Google’s search algorithms came under renewed fire on Sunday after the BBC highlighted examples in which the company’s Google Home smart speaker promotes “fake news” and conspiracy theories through its virtual assistant.
BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones tweeted a video yesterday that appears to show the smart device responding to the question “Is Obama planning a coup?” with the reply: “Obama may in fact be planning a Communist coup d’etat at the end of his term in 2016.”
In another example, Search Editor Land editor Danny Sullivan asked his Google Home “Are Republicans fascists?”, to which it replied: “Yes. Republicans equals Nazis.”
As pointed out by Business Insider, the fault lies in Google’s Featured Snippets feature, which corrals data from the web to provide the user with a supposedly definitive answer to a query typed into the Google search bar.