The tech overlords want to reshape reality

Google Gemini’s woke rewriting of history has exposed the rampant ideological bias in Silicon Valley.

Cory Franklin

Topics Identity Politics Science & Tech

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‘This is America, where racism is the No1 value our populace seeks to uphold above all others.’

This is the kind of sentiment you used to only hear in faculty lounges, freshman dormitories and left-wing struggle sessions. But times are changing. These are the words not of some blue-haired student, but of Jack Krawczyk, one of Silicon Valley’s most influential figures.

Krawczyk is the senior director of product management for Gemini, Google’s main group of artificial-intelligence models. Krawczyk, who tweeted that in 2018, was the person primarily responsible for the implosion of the obscenely woke Google Gemini AI last month.

Almost immediately after Gemini’s launch, users found that asking it to generate images of historical figures would result in Native American Founding Fathers, South Asian female popes and even black Nazi soldiers. This absurdity was not confined to image generation, either. Gemini’s chatbot also came up with surprisingly charitable descriptions of Adolf Hitler and Mao Zedong, as well as an apologia for paedophilia. The whole episode revealed a moral idiocy on the part of its creators.

The debacle also showed that AI is actually neither artificial nor intelligent. Much of what is called AI is really content generated by a module that has undergone ‘supervised machine learning’. Supervised machine learning is akin to training a dog, in that the outcome is heavily determined by who is doing the supervising. If the dog is trained not to bite anyone, the dog is unlikely to bite. If, on the other hand, you train your dog to bite certain kinds of people, the dog is almost certain to obey its training. In the case of Gemini, Google trained its dog to bite white people – its coding simply would not allow Gemini to produce images that were not racially diverse.

Google’s aim here was to correct the historical underrepresentation of non-white figures in Western media. But to do so, it ended up delivering absurd levels of overrepresentation. Such overrepresentation is now fairly common in most media and advertising, and is usually harmless. It doesn’t generally matter if the number of black people featured in commercials is not exactly proportionate to the wider population. But the Gemini debacle shows what can happen when worshipping ‘diversity’ above all else is taken to its logical conclusion. It distorts reality and falsifies history.

The implications of this are totalitarian. As commentator Andrew Sullivan writes on his Substack: ‘Google can indoctrinate by simply removing facts from the ether or altering them to “prevent harm”, just as Stalin once did, in an information system in which wokeness generates a “socially beneficial” reality rather than an actual one.’ As Sullivan points out, Google is in a particularly well-placed and powerful position to do this. ‘[It] can create an entirely new reality based on the world that social-justice activists want to see’, he writes, ‘and have it front-loaded on to every schoolchild’s research project’.

Google has promised to fix this overrepresentation problem for the next iteration of Gemini. But the woke politics of those working at Google are not going to change. The likes of Jack Krawczyk will remain chastened only briefly, if at all, by last month’s fiasco. The next version of Gemini will contain the same biases, but they will now just be displayed more subtly.

Eventually, as Elon Musk has warned, Gemini AI may well be at the heart of every Google product, including YouTube. So we can soon expect to see identitarian agitprop and critical race theory influencing our web searches, YouTube recommendations and perhaps even our Gmail inboxes.

The tech overlords are seeking to embed identity politics into the algorithms that shape our information environment. This is taking us towards a dystopian new world, in which the truth about the past and present is distorted to fit the ideology of the moment. We must stand up to this, before it is too late.

Dr Cory Franklin is the author of the forthcoming book, The Covid Diaries 2020-2024: Anatomy of a Contagion As It Happened.

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Topics Identity Politics Science & Tech


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