Saturday, November 9, 2019

The day Web search engines such as Google start to understand the meaning of content such as text, they will covertly censor or demote content that's critical of them

Even though Google / Bing / Yandex can currently translate text content, this doesn't mean that these Internet search engines "understand" the "meaning" of whatever text they work with. The translation happens using lifeless algorithms, on a statistical basis, and doesn't involve "knowing" what's "being said" in the content.

Looking this way, it seems like there are some parallels between the related concepts of [ knowing / meaning / understanding ], and the close concepts of [ awareness / consciousness / sentience ]. A super-smart robot or computer program isn't self-aware the way humans are, and similarly an excellent language translation tool such as Google Translate doesn't know an iota of what's the intent and meaning of the text it works with.

Anyway. There could / will come a day when computers actually start to capture the broad meaning of text [whether this capturing takes place in a dumb/lifeless computer or a self-aware/sentient computer is irrelevant actually]. When this happens, private search companies such as Microsoft and Google will have every incentive in the world to censor and/or demote that content which criticizes these companies, exposes their crimes, or otherwise makes them look bad [or makes their competitors look good]. This is a scary prospect, and one that's within the realm of what's possible - and it's not too far into the future either. Worst of all, this censorship will happen covertly, quietly, silently - there's hardly any practical way to prove that an engine such as Google is hiding some type of data from its users.