Veritas Staff Report
>Insider: “It’s time to decide, do we run the technology, or does the technology run us?”
>“I really don’t buy the idea that big tech is politically neutral.”
> “Are we going to just let the biggest tech companies decide who wins every election from now on?”
>“I look at search and I look at Google News and I see what it’s doing and I see Google executives go to Congress and say that it’s not manipulated. It’s not political. And I’m just so sure that’s not true.”
> “I have a PhD, I have five years’ experience at Google and I just know how algorithms are. They don’t write themselves. We write them to do what we want them to do.”
Watch video here…
(New York City) Project Veritas has published an on-the-record interview with an insider who works at Google named Greg Coppola. This video interview follows a series of insider Google reports, including internal Google documents, recently published by Project Veritas which exposed political bias, “algorithmic unfairness,” and the use of “blacklists” at YouTube.
Coppola is a senior software engineer at Google who works on artificial intelligence and the Google Assistant:
COPPOLA: I’ve been coding since I was ten [years old.] I have a PhD, I have five years’ experience at Google and I just know how algorithms are. They don’t write themselves. We write them to do what want them to do.”
(Other brave individuals who feel compelled to expose wrongdoing they witness can contact Project Veritas by sending an encrypted email to VeritasTips@protonmail.com.)
“that can be dangerous…”
The insider spoke with Project Veritas because he wants people to be aware of his concerns about technology companies’ ability to influence politics:
COPPOLA: “Well I think we’re just at a really important point in human history. I think for a while we had tech that was politically neutral. Now we have tech that really, first of all is taking sides in a political contest, which I think, you know, anytime you have big corporate power merging with political parties can be dangerous. And I think more generally we have to just decide now that we kind of are seeing tech use its power to manipulate people. It’s a time to decide, you know, do we run the technology, does the technology run us?”
Coppola believes that Google’s political motivations have compromised the integrity of the company’s Search and News products:
COPPOLA: “I think we had a long period, of ten years, let’s say, where we had search and social media that didn’t have a political bias and we kind of got used to the idea that the top search results at Google is probably the answer. And Robert Epstein who testified before Congress last week, um, looked into it and showed that, you know, the vast majority of people think that if something is higher rated on Google Search than another story, that it would be more important and more correct. And you know, we haven’t had time to absorb the fact that tech might have an agenda. I mean, it’s something that we’re only starting to talk about now.”
Asked about Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony to Congress in December 2018, where Pichai said Google’s algorithms are politically unbiased, Coppola said:
COPPOLA: “First of all, I report to Sundar of course. And I have a great deal of respect for him as a manager. I work on the Google Assistant, which really doesn’t have a political bias. Google Assistant is things like, hey, Google, set an alarm for nine AM, play some music, that type of stuff… I think it’s, you know, ridiculous to say that there’s no bias. I think everyone who supports anything other than the Democrats, anyone who’s pro-Trump or in any way deviates from what CNN and the New York Times are pushing, notices how bad it is.”
(Internal documents from big tech companies can be sent to Project Veritas via secure email at VeritasTips@protonmail.com)
“it was just a chance to work with the best computer scientists in the world”
According to Coppola, the company became more political just before the last presidential election:
COPPOLA: “I started in 2014. 2014 was an amazing time to be at Google. We didn’t talk about politics. No one talked about politics. You know, it was just a chance to work with the best computer scientists in the world, the best facilities, the best computers and free food. I think as the election started to ramp up, the angle that the Democrats and the media took was that anyone who liked Donald Trump was a racist… And that got picked up everywhere. I mean, every tech company, everybody in New York, everybody in the field of computer science basically believed that. A small number of people do work on making sure that certain new sites are promoted. And in fact, I think it would only take a couple out of an organization of 100,000, you know, to make sure that the product is a certain way…
Coppola pointed out that he believes most Google employees are not politically-driven in their work, and that the company is actually very protective of its users’ private data despite public criticism of the company:
COPPOLA: “Most people’s job [at Google] is not political and doesn’t involve politics. I mean there’s a vast number of systems and a lot of them have nothing to do with politics like processing natural language… In fact, I would say that Google actually concerns of the assistant is taking much longer to build the assistant than it would otherwise need to because there is such a respect at Google for privacy and for user data. And I hope you leave this in and I hope people realize that there is really, I would say as an insider at Google there is a lot of interest put in taking care of people’s data and conversely it means that, you know the list of reputations of mappings from new site to some number representing their credibility is probably something I can access.”
The insider expressed concern about going public, but also offered solutions for how to remedy allegations of political bias at Google:
COPPOLA: “I think the biggest problem here is just the overall lack of transparency that we have in our products today. Um, for example, if we had open source software, we would know why each answer was arrived at.”
COPPOLA: Yeah, I mean, I have a job that pays well and has other benefits like working with very intelligent coworkers and really at the forefront of computer science. The Google Assistant is probably the most advanced artificial intelligence system anywhere in the world. Then for someone like me who’s been coding since I was a kid, um, it’s hard to find a job that pushes me to the limits the way working at Google does. But I guess I just, you know, I look at search and I look at Google News and I see what it’s doing and I see Google executives go to Congress and say that it’s not manipulated. It’s not political. And I’m just so sure that’s not true. That it’s, you know, it becomes a lot less fun to work on the product. So it affects you that much. Yeah, definitely. I mean, the thing about Google is if you leave, um, you know, any other salary at any other company will be lower. Hmm. So I do think it’s a sacrifice.”
COPPOLA: “I just want to say to all the non-programmers that I really don’t buy the idea that big tech is politically neutral, and I think we need to start incorporating that into whatever strategy we use to have a democracy going forward.”
Project Veritas will continue to investigate political bias at big tech companies. Insiders at technology companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter can contact Project Veritas via encrypted email at VeritasTips@protonmail.com
(Big tech insiders can reach out to Project Veritas by sending an email to VeritasTips@protonmail.com to help expose similar newsworthy wrongdoing.)
(TLB) published this article from Project Veritas with our appreciation for making this story available.
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