Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Amazon Changes Querie Rules

Sometimes companies do listen. This from Wired News. said Monday it had modified the way its search engine handles queries for the term "abortion" after receiving an e-mail complaint that the results appeared biased.

Until the recent change, a user who visited the Seattle internet retailer and typed in the word "abortion" received a prompt asking, "Did you mean adoption?" followed by search results for "abortion."

Spokeswoman Patty Smith said the automated prompt was purely based on technology, and that no human had made the decision to show the question.

"Adoption and abortion are the same except for two keystrokes," Smith said. "They also, in this case, happen to be somewhat related terms."

A side note. A computer can't do anything without programming, duh! And a programmer is human and not omniscient. This means, as computers become more ubiquitous than they are, they will bite us in the ass in ways we can't possibly imagine.


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