[iDC] Search engines and the politics of code

Andreas Schiffler aschiffler at ferzkopp.net
Wed May 9 09:28:57 EDT 2007

A (second) technical note:

On the surface it seems that Google is just a program applying some 
simple statistics. The "did you mean" recommender will probably just 
lookup a cluster of simple query transformations (i.e. remove one 
character, flip characters, etc) and pick the one at the top of the list 
IF it has also significant hit counts.

So when you look at the hit-statistics, the digital logic of "The 
Google" seems to work as expected:
159,000 for "she invented"
1,060,000 for "he invented"

Interestingly other languages do not offer corrections for a similar 
search even though they could. Here are some hit stats from other languages:

10.500 für "sie erfand"
50.100 für "er erfand"

27 800 pour "elle a inventé"
105 000 pour "il a inventé"

Spanish (wow, what a difference!!)
633 de "ella inventó"
670.000 de "él inventó"

Italian and Portuguese (no difference in gender forms?, somebody needs 
to help me here)
470.000 per "ha inventato"
829.000 para "inventou"

Also, it is not hard to find similar terms that recommend the "HE" in a 
similar way. Some that I found are:

she coded
she build
she created
she discussed
she operated
she purchased
she mapped
she discussed
she photographed
she saved
she joined
she washed

I fail to see a pattern ...

-- Andreas

Sullivan wrote:
> Now what this says about Google, well I leave that to you. . .
> the digg post:
> http://www.digg.com/offbeat_news/Google_She_invented_Result_Did_you_mean_He_invented/who
> also, some historic women communications inventors: Nora Blatch, Hedy Lamar

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