Google has issued an apology after its Google Home device was caught reading out fake news

Rowe said that one solution would be for Google to make the process less automated.
By David Sims | Mar 08, 2017
Google has issued an apology after its Google Home device was caught reading out fake news items to some questions, and presenting them as the correct answer.

During the weekend, users of the Google Home voice-activated speaker noticed that when they asked the application whether Barack Obama was planning a coup, the answer was surprising.

"Obama may be funding a communist" the device replied, but struggled with the pronunciation of 'coup d'etat.'

Google home gets its answers from 'snippets,' another Google feature.

Snippets use an algorithm to respond to questions entered into its search engine and then select one answer to put above the others in a breakout box.

According to David Rowe, professor of cultural research at the University of Western Sydney, the problem was that featured snippet was sometimes wrong.

According to Rowe, the featured snippet could also be fake.

Rowe said that one solution would be for Google to make the process less automated.

Google released a statement saying that it is working to resolve the problem.

"When we are alerted to a Featured Snippet that violates our policies, we work quickly to remove them, which we have done in this instance. We apologize for any offenses it might have caused," the statement read.

Rowe warned that although some fake answers might seem obviously wrong, it would not be safe to assume that everyone would have that response.

Rowe added that both adults and children have great faith in search engines, but children have even more.

Peter Fray, professor of journalism at the University of Technology Sydney, said that there is a need to train people, from early as primary school, how to spot fake news

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