Should search algorithms be moral? A conversation with Google’s in-house philosopher


When you have a question for the universe, where do you turn first? Google, of course.

We all expect search engines to provide the best, smartest information out there. Everyone knows someone who trusts search results above their doctor’s expertise. We even feel smarter when we’re “in search mode,” according to a 2015 Yale University study (whether we find what we were looking for or not).

But one of the first search results when you Google “What happened to the dinosaurs?” is a website called Answers in Genesis. It explains that “the Bible gives us a framework for explaining dinosaurs in terms of thousands of years of history, including the mystery of when they lived and what happened to them.” Scroll down, and you’ll find a collection of acerbic articles in response to the Biblical theory and another collection of articles responding to those responses. Only below, and nearly forgotten, finally appear scientific explanations…

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Acerca de jigalle

bibliotecario flâneur | embedded librarian | in libraries + architecture + travel + history
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