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Google Tries to Reduce Explicit Search Results by 30% With New AI

Sometimes even entering an innocuous search query into a search engine like Google can end up bringing up a huge amount of results that might be sexually explicit in nature, such as pornography. Back in 2019, an American actress by the name of Natalie Morales tried to do a Google search for “Latina teenager”, and it turned out that all of the results that she saw were pornographic even though this is not a search term that would necessarily be used solely in content of that type.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that Google is trying to slash explicit search results by about 30% for various terms through a new AI called BERT. This AI will attempt to figure out whether or not someone is looking for explicit search results or if they just want regular ones, and search queries like the aforementioned “Latina teenager” as well as other ones like “college dorm room” will primarily feature normal search results as well.

An interesting thing to note here is that searching for just “teen” with no additional descriptors would likely bring up normal search results that you would expect, such as resources for teens struggling with mental health, general articles about teenage life as well as many others. Overly sexualized results for Latina teenagers can be harmful because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up sexualizing an ethic minority, that too younger members of that minority who are still teenagers.

Google has been trying to improve its search results to show less explicit pages for quite some time now, such as making it so that search results for “Black girl” stopped being largely pornographic back in 2013. The tech giant is also working on other forms of AI such as MUM which is focused more on suicide prevention and the like, and these steps will definitely make Google a much better search engine with all things having been considered and taken into account.


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