Can a poem provide insight into the inner workings of a complex algorithm? If Google Search had a subconscious, what would it look like? If Google mumbled in its sleep, what would it say?
A few days ago, I ran across these two quotes within hours of each other:
So if algorithms like autocomplete can defame people or businesses, our next logical question might be to ask how to hold those algorithms accountable for their actions.
Algorithmic Defamation: The Case of the Shameless Autocomplete by Nick Diakopoulos
A beautiful poem should re-write itself one-half word at a time, in pre-determined intervals.
Here’s the heuristic:
Pick a title for your poem, which also serves as a
Look up the
seedin Google’s lightly documented suggestion API.
Get the longest
suggestionas a line in the poem.
Stop if more than
nlines have been written.
Pick a random substring in the
seedfor the next line.
- GOTO 2
Assuming that Google’s suggestions are personalized for you (if you are logged into Google) and your location (your IP address), the poem is dependent on you. So I suppose it’s more of a collective subconscious in a way.
If you find an amusing phrase, please hover over the stanza and tweet it – I’d love to see it!