Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.
The machine has replaced the customer in being always right.
Except, that is, when it’s flamingly wrong.
For a short time on Tuesday, a search for “NBA founder” offered the answer “LaVar Ball” in a large box on the page.
Should you be a fan of sports or reality TV-style bombast, you’ll know that he’s the father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball.
The rather voluble, self-promoting father who’s happy to take on anyone, including the president.
However, given that the NBA has been around for quite a while, you’ll figure that LaVar Ball probably didn’t found the league, even if he might think he did.
What on earth happened, then?
Google’s new public liaison for search, Danny Sullivan, offered a pleasingly detailed explanation on Twitter.
He said that the NBA itself doesn’t seem entirely clear who founded it.
Ah, but that may not be right either.
Confusing, isn’t it? And uplifting that Google’s machines matched our very human confusion. They looked around the web to see what information they could find.
Clearly it wasn’t consistent. So, in their exasperation, the machines opted for LaVar Ball because he recently proclaimed he was founding the JBA — the Junior Basketball Association — for kids who don’t want to go to college.
Yes, but what’s the right answer?
The NBA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
For its part, Google’s search engine decided to throw all of the NBA’s versions up in the air and let them land where any airball might.
Instead, it’s plumped for New York City as having founded the NBA in 1946. Which is 21 years before LaVar Ball was born.
It’s surely refreshing that Google’s machines might be flummoxed by uncertainty.
One can only imagine the company’s algorithms silently cursing, as they searched for the right answer.
And what an answer they concocted.
Still, who could discount that in the coming days, the JBA creator won’t explain that his spirit was already fully formed in 1946 and flowed through New York City to inspire the great league’s creation?
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