Google Psyche: 'How Did Madonna ...'

Great moments in Autocomplete, courtesy of Google search and collective consciousness 

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One of the biggest stories of last night's Super Bowl wasn't just its game-deciding cheeky touchdown or the match's history-repeating outcome. It was also Madonna and her awkward (or maybe awesome?) half-time show.

Enter the search above, and -- wait, what? Madonna died

No, of course she didn't. But rumors of her death -- propelled by arty imaginings of it, SEO-driven responses to those who wonder about it, and a namesake -- persist. So today, one of the big questions the world is asking about the pop star concerns not her name, not her fame, not her impact on music ... but her demise. 

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Google Psyche is an exploration of the stories that the world's Internet searches tell. The company's autocomplete algorithm predicts the word a random web searcher is most likely to type next, providing a statistical probe for our collective consciousness.

Presented by

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

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