Posted by Tom Foremski - June 8, 2011
I use GMail all the time and its spell checker is usually pretty good. But the other day I noticed it can't spell "Facebook."
I tried some other computer company names but only Facebook was flagged:
Is this really such a tough algorithmic problem? After all, how many times has GMail seen the word "Facebook?"
Not enough times apparently because it offers these as a guess: Face book, Casebook, Passbook, and thinking we live in Elizabethan times: Forsook.
This has to be deliberate that Google cannot figure out how to spell "Facebook." This means that Google does use humans to interfere with its results -- it's not all algorithm all the time. Yet it loves to bolster the mythology of its algorithm.
For example: At the bottom of each page on Google News you will find this explanation:
"The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer program."
Maybe The Google spell checker should come with this explanation:
"The selection and correction of misspellings on this page were determined automatically by who we hate. No computer program was involved."