(2 of 2)
Google isn't perfect by any stretch. It has a particularly tough time with nuance. Take the World's Funniest Joke, a headline that made the rounds last week after an outfit based in London claimed to have identified the best current wisecrack (a not particularly funny one about two guys in the woods and a call to 911). Many sites played this in the news-of-the-strange category, but Google displayed it earnestly as one of the top stories in its World section alongside more serious headlines. Google News also has a somewhat deficient disinformation detector, a weakness that got it into trouble a couple of weeks ago when its lead story was a piece of propaganda lifted directly from the Iranian News Service.
In its defense, Google says the current site is running a beta (i.e., unfinished, buggy) version of the software. They are still tweaking algorithms and evaluating news sources. I'm willing to wait and see. Meanwhile, I think I'll do something robots can't: take a lunch break and let the computers carry the load.
Want to know more? E-mail Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org