AI gives Google the power to “dictate” the news people see, whatever

Norman Ray

Global Courant

The lawyer behind a major class action lawsuit against Google claims that advancements in artificial intelligence give the digital monopoly almost unlimited power to control lives, influence thoughts and shape society.

“When the average person interacts with the Internet, Google controls and controls everything,” John C. Herman of Herman Jones LLP in Atlanta told Fox News Digital.

“From the search results to the ads and the web pages themselves, Google has it all,” he said.

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He also said, “By adding an AI component, we now have a single company dictating what news people see, what products they buy and even how they vote.”

Herman represents Oklahoma businessman Craig McDaniel, publisher of SweepstakesToday.com, who filed a class action lawsuit against Google in 2020.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said he and other tech titans don’t fully understand how AI works in an interview that aired on April 16, 2023. (Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The plaintiff claims that Google’s dominance in the digital advertising market gives it the power to destroy competitors or almost any other company – and that this monopoly has caused material damage to its publishing business.

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Google has decided to drop the case.

The Justice Department filed a similar complaint against Google in January.

It has since been joined by attorneys general from 17 states, ranging from deep red states (Nebraska, West Virginia) to deep blue states (California, New York).

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It’s a rare but powerful show of bipartisan unity to bolster Google’s power.

“We now have one company that dictates what news people see, what products they buy and even how they vote.”

“Google is the largest monopoly in the history of the United States,” the McDaniel lawsuit claims.

“Google’s breathtaking monopoly position has been amassed and maintained through years of strategic acquisitions and illegal anti-competitive practices,” the lawsuit said.

Oklahoma businessman Craig McDaniel of Sweepstakes Today LLC was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against Google in 2020. The lawsuit has since been joined by the Justice Department and Attorneys General in 17 states as of April 2023. (Public domain)

“Google has corrupted legitimate competition in the ad technology industry,” the DOJ lawsuit states.

Ronald Coleman, a partner at the Dhillon Law Group in Newark, New Jersey, told Fox News Digital, “If there’s any reason to have antitrust laws in the 21st century, Google is the reason.”

Coleman also said, “When I look at that complaint, it’s really impressive heavy lifting. They really did their homework. There’s no question that the breadth and depth of Google’s power, and its influence all around us, it’s phenomenal.”

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McDaniel, Herman’s client, filed the lawsuit, alleging that Google’s alleged monopoly on digital advertising threatened to bankrupt his small publishing company.

According to the lawsuit, as of 2020, Google controlled 90% of the publisher ad serving market and 92% of the internet search market. The near-total control has probably grown since then, experts say.

In this photo illustration, the Google logo is reflected in a girl’s eye in London, England. The lawyer behind a major lawsuit against Google says the company’s alleged monopoly on digital content, combined with the power of artificial intelligence, gives the tech titan the power to dictate what people see and even how they vote. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

McDaniel now claims that the February release of Google AI chatbot Bard gives the global digital leviathan extra power on top of its advertising monopoly to favorably portray sponsors and business partners and unfavorably portray competitors.

McDaniel claimed to Fox News Digital that he believes Bard is “flawed” because there are often errors in the responses and that Google should pull it off the market.

McDaniel claims that the February release of Google AI chatbot Bard is empowering the global digital leviathan.

He also said he believes the algorithm favors certain agencies or companies – and that “this smells heavenly to me”.

When asked about profitable Google partners like Amazon or Pepsi, Bard provides detailed and favorable descriptions.

Craig McDaniel, founder of Sweepstakestoday.com, filed a class action lawsuit against Google in 2020 alleging its monopoly on digital content violates the Sherman Antitrust Act. The Justice Department joined the claim, as did the attorneys general of 17 states (Courtesy of Craig McDaniel)

But when asked about McDaniel’s business, Bard replies, “I’m not programmed to help with that.”

Sweepstakestoday.com has been operating since 2004. It has consistently topped Google’s search rankings for “sweepstakes” for many years. Since McDaniel filed the lawsuit, it has not topped the search lists, the prosecution alleges.

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Google, he claimed, can erase the digital footprint of rivals, nuisance companies, or just about anyone who wants it.

“If there’s any reason to have antitrust laws in the 21st century, Google is the reason.”

McDaniel’s site, Sweepstakestoday.com, has an ongoing history with Google and has been labeled a “betting site” by the tech giant in the past.

McDaniel denies that label, saying his site is free for consumers to use and that the contests on it are promotional events run by independent parties.

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Not everyone agrees that products like Bard are reinvigorating Google.

“I am skeptical of the claim,” Stephen Wu, president of the American Bar Association Artificial Intelligence and Robotics National Institute, and shareholder of Silicon Valley Law Group, told Fox News Digital.

Stephen Wu, president of the American Bar Association Artificial Intelligence and Robotics National Institute, and a shareholder in Silicon Valley Law Group, says Google has been using artificial intelligence for years and products like Bard don’t give it new power. (Courtesy of Stephen Wu)

“They already have so many capabilities that I’m not sure what AI adds. Google already uses AI to recommend what people see,” he said.

“Google Bard is just a generative AI system to create content, to create text. But Google is already powered by AI,” he also said.

The complaints allege that Google has already proven its willingness and ability to destroy any competitor for digital advertising dollars.

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The Justice Department wrote in a January statement: “Over the past 15 years, Google has engaged in anti-competitive and exclusionary conduct that consists of neutralizing or eliminating ad technology competitors through acquisitions, thereby losing its dominance. in the digital advertising markets, among other things, forces more publishers and advertisers to use its products and prevents the ability to use competing products.”

Google said it is “working with the ecosystem,” including news publishers, to get their input and improve the product.

Google’s digital monopoly is now armed with an artificial intelligence product that even the company’s CEO Sundar Pichai admitted in April that he and other experts don’t understand, Fox News Digital previously reported.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) alleges that “Google has engaged in anti-competitive and exclusionary conduct for the past 15 years.” (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

“There’s an aspect of this that we — all of us in the field — call a black box,” Pichai said in an interview with “60 Minutes.”

“You don’t quite tell why it said this, or why it went wrong. We have some ideas and our ability to understand this gets better over time, but that’s where the state of the art is.”

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Bard complements other search capabilities and has helped Google better understand the use of generative AI, a Google spokesperson told Fox News Digital.

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The Google spokesperson added that the company is “working with the ecosystem,” including news publishers, to get their input and improve the product.

Fox News Digital reached out to Google for additional comment.

Kerry J. Byrne is a lifestyle reporter at Fox News Digital.

AI gives Google the power to “dictate” the news people see, whatever

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