“The ugliest language in Kannada?” Google search query lands tech giant in a row; here is everything you need to know-India News, Firstpost


Sociolinguists believe that the attractiveness of a language is determined by how positively we view the native group of speakers of that language.

Google apologized on Thursday for hurting feelings in part of society after a random search query for “India’s ugliest language” returned Kannada as the answer.

Notwithstanding the fact that the request in itself made no sense, is absurd at worst and a matter of personal opinion at best, the tech giant had to apologize because the government of Karnataka was outraged at episode and threatened to take legal action.

The inaccurate result offended many as they accused the search engine giant of insulting a meaningful language, which dates back over 2,000 years and is spoken by over 40 million people.

Internet users, meanwhile, criticized the internet giant and responded with hashtags like Kannada, KannadaQueeenOfAllLangages, BoycottGoogle, saying the search result hurt people’s feelings.

Here’s everything you need to know about the problem


Kannada as a response to a question from Google about India’s ugliest language sparked outrage on Thursday and the Karnataka government said it would issue a legal opinion to the tech leader, as that response appeared be a blunder.

Karnataka’s Minister for Kannada, Culture and Forests Aravind Limbavali told reporters that a legal opinion would be served on Google for giving such an answer to this question.

He later took to Twitter to express his outrage and demanded an apology from Google to Kannada and Kannadigas. The Kannada language has its own history, having emerged 2,500 years ago, said the minister and added that the language has been the pride of Kannadigas throughout the ages.

Showing Kannada in a bad light “… is just an attempt by Google to insult this pride of Kannadigas. I demand an apology from @Google as soon as possible in Kannada, Kannadigas. Legal action will be taken against Google for defaming the image of our beautiful language! ” Limbavali tweeted.

Former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy denounced Google in a series of tweets for the outrageous response to the language question. He researched why Google is “behaving irresponsibly” in terms of language.

Others, including BJP central deputy in Bengaluru, PC Mohan, criticized Google and asked for an apology.

Sharing the screenshot of the research on his Twitter account, Mohan said that Karnataka is home to the great Vijayanagara Empire and the Kannada language has a rich heritage, glorious heritage and unique culture.

“One of the oldest languages ​​in the world, Kannada had great scholars who wrote epics long before Geoffrey Chaucer was born in the 14th century. Excuse @GoogleIndia.”

How does Google work?

When you ask Google a question, the answer may not necessarily be the “right one” – although It is programmed to give you the “best”. If we were to sum up the search mechanism in some sort of simplistic definition, Google would essentially be rests on a complicated AI algorithm to decipher a query based on semantic similarities, a range of synonyms, and a local context based on the user’s location. This is how the search engine manages to respond to even vague queries that have more than one possible meaning. It simply goes through all the indexed information to return results that match the maximum number of possible meanings of a query.

When the algorithm finds an answer that it deems particularly useful, Google prioritizes it at the top of its search results and cites the relevant sections in a large box-shaped snippet to allow the user to easily browse through the information while searching. his movements.

This process ensures that we have a very intuitive AI trying to guess the meaning of our most mundane thoughts that we decide to type into its search engine. But it cannot determine whether the best match for the different possible interpretations of your question is also the correct one.

Sometimes it becomes even trickier when the query put to the search engine is callous, subjective and / or has racist undertones. Google’s AI is regularly updated to better recognize hateful or racist / linguistic content, but a query with a benign, generic keyword such as “ugly” may have bypassed these filters.

Also, in this situation, no matter how the search engine answered the question, it would have been the wrong answer. Sociolinguists believe that the attractiveness of a language is determined by how positively we view the native group of speakers of that language.

Dr Vineeta Chand from the University of Essex said The Guardian about the perceived “beauty” of a language, if we have a positive perception of a particular community, we tend to have an equally positive view of the language it speaks. The value and attractiveness of the language are, she explains, linked to the prestige of the speaker.

The article further quotes the book by Israeli linguist Guy Deutscher Through the Glass of the Language: Why the World is Different in Other Languages which postulates that if a language understands rarer sounds, it is more likely to be perceived as less attractive to those who do not know it.

Google, as we know it today, is certainly not equipped to give an opinion on such a highly subjective and imprecise matter.

When contacted, a Google spokesperson said PTI, “Search is not always perfect. Sometimes the way content is described on the Internet can give surprising results to specific queries.”

How did Google respond?

As people expressed outrage and leaders transcended party lines slamming Google for the blunder, he quickly removed Kannada “as the ugliest language in India” and apologized to people saying that the search result did not reflect his opinion.

“We know this is not ideal, but we take prompt corrective action when we are made aware of a problem and we are continually working to improve our algorithms. Naturally, these do not reflect the views of Google, and we we apologize for the misunderstanding and hurt any feeling, ”a company statement read.

If you search for “ugliest language in India” now, a list of newspaper articles reporting the story will be displayed.

With PTI entries

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