Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai testified before House Judiciary Committee on 11th December 2018 and was questioned on a range of topics about the workings of the search engine giant. Among other questions from the house republicans and democrats he was asked to explain why the google image search shows the pictures of Donald Trump for the word “idiot”
The question was asked by democratic party representative Zoe Lofgren of California.
Lofgren – “Right now, if you Google the word ‘idiot,’ under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. I just did that. How would that happen? How does search work so that that would occur?”
Below is Pichai’s response to her question –
“We provide search today for; anytime you type in a keyword, we as Google, we have gone out and crawled and stored copies of billions of webpages in our index. We take the keyword and match it against webpages and rank them based on over 200 signals, things like relevance,freshness, popularity, how other people are using it. And based on that, at any given time, we try to rank and find the best results for that query. Then we evaluate them with external raters to make sure that, and they evaluate it to objective guidelines, and that’s how we make sure the process is working.”
Lofgren then asked – “So it’s not some little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what we’re going to show the user —it’s basically a compilation of what users are generating, and trying to sort through that information.”
Pichai’s reply – “Last year we served over 3 trillion searches. Just as a fact, every single day, 15% of the searches Google sees, we have never seen them before. “So this is working at scale. We don’t manually intervene on any particular search result.”