Listen To The Story
Marketplace

At the House Judiciary Committee hearing with Google's CEO Sundar Pichai, Rep. Zoe Lofgren from California had to ask for clarification that Google's Search algorithm is not a "little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what [Google is] going to show." She wasn't the only one that was confused by how Google works. On Twitter, one user responded to criticism of another Congressmembers' ignorance by tweeting, "in his defense, who is smart enough to understand how that whole series of tubes works?" We called up Safiya Noble, who teaches at the University of Southern California and has written extensively about algorithms and bias. Her latest book is called "Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism."

Click the audio player above to hear the full interview.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.