Friday, November 13, 2015

Image Search Default: Lowest Common Denominator

Is it possible that, of seven billion people in the world, not one of them used the tag "mystique" for an image, other than those who tagged the word as a blue female comic-book-and-cartoon character? Or have I found the weak link in both Google Images and DuckDuckGo? It seems that both search engines must default to the lowest common denominator...

When I did an image search on Google for the term "mystique," a full page of blue females came up. This is happening more and more often, as I search common words, only to find that some film or cartoon character has hijacked the word. It occurred to me that this was merely a Google bias, so I tried DuckDuckGo. Same result (though fewer images). DuckDuckGo did offer alternates in the form of certain old black-and-white films.

I don't know if it's a true search result, or a sad sign of the intellectual limits of modern society, that no images are considered to be filled with mystique, but that the definition of "mystique" (if we are to go by image alone) is "blue female in skin-tight jumpsuit."