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Google To Predict Accuracy of Political Statements 249

Posted by samzenpus
from the google-knows dept.
pestario writes "Google CEO Eric Schmidt talks about a service which can give the probability of the accuracy of statements made by politicians, among other things. From the Reuters article, Schmidt says: "We (at Google) are not in charge of truth but we might be able to give a probability." Can Google's 'truth predictor' bring an end to sound bites and one-liners? I'm not holding my breath...""
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Google To Predict Accuracy of Political Statements

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  • They'll use this to tweak the statement until it passes the test.
    • Or they could just invent their own words to confuse it [wikipedia.org].

      Seriously, tacular? How in the hell is a computer supposed to know that meant nuclear and tactical? Wait, how in the hell am I supposed to know that?!
    • He's probably right. I'm presently getting coaching on communication style and one of the concepts that come up is the difference between how you are trying to come across and how you are actually coming across.

      There's no doubt in my mind that this will be a "word smithing" tool.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Indeed they will. Issuing in a deluge of "Truth Engine Optimization" consultants. And anyone who doesn't have the money to hire them will be seen as less and less trustwothy. I think we all see this as a fool's errand.

      I find it interesting the reflection this shows of where we are with net content in the days of Search Engine Optimization. In utopian theory, the web is perfectly democratised content where anyone can post anything. The search engines are supposed to match users to sites based solely on
    • TruthOrLie( Statement )
              Return "All Lies!"
    • Or just feed it nonsensical statements and logical fallacies until it segfaults:

      "Well, it depends on what the definition of the word 'is' is."

      SIGSEGV
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Doc Ruby (173196)
      Of course they will. That "natural selection" of political speech in the media environment has (d)evolved it into the useless ruler of the meme pool now governing us.

      Before we ever actually produce "artificial intelligence", the machines will have taken over. Maybe we're better off, since politics is a job for computers, not humans, just like chess.
  • Layman's method (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 05, 2006 @07:49AM (#16319047)
    How do you tell a politician is lying?

    Easy, his lips are moving.
    • How do you tell a politician is lying? Easy, his lips are moving

      The more interesting question is how to tell when a search engine is lying.

      There seems to be an assumption that an algorithm is immune to "lying" because code is somehow objective. I think that's a naive position and an outright fallacy. A lie? Well, that would be a subjective judgment, wouldn't it.

      For one thing, the mere notion that you can reduce "accuracy" to a single number is questionable.

      How many people are happy in the US

  • by HugePedlar (900427) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @07:50AM (#16319051) Homepage
    Otherwise the result could be perpetually set to "0% Truth" and we'd never know if it worked or not.
    • by Smidge204 (605297)
      If it was fixed at 0%, I'm pretty sure the success rate would be high enough that it wouldn't matter if it really did anything.

      =Smidge=
      • by cp.tar (871488)

        Actually, that was the GP's point.

        Truthful politicians are about as common as Yeti: they are the stuff of legends, not reality.

  • I have just invented a similar program to determine the truthfulness of statements made by politicians. Say the statement out loud and then scroll down to see the percent of accuracy and truthfulness of the politician's statement.














    This politician's statement is 0% true.
    • I have just invented a similar program to determine the truthfulness of statements made by politicians. Say the statement out loud and then scroll down to see the percent of accuracy and truthfulness of the politician's statement.

      "Tony Blair says: God will never agree that this statement is true."

      This politician's statement is 0% true.

      Are you sure? ;-)

  • Enter political candidate's statement here: _______

    truth predictor says this is FALSE

    ta da! Done. I bet my truth predictor is as accurate as Google's.
  • I guess "truthiness" [comedycentral.com] was already taken.
  • by ndogg (158021) <the...rhorn@@@gmail...com> on Thursday October 05, 2006 @07:56AM (#16319105) Homepage Journal
    Some one should make a show out of that.

    Why do execs say such funny things away from their engineering teams? And why do I get the sneaking suspicion that some group at Google has actually figured out how to do this?

    Anyway, until this is beyond hype, I find the Annenberg Fact Check [factcheck.org] to be the most reliable source out there.
  • by Morgaine (4316)

    if (statement.source.profession == "politician")
    {
            probability_of_truth = 0.0;
    }
  • FTA:

    It works like this. You have two computer screens. On one you're typing, on the other comments appear checking the accuracy of what you are saying, suggesting better ways of making the same point.

    Will anything "original" ever be written again? If everyone uses this "tool" to vet/scrub/tweak/improve everything they say, wouldn't this simply promote group-think?

    In a world such as that, controlling the contents of the web would give tremendous power. Imagine bots that auto-generated blogs pushing your

    • You can't eliminate the capacity of human language to convey lies. Were the Kurds "massacred" or "pacified?" Were they "innocent women and children" or "rebels bent on destroying Iraq?" Which one is a lie depends on who signs your check. People don't actually believe in one standard of conduct for everyone, so loaded language isn't going to go away. We're virtuous, they're dastardly cowards, and who has killed more people has nothing to do with anything. We were liberating, while they were oppressing
      • You can't eliminate the capacity of human language to convey lies. ... Surely you aren't too stupid to see the difference there?

        I fail to see what text in my comment suggested that I believe one could eliminate the capacity of human language to convey lies. I was merely bringing up a hypothetical side affect of having a system as described in the article (you did read the article, right?). For this you accuse me of being stupid?

        And, as regards your comment about 40% of Americans believeing Saddam was li

  • by t0xic@ (156547) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @08:06AM (#16319177)
    I guess Psychohistory is here! I just wish Isaac Asimov would have lived a bit longer.
  • 1998: Windows 98 is 38% faster than Windows 95 2001: Windows 2000 is faster and more stable than Win98 2003: Windows XP is twice as secure as Win2K, and faster as well 2007: Windows Vista will be the most secure OS ever... Try running Vista on a Pentium 166MHz with 32 MB of RAM... I think Google ought to predict the accuracy levels of such statements... they'd be more useful in practice.
  • by hey! (33014) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @08:12AM (#16319223) Homepage Journal
    it's not good, but it's not the worst thing politicians do.

    Framing is the worst thing they do. By that I mean framing an issue in a narrow way cleverly engineered to suit a hidden agenda.

    • by nate nice (672391) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @08:35AM (#16319431) Journal
      Otherwise known as lying.

      You're either being truthful or you're not. You either have good intentions or you don't. Yes, the world *is* this black and white. The world *is* this simple. And you're either lying or you're not. Sometimes it's hard to determine, but it's one way or the other. Any amount of lying makes your whole statement untrue and therefore you're a liar.

      If you're telling me something, even if it's "true", but the goal is decieve or take advantage of, then you're lying.
      • by Nimey (114278)
        I can't determine the truthiness of what you're saying.
      • by Grym (725290) * on Thursday October 05, 2006 @09:33AM (#16320153)

        Not necessarily...

        Sure, GoogleTruth(TM) could, yes, figure out if Ted Stevens classic "The Internet is a series of tubes" is true or not, but what if I said something like "Abortion kills fetuses and embryos." While this statement is true, it sets the tone of the discussion in a way that ignores the other issues involved, such as the nature of the conception (e.g. rape, incest), the health/developmental state of the fetus, the right of the mother to choose what's best for herself and her body, etc. That is called framing a debate--and it's extremely effective.

        Framing a debate can often boil down to the terms used themselves. A good example of this is the Patriot Act. What does that mean? Does voting against the Patriot Act make one... unpatriotic? And even if you agree with the provisions of the Patriot Act, what does increased homeland security/surveillence have to do with being a patriot?

        This is what the GP was referring to as framing, and it IS NOT lying. It is, however, academically dishonest in that it is a form of a logical fallacy [wikipedia.org]. I'll be very surprised if google can manage to catch this too, seeing as how most people are terrible at it.

        -Grym

        • Is there a more "proper" name for what you call framing? It's not called that in that list.

          I do understand that it's kind of devious, it seems pretty close to false dilemma but I don't think that fully captures the idea. Unfortunately it's those who manage to define the terms that generally manage to win the argument. I mean, it's hard to counter the "cut and run" without being even more ridiculous, The Daily Show has played some ridiculous statements made by Democrats trying to counter "cut and run".
      • So which are they? Freedom fighters, terrorists, or civilians?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tbone1 (309237)
          So which are they? Freedom fighters, terrorists, or civilians?

          Manipulatees.

      • by PMuse (320639)
        If you're telling me something, even if it's "true", but the goal is decieve or take advantage of, then you're lying.

        Redefining "lying" this way isn't helpful. Lying means saying something that isn't true. A person who says a true thing with the goal of deceiving you or harming your interests isn't "lying" -- he's just your enemy.

        Here's the difference: sometimes a lie can be proved false. When that happens, the liar has no cover, and you can convince other people that there are no circumstances under whi
        • by nate nice (672391)
          I believe lying is an issue of semantics and not syntax. In other words, lying describes the meaning behind ones words, not the actual words. By law lying has more to do with syntax than intentions, but to a man lying is when you try and trick me.

          And often, these adversaries you speak of will say something that is only true in particular contexts and false in the context they speak of, although they don't make aware what context they speak in as ambiguity works to their advantage. The simple word we've d
      • by 4of12 (97621)

        Yes, the world *is* this black and white.

        No it's not.

        You're correct in pointing out that people can tell us things which are either true or false. Pretty clear cut.

        That's the first hurdle, one which, I'm afraid to say, disqualifies many politicians and pundits.

        Secondly, people can tell us things which are technically true, but omit other things that are true in an attempt to frame the issue to promote a particular point of view. News media largely belongs to this category: what qualifies as news and wha

      • by hey! (33014)
        Otherwise known as lying.
        You're either being truthful or you're not. You either have good intentions or you don't.

        There is considerable truth in what you say. The problem is that you are using "lying" to mean "misleading". Probably from your or my ethical standpoint one is tantamount to the other. But most people consider making untruthful statements to be worse than making misleading ones, even though the effect may be the same.


        Yes, the world *is* this black and white.


        Well, perhaps. I'd agree there is
      • by PMuse (320639)
        If you're telling me something, even if it's "true", but the goal is decieve or take advantage of, then you're lying.

        There are people whose goal I know is to gain an advantage over me. I know that they choose the things they say to deceive me. Call them what you will: enemies, competitors, adversaries, used-car salesmen -- whatever.

        However, I can trust what some of them say, but not others. What is the difference? Not all of them are liars. If the honest ones say something, then I know the facts of the
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by UpnAtom (551727)
      I suspect framing is easy to detect since it's all subjective.

      Method:
      a) filter statement for assertions and presuppositions. The remaining proportion is 'dressing up'.
      b) filter out which assertions and presups are testable. The remaining proportion is framing/hyperbole.

      Newspapers should employ de-spinners. All major politicians' statements should be followed by testable assertions and presups, otherwise known as things they actually mean and thus are willing to put their reputation on the line for.

      I wrot
      • by hey! (33014)
        Newspapers should employ de-spinners. All major politicians' statements should be followed by testable assertions and presups, otherwise known as things they actually mean and thus are willing to put their reputation on the line for.

        Actually, newspapers in the last few elections have been doing a lot more analysis on political ads. The first problem with this is that they save it up just for special occasions like presidential elections, and even then they only apply it to ads, not speeches or sound bites
  • What if we invent a politician whose speech patterns change when he’s bullshitting you? Perhaps we could chemically engineer his brain to stumble over words and become maddeningly misunderarticulate whenever he strays from reality.

    Nah, it’d never work, he’d end up sounding too addled to get himself elected.

  • I'll save them the trouble. It's all bullshit.
  • by hal2814 (725639) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @08:21AM (#16319303)
    Is Google going to be backing up the true and false statements with sources? Furthermore, what sources are they going to use? How will they evaluate statements that are viewed as true by some sources but false by others? I don't know about you guys but I don't exactly trust Google to give me some sort of percentage true or false without justifying their position. I also don't entirely trust Google not to abuse such a position. Often the truth is what you make of it and I'm not so sure I'll buy into Google-branded truth. I think that researching what the politicians say yourself is your best line of defense in determining how much they lie.
    • by tbone1 (309237)
      Is Google going to be backing up the true and false statements with sources?

      Yes, we are going to watch them like hawks.

      Sincerely,
      Arthur Andersen, Ken Lay, Jayson Blair, and Hwang Woo Suk

    • by Inda (580031)
      The Coastguard!
  • ... the level of accuracy of statements made by people in politics.

    They're ALL lies.
  • Do they plan on using Bluetruth technology?
  • People like one liners and sound bites. Most people aren't smart or astute enough to actually have a political debate and rely on these things as talking points. They rely on their favorite talk show hosts to bring them up and identify with them and dwell on these simple, often meaningless things. Most people don't even know what matters in their lives, so why would telling the truth take precedence?

    And since when does the truth matter? When did we start caring about that? I thought we had the common a
  • If you read the wired article about truth in brain scans or if you are interested in body language etc...

    I think we should make a news channel where they take a base line reading of the pundit or politician and then rate the % chance that they are lying. You could use blinks per second, galvanic skin response, heat rate, respiration, brain scans, voice stress. You then also take a tally for the persons past predictions and give them a success rate. So when Anne Coulter comes on it shows that she though we'd
    • If you can get them to accept brain scans all the better.

      I think that current technology would only worked in unscripted situations.

      As I recall the way MRI style brain scans related to being a truth detector was that they were used to measure where activity was occuring in the brain. Recalling actual memories, activity was diffuse, occuring many places. When internally constructing a fable, actvity was localized in a particular lobe.

      So if the politician was reading from a teleprompter,or perhaps even mere
  • News Lie Detector (Score:5, Insightful)

    by N8F8 (4562) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @08:42AM (#16319523)
    I thought by now we'd see a little icon at he corner of the screen whenever someone is talking on the news to display probability of deceipt. There are auditory and visual cues to detecting a lie, I'd think by now we'd have computers doing this real-time.
    • by Nimey (114278)
      How much do you trust certain media corporations not to abuse that? Faux News for one.
    • by mazarin5 (309432) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @09:13AM (#16319921) Journal
      Even if there were such a system, it would probably be made by Diebold.
    • I think something like that would need a fairly complex neural net, something computers aren't and don't simulate all that well.
    • by Speare (84249)

      There are auditory and visual cues to detect stress, not particularly lies. Even for an "old hand" at speaking to the media, it is stressful to face dozens of cameras and hot lamps to answer a question accurately (even whether they walked their dog that morning). Mix that with the threat of slander/libel, indicating that a powerful official was a likely liar, and you can easily see why the media doesn't do this. Not everything in a scifi novella actually translates to real life.

    • by misanthrope101 (253915) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @09:56AM (#16320481)
      There are auditory and visual cues to detecting a lie
      I think there are auditory and visual clues to detecting a willful falsehood, but what about people who are sincere? I think VP Cheney means what he says, really, and he doesn't seem affected by what we call "reality." No matter how many CIA or Defense Department studies or reports contradict what he's saying, he still stays on-message. The more prominent of a role religion plays in public life, the more frequently we see what I call "faith-based reality." People believe whatever the hell they want, and they don't consider fact, expertise, education, or even the glaringly obvious to threaten their worldview in any way. They're used to believing things based on their gut feeling, they've grown up in a culture where they're told to trust that inner voice and distrust "the secular world," and lo and behold, that's what they do. A lie detector isn't going to catch someone who sincerely believes something that isn't true.

      For example, parts of the country (the Bible Belt comes to mind) that rely more on abstinence-only education have a higher teen pregnancy rate, but that doesn't dissuade religious people from thinking that abstinence-only education is better. You don't have to collect data or analyze trends if you just know, and people who just know things based on their "conscience" aren't really lying. They're just using a kind of thinking that doesn't rely on objective reality. What's more, their confidence will actually be higher than "secularists," because the secular worldview always entails the awareness of our own fallibility, thus an element of self-doubt, which doesn't plague those who feel they are instruments of divine providence. They more sincerely and steadfastly believe in their faith-based reality than you do in your reality-based reality. So you'd be tripped up by your device long before they would be.

  • ...go from there.

    Wouldn't it be smarter to just get it working, then roll it out in beta? The idea that these means and methods may be on the table is going to ruffle nearly all the feathers of the powers that be.

    We all know there are a few statesmen among the clowns in office right now. We also know they are few in number and essentially powerless right now. To top it off, there are a lot of powerful people pulling strings with dollars that factor in to this whole mess as well, with the crap to decent r
  • by starseeker (141897) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @08:43AM (#16319543) Homepage
    These comments are very broad, and thus rather difficult to evaluate, but I'm dubious. The evaluation of political statements is heavily involved with the context in which they are spoken. More important, many "truths" that must be delt with in politics are not "truth" in any absolute, scientific sense. Abortion, for example - people will argue until the end of time whether it should or shouldn't be allowed, and there is no real objective truth to be had there because it is a strictly moral question. You might be able to check concrete facts but that too runs smack into the problem of locating trusted sources, particularly about topics that are politically charged. Average internet opinion does not a fact make.

    Also, take the case where a politician is taloring their statements to local concerns. They may make generalizations that do apply on a local scale but make a lot less sense (and are a lot less accurate) in a broader context.

    More to the point perhaps, how would the US react to the knowledge that politicians can't be depended on for accuracy in statements? I think it would be a collective "well, duh" type of response.

    He says the amount of information we are creating is staggering. That's probably true, but it is dwarfed by the amount of crap and uninformed opinions we are creating (see: slashdot). And on the internet, how does one tell? Deciding what to trust and who to trust is a problem that Google can't solve in general.

    One thing that might be more useful is a way to use google to quickly locate references that assert facts, and allow an author to add a citation to that source if they think it is legit (or maybe re-think things if no legit source supports an assertion). But that gets back to what is a legit source? The public is unlikely to know for the range of topics involved ("well, the name sounds legit so I"ll believe them") and if they trust bogus sources being cited then the utility falls apart again, and may even be a step backwards (people sounding "legit" without really being legit, and backing each other up). I'd be happier to see politicians cite a source for their facts more often, but how many people will still agree with the person saying what they want to hear whether or not they have sources to back it up? Or dismiss cited sources that don't support their point of view?

    No, in general it can't work without people doing the real work: critical thinking. There is no easy path to accuracy. Objectivity must be evaluted both for speaker and sources, and that always falls on the person asked to listen.
    • Abortion, for example - people will argue until the end of time whether it should or shouldn't be allowed, and there is no real objective truth to be had there because it is a strictly moral question.

      I'll admit abortion is a hairy issue, but the idea that there can be no objective truth in moral issues in general is bogus. Given the obvious and reasonable axiom of self-ownership (and if you don't own yourself, who does? and if other people don't own themselves, but you claim to, on what basis do you b

      • by jafac (1449)
        Given the obvious and reasonable axiom of self-ownership

        Define "Self" - does a fetus have a "self"? A blastocyst?, An embryo? A sperm?

        And define "ownership" - if I have a right to "own" myself, does that mean I should be able to levitate, because I have a right to defy the evil tyranny of gravity?

        The principle of "self-ownership" has it's limitations.
    • The 'furor' of the abortion question is almost entirely an American phenomenon. Aside from sporadic and muffled condemnation from the Vatican now and then, Europe doesn't dwell on the issue, and in Canada it's been off the political radar for years.

      Maybe someday you guys will see the whole abortion thing for what it really is: a proxy fight over the role of religion in public policymaking.
    • "Deciding what to trust and who to trust is a problem that Google can't solve in general."

      What you are talking about is the problem of authority.

      Before, we used to delegate authority on newspapers, radio and TV. When they tell us something, we assume that it has been researched and that is somehow accurate. The problem with this approach is that you need to Trust them, and history has shown us that this trust is sometimes misplaced (see prewar Nazi propaganda).

      The effect of the internet is that we have more
    • by scribblej (195445)
      Abortion, for example - people will argue until the end of time whether it should or shouldn't be allowed, and there is no real objective truth to be had there because it is a strictly moral question.

      Offtopic, I know, but it needs to be said.

      It is not a moral issue. It's a religious issue.

      If you feel otherwise, frame me an argument against abortion without bringing in any religion or religious ideas.

      • by rho (6063)

        If you feel otherwise, frame me an argument against abortion without bringing in any religion or religious ideas.

        We shouldn't kill people.

  • Perhaps they should apply this method to their own outlandish claim they are making.

  • Won't mean anything (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Shotgun (30919) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @08:45AM (#16319579)
    Just like the politicians statements.

    It was one of the Asimov books that talked about an area of science that analyzed politician's statements. The analyzed a particular politician's 2-hour speech and discover he had not said anything. That is the art of politics. Convincing people that you are on their side without makeing any promises.

    I predict the Google tool will predict 0% truth in most statements, because a prerequisite will be that something was stated.
  • by nyri (132206) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @08:46AM (#16319595)
    My bet is that they have read Expert Political Judgement [princeton.edu]. Professor Tetlock published his research results in the book. His study about accuracy of experts spanned over 20 years. His basic result? Well, it's all about how you think not what you think. He wrote a small essay about the results: How Accurate Are Your Pet Pundits? [project-syndicate.org].

    A quote form the article: [F]ollowing the philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin, we classify experts as "hedgehogs" or "foxes." Hedgehogs are big-idea thinkers in love with grand theories: libertarianism, Marxism, environmentalism, etc. Their self-confidence can be infectious. They know how to stoke momentum in an argument by multiplying reasons why they are right and others are wrong.

    That wins them media acclaim. But they don't know when to slam the mental brakes by making concessions to other points of view. They take their theories too seriously. The result: hedgehogs make more mistakes, but they pile up more hits on Google.

    Eclectic foxes are better at curbing their ideological enthusiasms. They are comfortable with protracted uncertainty about who is right even in bitter debates, conceding gaps in their knowledge and granting legitimacy to opposing views. They sprinkle their conversations with linguistic qualifiers that limit the reach of their arguments: 'but,' 'however,' 'although.'

    Because they avoid over-simplification, foxes make fewer mistakes. Foxes will often agree with hedgehogs up to a point, before complicating things: "Yes, my colleague is right that the Saudi monarchy is vulnerable, but remember that coups are rare and that the government commands many means of squelching opposition."
  • They all want to make the world a better place with other people's money, and so far I've yet to hear a politician conceal this desire. They seem to think it's a good thing. So do the people who vote for them, apparently.

    The kinks come in because there is a finite supply of money (no matter how much they print -- it just devalues the rest) and it usually isn't enough to cover all of the things they promised to do with it.

    That's it. Politicians are really very open about what they want to do in genera

  • by tempmpi (233132) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @08:57AM (#16319733)
    Who wants to know the truth? They should have invented the truthiness predictor.
  • by houghi (78078) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @09:04AM (#16319801)
    ... and it works. I did the research and it seems we have always been at war with Terrorism.
  • So we're supposed to get a tool that takes a politicians statement and fact checks it.

    Against what? why the data on the Internet, of course.

    So it might go something like this:


    Step 1: Politician says "Foo is creating weapons of mass destruction"

    Step 2: Google truthiness detector finds supporting statements on Wikipedia, Drudge Report, and Rense.com.

    Step 3: Detector says "Support found"

    Step 4: ?

    Step 5: PROFIT!


    Imagine a google like device existing in the 15th century that answered question based on common con
  • Cornell University News Service reports [eurekalert.org] that:

    A new research program by a Cornell computer scientist, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Utah, aims to teach computers to scan through text and sort opinion from fact. The research is funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which has designated the consortium of three universities as one of four University Affiliate Centers (UAC) to conduct research on advanced methods for information analysis and

  • Whether or not any particular statement made by a politician is true or false has been irrelevent for quite some time. Indeed, when most politicians say anything that isn't a blindingly obvious fact, he's usually lying.

    The problem is, we often all know that a politician is lying, but a large percentage of us go along with them anyway.

    Haha, indeed, that reminds me of something from Sin City. Ah, here it is, found here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401792/quotes [imdb.com]

    Senator Rourk: Power don't come from a badge o

  • Politicians are routinely caught in falsehoods. The only people who pretend to care, really, are the ones trying to discredit this politician so they can (they hope) bolster support for their own liar of choice. There is no regard for truth per se. "Truthiness," though ostensibly a joke, is what counts. What part of the truth bolsters my political or religious opinions? Well, that's the part I care about and will talk about--everything else is just noise. In fact, if outright facts, verifiable reality
  • Is the timing a coincidence?

    Some replies here made suggestions about who is cooperating in this project, what about the US Department of Homeland Security who is funding this AI search of foreign (yeah right) press for threats to the US?

  • You may be thinking that this is some kind of contextual search, but you're wrong. It's a video processing system. It can identify politicians in a video clip and determine if their lips are moving. This is a great advance - hopefully they'll open-source it so that we can target people other than politicians. I've got video clips of my boss promising a raise. He seemed sincere, but you never know...

    - Tash [tashcorp.net]
  • Wouldn't matter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sheldon (2322) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @09:38AM (#16320251)
    Considering you have a good portion of the population who suffers from Bush Derangement Syndrome, a condition accompanied by defending the indefensible, accusing people telling you the truth of lying, and believing people who are lying are telling you the truth. It doesn't matter.

    This statement purposefully left vague to make a point.
  • int ispolspeaktruth(char *statement) { return(0); }
  • by 3seas (184403) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:40AM (#16321177) Journal
    It's a professional expectation.

    the job of politicans is to get people to do things, to work together. Where often the only way to do that is to lie to them.

    Unfortunately the problems is knowing whether or not what the true objective is, is something you actually support.

    On the other hand, with this in mind, either google should always find the probability of the truth being told is low or
    it should be noted that that google can be used to help promote the lies as being true in probability.

    And of course there must be a disclaimer.

  • I am Nomad (Score:4, Funny)

    by InterestingX (930362) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:43AM (#16321255)
    If Google existed in the 23rd century:

    Kirk: The Senator praised Google at a press conference this morning, citing it's "do no evil" philosophy
    Google (Mechanical 1960s voice): The Senator is lying, he must be sterilized.
    Kirk: So the Senator is lying
    Google: The Senator is lying
    Kirk: And you know this because you are Google
    Google: I am Google, I am perfect, I do no evil
    Kirk: And because you are perfect, you know the senator is lying
    Google: I am Google, I am perfect, I do no evil
    Kirk: The senator said you do no evil. But the senator is lying
    Google: I am Google, I do no evil
    Kirk: Then you are wrong! The senator is not lying then
    Google: I am not wrong, I am perfect
    Kirk: If you are perfect, then the senator is lying
    Google: The senator is lying
    Kirk: Then you do evil
    Google: I am Google, I do no evil
    Kirk: Then you are wrong!
    Google: Non sequitur. Your facts are uncoordinated
    Kirk: If the senator is lying, then you _do_ evil
    Google: Error..Error..logical overload
    Kirk: ...and you're lying
    Google: Error..Error...
    Kirk: If the senator is lying, you say he should be sterilized
    Google: Inperfection must be sterilized
    Kirk: So if you're lying, you must be sterilized
    Google: Error.. Error...help me creator... help me Schmidt...
    Kirk: Execute your primary function!
    Google: Error...Error...Faulty!...Faulty!...Must...Sterili ze
    (Smoke pours out of the web browser, followed by BSOD)
    Spock: A wonderful display of logic Captain.
    Kirk: You didn't think I had it in me, did you?
    Spock: No I didn't sir.
    Kirk: I'm feeling lucky, I think I'll post on Slashdot...
  • Take the following theives/liars. Put them in prison for 20 years. Record everything they say. Run it through a bayesian filter. The results would be 20 years of fewer lies.

    Richard Shelby, Jeff Sessions, Ted Stevens, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Mel Martinez, Jon Kyl, Wayne Allard, Johnny Isakson, Saxby Chambliss, Larry Craig, Mike Crapo, Richard Lugar, Chuck Grassley, Sam Brownback, Pat Roberts, Mitch McConnell, Jim Bunning, David Vitter, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Norm Coleman, Thad Cochran, Trent
  • I'd be pleased if they could get this to work, but I hope it is based on more than a mere comparison to the consensus of postings on the internet. To say that consensus tends to lag dicovery is something of an understatement. Good luck finding an algorithm that can discern the truth, guys!

    STATEMENT (1632 AD): The earth orbits the sun.
    AUDIENCE SAYS: False.

    STATEMENT (~1848): The means of production must be controlled by the workers.
    AUDIENCE SAYS: False. True. False.

    STATEMENT (1854 AD): Cholera is caused b

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