The purpose of this paper is to examine the ethical implications of Google's Knowledge Graph. The paper argues that in the advent and implementation of said Knowledge Graph, the role of Google in users' lives and the power held by Google as the key intermediary of information must be scrutinized.
Revisiting existing literature on Google and its impact on knowledge culture, the paper seeks to assess whether the implementation of The Knowledge Graph represents a significant shift in the nature (or use) of the service.
The paper concludes that the extension to Google Search, The Knowledge Graph, can serve to radicalize Google's position as a key intermediary of information in users' lives. Rather than simply serving as a gatekeeper supplying the user with an array of links matching a given query, Google now conveniently disseminates information on their own site, roughly rendering the remainder of the web superfluous. Considering both the commercial nature and the opacity of the service, Google as a de facto solo editor of information is worrying from both a democratic and ethical perspective. A culture of emphatic insistence on convenience and consumption is likely to contribute to the impediment of autonomous information retrieval and digital literacy.
The paper must be considered a preliminary inquiry into Google's reliability as an editor of the body of knowledge. As of yet, no literature specifically has remarked on The Knowledge Graph.
This paper examines whether the newest extension of Google Search, The Knowledge Graph, poses any significant changes to the assessment of the service and its role in the culture. Fostering critical, digital literacy in search engine users is deemed of even more vital importance to society with the implementation of The Knowledge Graph. This paper, preliminary and far from exhaustive, seeks to initiate a discussion on the future responsibilities of Google, scholars and users in securing the ideal of critical digital literacy.
Juel Vang, K. (2013), "Ethics of Google's Knowledge Graph: some considerations", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 245-260. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICES-08-2013-0028Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited