Google Gemini: AI fiasco reignites concerns of political bias at tech company dating back to Trump’s victory

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The controversy surrounding the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot Gemini is reigniting concerns about political bias at Google, a company that has repeatedly been accused of favoring Democrats and fostering a culture of progressive workers.

Bias in the tech world has been an issue for years, and it came to a head in 2017 when a male Google software engineer released a 10-page document titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” In the manifesto that liberal media members crucified at the time as an anti-diversity screed, he claimed that the company had a “left bias” and “microaggression training” had incorrectly equated “speech with violence.”

Then-Vice President for Diversity, Integrity, and Governance at Google, Danielle Brown, said that changing a culture is often “hard and uncomfortable” but stressed she believed Google was doing the right thing. She also claimed the letter’s viewpoint “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.”

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Google Gemini concerns around political bias

The Google Gemini story is the latest instance where the tech company has been accused of political bias.  (AllSides/screenshot/Leon Neal/Joe Raedle/ Mark Makela/Getty Images / Getty Images)

The letter came as Google faced a class-action lawsuit and a wage discrimination investigation by the Department of Labor, which alleged that the company often paid women less than men.

Google conducted its own study in 2019 and found that it was actually paying some men in level 4 software engineering roles less than women for doing similar work.

In 2018, a slew of internal meetings from Google were acquired by the media.

One of the videos showed an employee asking those in attendance to examine their “White privilege” and urged workers to go through “bias-busting training.” The crowd, including senior management, applauded the man as he concluded his speech.

Another clip showed “White Like Me: Race, Racism and White Privilege in America” author Tim Wise addressing employees during a DEI workplace training. Wise declared that “White anxiety” is a “public health crisis.” He also warned that it is not just the opioid crisis that is killing Americans but also “political opioids,” wherein voters turn to candidates who say they will bring back jobs and take away their pain.

The company faced significant backlash after several other videos showed Google senior leaders visibly distraught about former President Trump’s 2016 election victory.

During one employee panel, Google co-founder Sergey Brin began the event by saying, “OK, folks. I know this is probably not the most joyous TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) we have had. And, let’s face it, most people here are pretty upset and pretty sad because of the election.”

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Photo illustration of Google's AI model Gemini

The Google AI logo is being displayed on a smartphone with Gemini in the background in this photo illustration, taken in Brussels, Belgium, on February 8, 2024. (Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Brin would go on to say that as an immigrant and refugee, he found the 2016 election “deeply offensive.”

“I know many of you do, too. And I think it’s a very stressful time, and it conflicts with many of our values,” he added.

Kent Walker, now the chief legal officer at Alphabet Inc. and Eileen Naughton, who has served in various senior roles at Google dating back to 2006, also voiced displeasure at Trump’s win.

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The comments are perhaps unsurprising, given the donations sent to politicians and organizations by those affiliated with Google.

While organizations cannot contribute to candidates and party committees, the figures below include contributions from members, employees, or owners of Google, Alphabet Inc., and those individuals’ immediate family members.

In 2020, those affiliated with Google contributed $22.1 million to Democrats and just $1.22 million to Republicans. Google affiliates in 2022 gave $8.78 million to Democrats and $1.44 million to Republicans, according to Open Secrets.

Thus far, the 2024 election cycle has earned Democrats $2.03 million and Republicans $398,000 via Google affiliates. These numbers are expected to increase dramatically as the election approaches.

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Google Gemini employees political bias

Resurfaced videos and tweets of Google employees making political comments have come come under scrutiny amid backlash to the company’s Gemini artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot.  (Smith Collection/Gado/Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images/Twitter/Screenshot / Getty Images)

Problems continued for the company when graphics allegedly created by Google’s diversity and inclusion lead claimed that “socially acceptable White supremacy includes things like celebrating Columbus Day, the denial of White privilege, and the phrase ‘Make America Great Again.'”

Another graphic alleged that Trump is “a few steps away” from supposed mass murderers on the White supremacy pyramid.

Several other reports later claimed that Google had drifted to the left of the political spectrum.

A 2022 study from the North Carolina State University’s Department of Computer Science found that Google’s Gmail favors liberal candidates, allowing the vast majority of emails from left-wing politicians to land in the user’s inbox, while more than two-thirds of messages from conservative candidates are marked as spam.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) later brought a lawsuit against Google based on the contents of the study, which was dismissed by a U.S. District Court judge who said the political committee had not “sufficiently pled that Google acted in bad faith.”

Another study from AllSides claimed Google News’ bias had “gotten more pronounced” since 2022.

“Sixty-three percent of articles came from media outlets AllSides rates as Lean Left or Left. Just 6% were from the right,” the media bias rating site said.

GOOGLE GEMINI BACKLASH EXPOSES COMMENTS FROM EMPLOYEES ON TRUMP, ‘ANTIRACISM’ AND ‘WHITE PRIVILEGE’

Google logo

In this photo illustration a Google logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images / Getty Images)

In January, one month before the Gemini controversy, a video emerged of Google DEI leader Adriele Parker saying people who claim they “don’t see color” are contributing to race issues in the U.S.

“I was just on TikTok and there’s a trend where parents are teaching their kids not to see ‘color,’ quote/unquote, and I’m like, OK, so the next round of people that are going to be joining our workforce, this next generation are going to be dealing with the same issues that we’re dealing with now,” she said. “Because to say you don’t see color, you don’t see me, you don’t care to acknowledge the struggles that people like me face.”

Google is now in the midst of another controversy after the new chatbot created historically inaccurate images by featuring people of various ethnicities, often downplaying or even ignoring White people. Google acknowledged the issue, gave several apologies and paused the image generation of people last week.

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In a note to employees, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the tool’s responses were offensive to users and had shown bias.

The company now plans to relaunch Gemini AI’s ability to generate images of people in the next few weeks. 

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When asked for comment, Google referred Fox News Digital to a letter from their CEO and a recent blog post on Gemini. 



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