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UN: Google's Algorithm Hates Women

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    NEWSLETTERS

    UN Women

    Google's autocomplete function seems to show that its algorithm is sexist and discriminates against women, according to the United Nations.

    A series of ads made for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, showed sexist sentiments -- all taken from actual Google searches made on March 9. The disheartening search results were placed over the mouths of women in portraits, as if they were being gagged by the strip of text.

    The chauvinistic results stem from Google's autocomplete function which completes search phrases for users. The results are usually based on Google's algorithm which is what makes it more disturbing. When users would write, "Women should . . . " Google's autocomplete function would continue with possible endings, and unfortunately most were offensive:

    Women should stay at home

    Women should be in the kitchen

    Women should be slaves

    The ads, from Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai, did the same for "Women need to," "Women shouldn't" and "Women cannot," and all led to similar findings.  

    “When we came across these searches, we were shocked by how negative they were and decided we had to do something with them,” Christopher Hunt, art director for the ad team, said. 

    UN Women said the searches showed that the world still needed to be educated about women's rights, empowerment and equality. We think it shows that there are still people in the world who think like Neanderthals.