Google CEO Sundar Pichai has had to face the House Judiciary Committee about allegedly excluding right-wing opinions from Google's search engine results, as well as the company's work on its controversial Project Dragonfly.
In a hearing before the Committee, Pichai was asked if Google has 'programmed' bias against conservative views. One of the arguments was the fact that if you search for images under the keyword “idiot”, you’ll most likely get a bunch of Trump’s faces.
Pichai argued that there were no real evidence against such bias, and no independent studies to confirm such accusations. He said Google’s business was transparent.
"We evaluate our studies and our research results," said Mr Pichai. "We have a wide variety of sources, from both left and right."
The fact that the keyword ‘idiot’ gets you Trump’s face, he said it was because the keyword matches against billions of page results ranked for relevance and popularity. In other words, many people tag Trump’s face with the keyword ‘idiot’.
As for Dragonfly, Pichai essentially denied it altogether. "Right now we have no plans to launch in China. We don't have a search product there,” he said, adding that all efforts were ‘internal’. Google, according to Pichai, was not in touch with the Chinese government.
Project Dragonfly was Google’s attempt at building a search engine for the Chinese market, which would censor links and content at the government’s whim. Google’s employees have voiced their dissatisfaction with the project multiple times in the past.
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