Episode 35: AI + Ethics, Google Playing with Search Results, and a Note from the Mailbag

Everything this week is related to AI and ethics.

Topic 1:

Follow-up on Episode 33 – AI ethics across cultural boundaries.

Karl: “China will call it protecting our culture.”

Ryan said: “Crossing geographic boundaries is one things, but crossing cultural boundaries is another.”

So, how do we address cultural norms and ethics in a worldwide discussion. Business ethics and laws are different everywhere, yet we practice economic relationships without boundaries.

What should we be discussing here? We have thoughts.

Topic 2:

More ethics. The Wall Street Journal had a long article addressing the fact that Google is messing with search results to fit corporate needs and political biases.

Google has more than 90% of the worldwide search traffic. They made about 500 changes to their search algorithm in 2010. And about 2400 in 2017, and 3200 in 2018. That’s a lot of changes! Most of them are in response to some kind of request.

It turns out, Google’s super-secret algorithm favors big companies over small companies; favors eBay and other large advertisers; and favors already-big web sites over lesser-known web sites.

Google also works hard to crafting “knowledge panels” in order to keep you on their site. AND they change the results of auto-complete in an attempt to be politically correct and less divisive.

Related Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-google-interferes-with-its-search-algorithms-and-changes-your-results-11573823753

Related topic: AI is male biased https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/15/technology/algorithmic-ai-bias.html

Note: Update. In the days after this posted, Google’s “Top Stories” included links to articles refuting the WSJ post. 🙂

And now for the Mail Bag . . .

Topic 3: Listener Joe asked our thoughts on companies that negotiate – or pay off – ransomware.

Should you (and your clients) negotiate with ransomware criminals? Should you engage a company to negotiate for you? What’s “right” and what are the best practices.

Related ProPublica story on this topic:





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