Monday, August 2

This is how Google’s results would look in the world | Digital Trends Spanish

A couple of doctoral students have developed Search Atlas, a tool that aims to show how the Google search engine offers different results in each part of the world, revealing the differences between the algorithms in each region.

It is an experimental interface of the Google search engine that, instead of showing only one column of results from a query, it shows three. Thus, you can select a region for each column and each of them will reveal a different result.

For example, if in Google you search for the word “God”, you will probably see a column of results with the Christian deity. However, in Search Atlas you can choose three different regions to get other results, so the version of “God” that appears will be different from the one you usually see and will depend on each country or language you select.

Google generates its filters using user data, such as location, language, and individual search history, and with all the information, you can reflect or amplify cultural or governmental differences in your results. That way, it determines whether a specific place in a country appears first in searches as a tourist attraction or as a place of military repression.

“Search engines mirror the world and remap it, determining the information users see. We created Search Atlas so you can search beyond borders, “said Katherine Ye in Twitter, the co-creator of the project. Search Atlas was developed by two doctoral students: Ye, from Carnegie Mellon University, and Rodrigo Ochigame from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According The Wired, the creators presented Search Atlas at the Designing Interactive Systems academic conference in June, and it is currently in a private beta. However, they are evaluating how to expand access to this tool.

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