Earlier today, December 13, Google’s AI algorithm briefly called bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, a “collapsed economic bubble” in the card that shows up when they keyword “bitcoin” is searched for.
According to Finance Magnates, the card explained bitcoin is a “form of electronic cash” and went on to note that since its all-time high in December of last year, the cryptocurrency has lost 82% of its value. The card read:
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a form of electronic cash. The bitcoin market is widely viewed as a collapsed economic bubble as the price fell by 82% in the year ending December 2018.
It linked back to the Wikipedia page of Bitcoin as a source for what was in the card, but looking at the page only shows a reference to “the possibility that bitcoin is an economic bubble” in its criticism section. While the page has likely since been edited, it brings the influence of Google’s AI into question.
A couple of hours later, the card was amended and it currently just adds BTC is a “decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user-to-user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.”
As Finance Magnates points out, Google’s machine learning algorithm is affecting people’s lives in a massive way. Because of it, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was recently testifying in the US House of Representatives. During the testimony, he was asked about a potential political bias on the tech giant’s search results.
Google’s AI and Bitcoin Being a “Collapsed” Bubble
Responding, Pichai claimed Google’s algorithm looks at keywords based on “things like relevance, freshness, popularity and how other people are using it.” While it’s clear some see bitcoin a collapsed economic bubble, this point of view doesn’t define what the cryptocurrency is.
Throughout bitcoin’s brief history it has gone through several stages that could be considered bubbles, as its price surged and subsequently plummeted in relatively short periods of time. Last year, BTC hit an all-time high near $20,000 and has since dropped to little over $3,400, which some claim may be its bottom.
Per the news outlet, the incident showed Google managed to swiftly address the problem. Its AI is reportedly protected by the first amendment, meaning there’s nothing the cryptocurrency community may do about it.
Notably, this isn’t the first time Google misrepresents the cryptocurrency. As covered, an ad the company launched earlier this year involved characters talking about crypto, and ended up spreading widespread misunderstanding.