The Hidden Human Labour Behind Search Engine Algorithms
A key issue is untangling how algorithms are produced and what the role of human labour is in technically mediated digital environments. The use of human quality-raters points to an increasing awareness by Google about multiple points of departure for interpreting search results in different locales. Human culture and reflexivity are proving difficult to sort out and rank under a mathematical function, regardless of the complexity of the function. This leads to a clash between the techno-utopian vision of Google’s search, the cultural nuances of different locales, and regulatory demands. There is a lot at stake for all actors whose digital existence relies on Google. When the technical vision promoted by the company reaches a point when it stops being convincing, the company loses its aura and puts its global dominance in jeopardy.