Google Home, the tech giant’s voice-activated “personal assistant,” responded to a question about Breitbart News by reading off an anti-Breitbart hit piece from the Huffington Post.
Earlier this week, when asked “what are the headlines at Breitbart News,” Google Assistant responded with the headline of a Huffington Post article from former employee Kurt Bardella, “I Quit Breitbart Because of the Lying. Sarah Huckabee Sanders Should Take A Cue.”
Hey Google, what are the headlines at Breitbart?
“I quit Breitbart because of the lying” pic.twitter.com/r02EkDqdYj
— Peter Duke 📷 🇺🇸 🚁 🏻♂️ (@peterdukephoto) May 9, 2018
The findings were confirmed on multiple Google Home devices. In total, Breitbart News sources tested six separate Google Home devices, all of which gave the same reply.
As Breitbart News contributor Marlene Jaeckel explained in a previous article, artificially intelligent “personal assistants” like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Home have even more potential for bias than regular search engines, as they provide just one answer to most questions.
In this case, instead of providing headlines from Breitbart News as requested, Google Home provides a highly negative article about Breitbart from the Huffington Post.
A Google spokeswoman told Breitbart News that the problem had been fixed, stating that the Google Assistant “misinterpreted the query and provided and unrelated result from a news source. We’ve addressed the issue and are working to ensure that similar problems don’t happen in the future.”
However, the problem doesn’t seem to be entirely fixed. When asked the same question, the Google Assistant now says “sorry, I’m not sure how to help with that.”
The same thing happens when the Google Assistant is asked about the Daily Caller, another conservative new media site.
Meanwhile, asking the same question about establishment outlets like Fox News the Washington Post, the New York Times, an also the left-wing new media site BuzzFeed news generates the desired answer — a list of headlines from those news outlets. Google may have corrected the smear job, but they haven’t leveled the playing field.
This isn’t the first time that Google has been exposed for “mistakes” that only seem to affect conservative new media. In January, the tech giant was forced to suspend its “fact-checking” feature, which displayed “fact checks” next to news articles, after it was revealed that the feature almost exclusively targeted conservative media.
Breitbart News has also revealed attempts to attack conservative media from within Google. In February, Breitbart News exclusively reported on attempts by employees in Google’s advertising department to warn clients against running online ads at Breitbart.
Evidence released via James Damore’s class-action lawsuit against the tech giant shed further light on these efforts. A screenshot released in the lawsuit showed a director at Google sending his employees a template email urging advertisers to take advantage of the company’s tools to deny revenue to right-wing sites targeted by the far-left “Sleeping Giants” group.
Breitbart News contributor Marlene Jaeckel contributed to this piece.