A new undercover video released by Project Veritas features a woman the group describes as a “senior Google executive” appearing to suggest that Google is working to prevent “the next Trump situation.” The employee has since responded, accusing Project Veritas of “selectively editing” and “distorting” her words.
In a secretly recorded discussion at a restaurant in San Francisco, Jen Gennai — head of Google’s “Responsible Innovation” team, which monitors the responsible implementation of A.I. technologies — describes to undercover reporters for Project Veritas the rationale behind the company’s A.I. principles.
“The reason we launched our A.I. principles is because people were not putting that line in the sand, that they were not saying what’s fair and what’s equitable so we’re like, well we are a big company, we’re going to say it,” says Gennai.
“The people who voted for the current president do not agree with our definition of fairness,” adds Gennai, who describes herself on Twitter as “championing ethics and fairness in technology, and diversity in teams.”
Google, she suggests, is “training our algorithms” to “prevent” 2016 from happening again. “Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google,” she says. “And like, I love her but she’s very misguided, like that will not make it better it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it’s like a small company cannot do that.”
“We all got screwed over in 2016, again it wasn’t just us, it was — the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over — so we’re rapidly been like, what happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again,” she says in another clip. “We’re also training our algorithms, like, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?”
An anonymous whistleblower told Project Veritas that Google’s A.I. involves “Machine Learning Fairness,” which the insider explained is “one of the many tools Google uses to promote a political agenda,” Project Veritas reports.
“They’re going to redefine a reality based on what they think is fair and based upon what they want, and what and is part of their agenda,” the insider tells Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe.
Along with testimony from the whistleblower and the undercover interview of Gennai, the report cites leaked internal documents involving how Google “defines and prioritizes content from different news publishers and how its products feature that content”:
One document, called the “Fake News-letter” explains Google’s goal to have a “single point of truth” across their products. Another document received by Project Veritas explains the “News Ecosystem” which mentions “editorial guidelines” that appear to be determined and administered internally by Google. These guidelines control how content is distributed and displayed on their site.
“These new documents, supported by undercover video, raise questions of Google’s neutrality and the role they see themselves fulfilling in the 2020 elections,” said James O’Keefe. Below is the full video released by Project Veritas Monday (Update: YouTube has pulled the video “due to a privacy claim by a third party”):
UPDATE: In a blog post on Medium, Gennai responded to the Project Veritas video. “In late May, I accepted an invitation to meet with a few people who claimed to be from ‘2 Step Tech Solutions.’ They said they wanted to chat to me about a mentoring program for young women of color in tech, an area I’ve long been passionate about. We went for dinner at a restaurant in the Mission, San Francisco,” she writes. “Unfortunately, I now know that these people lied about their true identities, filmed me without my consent, selectively edited and spliced the video to distort my words and the actions of my employer, and published it widely online. I now know they belong to a group called ‘Project Veritas’, which has done this to numerous other people working in the tech and other sectors.”
“Why did they do this to me? It seems they found that I had spoken publicly at Google I/O on Ethics, and they wanted someone who would give them juicy soundbites about tech’s alleged bias against conservatives. Over the course of a two hour dinner, I guess they think I delivered,” she continues. “Project Veritas has edited the video to make it seem that I am a powerful executive who was confirming that Google is working to alter the 2020 election. On both counts, this is absolute, unadulterated nonsense, of course. In a casual restaurant setting, I was explaining how Google’s Trust and Safety team (a team I used to work on) is working to help prevent the types of online foreign interference that happened in 2016. Google has been very public about the work that our teams have done since 2016 on this, so it’s hardly a revelation. The video then goes on to stitch together a series of debunked conspiracy theories about our search results, and our other products. Google has repeatedly been clear that it works to be a trustworthy source of information, without regard to political viewpoint. In fact, Google has no notion of political ideology in its rankings. And everything I have seen backs this up. Our CEO has said ‘We do not bias our products to favor any political agenda.'”