Perhaps Congress took "The Wizard of Oz" a bit too seriously

Dec 11, 2018

At the House Judiciary Committee hearing with Google's CEO Sundar Pichai, Rep. Zoe Lofgren from California had to ask for clarification that Google's Search algorithm is not a "little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what [Google is] going to show." She wasn't the only one that was confused by how Google works. On Twitter, one user responded to criticism of another Congressmembers' ignorance by tweeting, "in his defense, who is smart enough to understand how that whole series of tubes works?" We called up Safiya Noble, who teaches at the University of Southern California and has written extensively about algorithms and bias. Her latest book is called "Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism."

Click the audio player above to hear the full interview.