of political sentiment in it."
With inputs from The Washington Post
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Last Updated Dec 12, 2018, 6:08 PM IST