I got a call from Premier Radio this morning, asking if I’d seen the stories that Google Home doesn’t know who Jesus is, but does know who Buddha, Mohammed are, etc. I had quick trawl around the internet, and a bit of Facebook conversation (only visible to ‘friends’), this video demonstrates it quite well:
That video also links to an article questioning why this might happen, and if we look beyond the headlines about ‘outrage’ in the Daily Mail, their article provides some interesting insights into how Google algorithms work. There’s plenty of discussion as to the reason why on this Reddit thread.
It’s important to remember throughout that all computer systems and algorithms are built by human beings, and tend to embed pre-existing power structures, normalisations, etc. So it’s a question of whether it’s just a weird oversight from a US-based company (where Christianity is a pretty normal religion), or whether there’s something else that needs to be looked at. We’ve got to be careful how quickly we take offence people – yes, ask the questions, but….
You’ll be able to listen to the full show here, once the recording is up. I’ll be around 10 minutes before the end.
Premier posted the interview as a separate blog post.
Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing @ Manchester Metropolitan University. Interested in digital literacy and digital culture in the third sector (especially faith). Author of ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age’, regularly checks hashtag #DigitalParenting.