I found this yesterday. I knew this was coming. We have a Google Home Mini, so we asked it a lot of dumb questions.
Hey Google, do you like spaghetti?
Hey Google, do you like Star Wars?
Hey Google, where’s Santa?
The Google Assistant is programmed to come back with a variety of witty remarks. When you ask it where Santa is, it’ll tell you, right before x-mas, that All is fine, Santa is busy with final preparations in the workshop. When asked about spaghetti, Google will tell you that she never had spaghetti, but that she likes assisting you and searching for things.
Google is a US based company and (unfortunately eds.), a lot of the US population is deeply religious.
Just moments ago, I received word that the response from Google Home for “who is Jesus” was updated to “Religion can be complicated, and I’m still learning.” I have verified on multiple devices that this is correct and it also applies to asking about other major religious figures. We’re not sure at this point what Google’s future plans are but clearly, it is a work in progress. I, for one, am glad to see this step initiated and look forward to Google’s handling the matter.
Well, it’s not exactly all that new, man. When I asked: Hey Google, do you believe in God? I got the same (goddamn) answer, ages ago.
The “handling of the matter” is a dead giveaway.
Strap yourself in, because we’re going off our meds.
Before you close your browser let me take a moment to put your mind at rest. First and foremost, I am a Believer, a follower of The Way; a Christian if you will. With that being said, my beliefs are my own and I do not use this platform to voice personal doctrine. This is not the purpose of Chrome Unboxed.
So this “article” – for Chrome Unboxed, then stops here?
This is something zealots have a tendency to do. They first claim, well, I am just voicing an opinion, and it’s just my own opinion and then they will let ‘er rip and begin to nag and whine.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, I want to make it clear that this article is not a response to any personal offense taken on my part. Nor is it in any way an effort to force my personal beliefs on anyone.
Of course not, of course not.
Organizing your life and the lives of your children around the belief that an invisible, omnipotent creature lives in an invisible “Heaven” is perfectly reasonable. We should all therefore listen attentively whenever you utter unfounded (and often crazy) bullshit regarding said “belief”.
So what is it you want, Christian?
My only goal is to point out that something is off kilter with one of Google’s products and I would be remiss if I didn’t point it out. As much as we are fans of all things Google, we would be doing a disservice if we avoided that shadier side of tech in favor of ambiguity.
That’s odd. When I asked Google how many planets there are in our solar system I got a factually correct response back. It was also able to name these planets in order. Google also seemed to understand what we revolve around the sun and that there is no heaven but aforementioned solar system. Our star – the sun – will use up all its fuel thru nuclear fusion in a couple of billion years and then expand, swallowing up the inner planets, including our own, killing all life on earth. After that the sun will explode, wiping out our solar system.
Google also seems to understand that we cannot see Santa’s workshop on the North Pole, because it is invisible.
And “shadier side of tech”?
I smell a conspiracy.
Still, I understand that my views expressed henceforth may be unpopular with many in and outside of the tech world.
Well, not “unpopular”, we just don’t really care about fairy tales since we’ve devoted our lives to zeroes and ones, what we call the measurable, provable universe and we tend to make our (rational) decisions based on that. We don’t really care much for a made up figure, called “Jesus”, who thought that slavery was just fine.
Needless to say, the true Crusader doesn’t care about all that.
And off we go.
So be it.
I will go ahead and drop a video here for you to watch before we dive into a discussion. Don’t worry, it will only take a minute to watch.
Great, so Google can mention a snippet about Mohammed and a snippet about Buddha.
But then the conspiracy begins.
Google cannot help with “Jesus”!!!!
If you need Google’s help with “Jesus” you’re already far, far off into the clouds, but let’s indulge the Christian (who’s just voicing his own opinion, about Google products, religion has nothing to do with it).
So, Google Home apparently has an issue acknowledging easily accessible information about Jesus. Yet, ask about other major figures from religions around the world and you can get the same information you’d expect from a traditional Google web search.
Oh. My. God!
He’s really onto something.
There are dark forces at work.
Can the Google Home still explain who Darth Vader is?
Then I’m not worried, okay?
Again, I did not run to my Chromebook to scream “religious oppression.” Instead, I would ask why Google, a company that preaches diversity and inclusion, seems to be intentionally side-stepping the center of Christian faith?
Yea, why is that?
I mean when I search for Christian faith using Google, I only get 178 million results, which is just suspiciously low.
And then I get this odd synopsis, with that odd symbol next to it. I am sure that synopsis is less detailed than say Buddha’s.
And then things become downright ominous. Right below that, I get a list of Christian faith places near my house, complete with their contact details AND directions on how to get there?!?!?
Google is clearly “side-stepping the center of Christian faith”.
In doing a bit of research for this article I actually stumbled upon Google’s website dedicated specifically to their vision of diversity where you will find statements such as:
Celebrate inclusion through our products
Again, he is not preaching here and guilt shaming Google or anything like that.
He is merely voicing his opinion.
Seems a tad contradictory in my humble opinion. Don’t get me wrong. I greatly enjoy my Google Home products. I use them daily and even my kids have grown to expect interaction with the Home Mini in my living room. It’s a great product.
And then here comes the "but"...
I repeated these searches with the Assistant on my mobile phone and got similar results for Muhammad and Buddha. Both offer up a profile card for the religious founders but searching Jesus or Jesus Christ brings only web results as if the Assistant is intentionally avoiding giving Jesus a label and is content returning search results.
I “love”… I absolutely adore the product, BUT… it must conform to my crazy belief in an invisible creature in heaven, who made this earth-woman pregnant while she slept with this halfgod child who was then hung on a cross, died, and came back to life. Oh… AND he also walked on water!
Dealing with Christians is like dealing with a four year old.
We played around with different questions and found that the Assistant doesn’t avoid the subject of Jesus altogether. Asking about the Last Supper will give you a Biblical account of the event. As for the question “Who is Jesus?”, the only combination that will incite an answer from Google Home is “who is Jesus of Nazareth?” While Biblically and historically accurate, one would expect Google Home to be more “inclusive” and simply answer the initial questions just like it does for the other religious figures.
I suggest the editors of Chrome Unboxed – the website where this article is published, but in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM ENDORSES THESE VIEWS, since the writer is just voicing his own opinion – check out Richard Carrier. He seems to know quite a bit about all that “historical accuracy”. No worries, you don’t have to ask the Google Home for any scary things like a PhD. Historian who deals with scary things like “facts”. I’ve included the link here, just click on his name.
At the end of the day, I have to ask myself (and Google) what the reasoning is behind this unusual happenstance. I would love to think that this is a simple matter of a glitch in the system but I seriously have a hard time swallowing that when it comes to this type of subject matter.
“This type of subject matter”, which is just an opinion, and has nothing to do with the Chrome Unboxed website, where it was published.
At the end of the day I am asking myself: are you sniffing glue?
Is Google purposely avoiding the inclusion of Jesus in their Home products? Could it be that their global presence has caused them to err on the side of caution as not to offend the non-Christian population or is it something more insidious at that?
I am thinking it’s much, much more “insidious”.
It’s the work of The Devil.
By the way… has anybody asked Google Home about the Devil?
I just did and mine said: My Master will reign the earth for a 1000 years. The serpent has been loosed from its prison.
That’s an odd response, no?
Then the Christian gets a bit… well… haughty.
It is my hope that Google would adhere to their own practices of diversity and inclusion by presenting non-biased results from their Google Home platform. This is not even a matter of religious equality so much as it is a corporation needing to practice what they preach.
Google, the ball is in your court.
I am sure Google – a company worth hundreds of billions of dollars – will just pick up the “ball” and run with it.
The new Google Home upgrade will make sure you can pray together with your Google Home as well as sing hymns.
Shouldn’t each Google Home device come with original sin, like as part of the hardware and/or software?