Google CEO Sundar Pichai did his best to explain to members of the House Judiciary Committee why images of Donald Trump come up on a Google search for the word “idiot.” Testifying before the panel on Tuesday, Pichai was asked that question by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.
Newsweek quotes Pichai saying: “We provide search today for any time you type in a keyword … we have gone out and stored copies of billions of web pages in our index, and we take the keyword and match it against the pages and rank them based on over 200 signals. Things like relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it. And based on that, you know, at any given time, we try to rank and find the best results for that query. And then we evaluate them with external radars, to objective guidelines, to make sure the process is working …”
Newsweek notes that Lofgren followed up by asking whether there was “a little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what we are going to show the users.”
Said Pichai: “Last year we served over three trillion searches. Just as a fact, every single day, 15 percent 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.”
The report notes: “Several Republicans during the hearing, including Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), accused Google’s culture of exhibiting ‘political bias.’”
Here’s Pichai’s exchange with Lofgren, posted by PBS …