Impossible. A Google AI Advocates for Plagiarism? Impossible.

August 1, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_tNote: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

Google became the world’s leading search engine because of its quality results. Alphabet Inc. might lose that title with its new “Search Generative Experience” (SGE) that uses an AI algorithm to copies and paste text from across the Internet and claims them as original content. SGE plagiarizes its information and even worse it cites false information. The article “Plagiarism Engine: Google’s Content-Swiping AI Could Break The Internet” posted on Tom’s Hardware examines SGE’s beta phase.

SGE’s search results page contains advice and answers from Google that occupy the entire first screen, requiring users to scroll to find organic search results. Google explains that they are experimenting with SGE and it will change before it’s deployed. Google claims it wants to put Web sites front and center, but their location in SGE (three blocks to the right of search results) will get few clicks and these are not always the best resources.

SGE attempts to answer search results with cobbled together text chunks that appear at the top of results pages. These text chunks are a mess:

“Even worse, the answers in Google’s SGE boxes are frequently plagiarized, often word-for-word, from the related links. Depending on what you search for, you may find a paragraph taken from just one source or get a whole bunch of sentences and factoids from different articles mashed together into a plagiarism stew. … It’s pretty easy to find sources that back up your claims when your claims are word-for-word copied from those sources. While the bot could do a better job of laundering its plagiarism, it’s inevitable that the response would come from some human’s work. No matter how advanced LLMs get, they will never be the primary source of facts or advice and can only repurpose what people have done.”

Google’s SGE has many negative implications. It touts false information as the truth. The average Internet user trusts Google to promote factual information and they do not investigate beyond the first search page. This will cause individual and societal harm, ranging from incorrect medical information to promoting conspiracy theories.

Google is purposely doing this an anti-competition practice. Google wants users to stay on its Web sites as long as possible. The implications of SGE as an all-encompassing search experience and information source support that practice.

Google and SGE steal people’s original work that irrevocably harms the publishing, art, and media industries. Media companies are already suing Google and other AI-based companies to protect their original content. The best way to stop Google is for an ultimate team-up between media companies:

“Companies could band together, through trade associations, to demand that Google respect intellectual property and not take actions that would destroy the open web as we know it. Readers can help by either scrolling past the company’s SGE to click on organic results or switching to a different search engine. Bing has shown a better way to incorporate AI, making its chatbot the non-default option and citing every piece of information it uses with a specific link back…”

If media companies teamed together for a class action lawsuit it could stop Google’s SGE bad practices and could even breakup Google’s monopoly.

Whitney Grace, August 1, 2023


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