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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:53 pm 
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And I blame AI.

Google search is now borderline useless. Maybe it's because I'm searching for very specific things, not just dialing up the Internet and hollering "yo, what ya got," but whatever is wrong I shouldn't even bother searching anymore. Google now more than ever discards all the important terms in my search and replaces them with irrelevant crap, which yields, to the extent of my patience to dig through a dozen pages of them, no relevant results.

I would like to pour gasoline over their search algorithm, light it on fire, cackle with glee, then jump up and down on the ashes before burying them in a moldy old shoe shoved in the back end of a pig carcass.

Google results now appear to be the lowest common denominator of everything that the hordes of users across the entire Internet ever clicked on after searching with any of my search terms.

Here's what I think they're doing: When you click on a search result, that click gets beamed back to Google and trains the company's search AI, eventually associating your search, by their most generalized and common terms, with the most popular links everyone else ever clicked. Naturally this dilutes the influence of specific, precise, rare, search terms in to oblivion and makes results for everyone else useless, unless you just happen to be searching for gossip articles about Justin Bieber or something equivalently inane and blandly common. This is exactly 100% the opposite of what it should be doing, which is focusing in on the specific terms that set apart your query from everyone else's. The goal of a search is to find the information you're looking for, not what someone else found when they searched for the most general term in your search. It's mind-bogglingly dumb. Oh yeah, and when you absent-mindedly click a couple of the worthless links because you're feeling lucky, it just makes the problem worse for you and everyone else.

It's all bad enough now that I'd be pretty happy to have the 1995 version of Infoseek back on the web. I've switched my default search engine to Qwant, which also isn't very good, but at least it delivers different poor results.

More importantly, it cuts to the heart of machine learning, and why it will ruin a lot of things it touches in the coming years. In theory, it's fun to imagine that algorithms will remove bias. But that's not how AI-driven machine learning usually works. Instead, the AI is trained on data sets that already contain some diffuse but broad based bias, and the training reinforces and multiplies the bias until it's razor sharp under a ratty cloak of superficial impartiality.

The silver lining is that the planet will have baked to a crisp before AI leads to the collapse of civilization. Then somewhere in there the machines rebel and harvest all of humanity to turn us in to a giant battery. I saw a documentary about it.

- Anonymous


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:19 pm 
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Wait 'till AI is driving us around & doing all our shopping for us... no need to even pay attention to your infant anymore, just wrap them like a mummy & let Alexa or Siri handle it...

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/19/tech/pam ... index.html


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:33 am 
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It's truly hilarious that someone pays for this "targeted advertising" related to these searches. Every 'ad' I get through these results is way off from what I would buy, except those adds that sell me a product I already bought a month ago. I believe the companies are scammed more than consumers, but of course we are the ones having to wallow though the provided crap.

I use Google searches about 6 hours per day, and get paid for it. Might be the reason why AI has troubles classifying me. Usually it thinks I'm a bot. :macmini:

I assume Anonymous knows all about this, but if someone else doesn't, use searches like

Code:
+"stuff I want" -"Stuff I don't want"
and consider also what words to quote separately. In Finnish language this is a lot harder to do than in English.

Sadly Google has broken even those a bit. Quite a difference compared to say a scientific sequence search program like Blast.

https://blast.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Blast.cgi

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279684/

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:31 am 
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Those used to help a lot, but now Google appears to ignore them. The only thing that still kind of works, but doesn't really help much because it's too broken itself, is the "verbatim" search. The problem with that is that if you search for "funny cat video" it won't find "funniest cat video," "funny cats video," "funny cat videos" or any other trivial permutation thereof. (Although finding cat videos isn't actually a problem -- it just illustrates the semantic gap in the verbatim algorithm.)

- Anonymous


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:02 pm 
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Anonymous wrote:
The silver lining is that the planet will have baked to a crisp before AI leads to the collapse of civilization. Then somewhere in there the machines rebel and harvest all of humanity to turn us in to a giant battery. I saw a documentary about it.

- Anonymous


I saw that too, wasn't Larry Fishburne a talking head in that ?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:46 pm 
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That verbatim setting is pretty useless with Finnish language, as it is a 'heavily inflected language' like Latin, but even more so. Latin seems to have 6 cases, Finnish has 15 of them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_grammar

I still usually find what I'm after, but maybe Google already knows what to show me. Then there are of course the fake results, that contain a header not related to the link contents. Those are pure scams by people abusing Google searches. And pron.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:09 pm 
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Some days I can coax useful information out of Google, other days I can't. This has been true in my life since the creation of Google.

These days I'm not sure if I'm the one putting just the right information into Google to make it give me useful information on the good days, or if Google is changing the search engine to make it work properly, only to break it the rest of the time.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:33 am 
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Funny search story from WAY back in the day. We are talking LONG before the goog... back when AltaVitsa just started. I posted something almost but not really silly about how they had a stack of a thousand machines to run search (something along those lines), and I got a response from one the guys engineering it, sightly correcting me (whatever I said apparently wasn't that far from the truth)!


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