From Tech Reflect:
I don’t know if this is a macOS or iOS specific thing, but it’s a trend on those platforms in recent years that is very frustrating. It’s hard enough finding things on the internet but once you find them, it should be easy to find them again.
The order in which iOS shows you Siri search results is indeed puzzling. I get there’s a privacy v. convenience tradeoff argument that can be made but it’s not that this data isn’t on your device in these instances. I feel the pain of this whenever I dabble with Apple Maps in particular. Addresses of people I’ve taken the time to create contact cards for or based on areas it knows I’ve been to should be prioritized and used in search results, yet it rarely is (Apple has a TON of information in my travels on my local device and seems to completely squander it).
Wired writes about how Google’s Search Algorithm Could Steal the Presidency:
The thing is, though, even though it’s tempting to think of algorithms as the very definition of objective, they’re not. “It’s not really possible to have a completely neutral algorithm,” says Jonathan Bright, a research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute who studies elections. “I don’t think there’s anyone in Google or Facebook or anywhere else who’s trying to tweak an election. But it’s something these organizations have always struggled with.” Algorithms reflect the values and worldview of the programmers. That’s what an algorithm is, fundamentally. “Do they want to make a good effort to make sure they influence evenly across Democrats and Republicans? Or do they just let the algorithm take its course?” Bright asks.
Scary to think about the implications – intentional or not – of skewed search result data. Ultimately, people are building these algorithms and even if their intent is truly ‘good’, the possibility of pushing people one way or another is real. On a somewhat related note, there was a good Atlantic article last fall about a similar concern with Facebook.