After reading the article titled, “Google’s Dangerous Identity Crisis”, I was very surprised to learn about the acutal methodology behind the results we get whenever looking something up on google. The article dove into what’s actually going on behind the list of results that we get whenever we do a search. You would expect google to provide backed up resources that provide the most accurate information, but in fact it appears that google tends to display the more popular resources clicked on when the same or a similar question is asked.
This was revealed when the question “ Is Barack Obama planning a coup?” and the top result linked users to an article from a website called Secrets of the Fed which contained a one paragraph excerpt basically claiming that Obama was in fact planning a coup. Essentially, Google’s algorithm connected users to a website that primarily advocated conspiracy theories, which are not factual. Granted, this kind of question does not have a definitive answer but it does bring into question what exactly goes into how google picks what websites are featured when a search is done.
According to the article google uses an advanced text-matching algorithm which highlights answers that are just dressed-up results. The article then goes into describing how in order for AI to really work, what google is aiming to transform its search engine into, it needs a layer that evlauates whether or not the information is accurate. This is currently a daunting task and the article offers the solution of hiring a team of human editors that can monitor and correct information if needed. Given google’s goal and becoming autonomous, this will likely never happen.
Learning this information about how google works has really given me a whole new perspective on, don’t trust everything you see on the internet. I’ve always understood that things on the internet aren’t always true but I’ve still generally confided in the information google provides in the top results. Learning that even that information is not necessarily ranked highest because of its accuracy has helped me understand just how important it is to learn proper research techniques and what criteria took look for when potentially using an online article for a class assignment. I am very glad this class is providing me with those skills after reading this article.