I found Brian Feldman’s article, “Google’s Dangerous Identity Crisis,” very interesting and informative as I never knew how Google operated its search engine and how I got the box of information whenever I’d search for something. I love that Feldman included an example of that with one searching for the time of the Super Bowl as it allowed me to better understand what he was talking about. Whenever I search those types of questions, I get a box with the answer from an article and wonder how that would come about. I loved that Feldman explained who creates the boxes and how it does not come from any Google employees but comes from Google’s search algorithm. Although Feldman was not able to explain how the algorithm works because Google does not make that information public and it is too difficult to understand, he did explain that the algorithm would obtain the results they put into the box through the first three results from the search. That is why the highlighted answers placed in the box could be inaccurate when the question asked is not entirely answerable one way. I learned that the development of highlighted answers happened to adjust to the shift of technology where the role of Google also shifted. One of the main reasons for the highlighted answers is to help screenless home assistants like Google Home figure out the “best” answer.” I did not know that home assistants like Google Home would rely on the highlighted answers and extract their information from the first result until I read this article. This struck me as I would use Alexa in my house all the time and never knew how it came up with its answers. However, I learned that taking information from the first few results can create biased and inaccurate results through Feldman’s example of the conspiracy theory surrounding former President Barack Obama. Through the conspiracy theory example surrounding former President Obama, I learned that conspiracy theories would at times float around in Google and could be spread temporarily before they are noticed and fact-checked. I was not aware of this problem until I read this article. I learned that Google does not offer rebuttals which would result in the existence of conspiracy theories on the site. I agree with Feldman that it is best for Google to have a team of human editors monitor the site and ensure that conspiracy theories and false information are not spread. Through this article, I was able to learn a lot about how Google operates and some flaws that Google has. Although my project does not focus on Google and some of its flaws, the article was informative and interesting and allowed me to better understand the problem at hand

Shared By: Ada Peschanskiy
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