A Google trick for staying ahead of AI

Increasing use of AI means smarter-than-average searchers constantly need to learn tricks in order to counteract the AI that assumes a user base of average consumers. Here is one for Google:

Presently, if you search german modernist collage, the search results will be full of hits that assume you meant to type “college” rather than “collage.” It doesn’t give you a “Did you mean?” option, or even a “Displaying hits for german modernist college,” with an option to go back to your actual search. It simply gives you results as though you had typed “college.” In order to counteract Google’s dumb smartness, you need to search this way: german modernist collage -college. Though that search will give you some things you want, it is obviously far from perfect since pages that have the word “college” in them will be weeded out. I am not sure how to fix the problem in a better way, other than starting with completely different search terms that won’t trigger a more common word in the Google dictionary.

The smarter the systems get, the smarter you need to be in order to get them to do what you want. Unless you are a dumb shmo looking for ways to buy products advertised on tv or the celebrities being used to advertised them. Then you’re golden.

3 comments on “A Google trick for staying ahead of AI

  1. Either of these searches would probably work better because they wouldn’t eliminate “college”:

    german modernist +collage

    german modernist “collage”

    In Google, using either the plus sign or quotes will keep the word in the search, which is also useful if you want to keep their stopwords in the search, like A, AN, or THE.

    But the general idea is true, that you have to know Google well to make it do what you want it to do rather than what Google thinks you want it to do.

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