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How Google Is Becoming an Extension of Your Mind

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the hope-you-have-safesearch-turned-on dept.

AI 154

An anonymous reader writes "An article at CNET discusses Google's ever-expanding role in search, and where it's heading over the next several years. The author argues it's becoming less of a discrete tool and more an integrated extension of our own minds. He rattles off a list of pie-in-the-sky functions Google could perform, which would have sounded ridiculous a decade ago. But in 2012.. not so much. Quoting: 'Think of Google diagnosing your daughter's illness early based on where she's been, how alert she is, and her skin's temperature, then driving your car to school to bring her home while you're at work. Or Google translating an incomprehensible emergency announcement while you're riding a train in foreign country. Or Google steering your investment portfolio away from a Ponzi scheme. Google, in essence, becomes a part of you. Imagine Google playing a customized audio commentary based on what you look at while on a tourist trip and then sharing photo highlights with your friends as you go. Or Google taking over your car when it concludes based on your steering response time and blink rate that you're no longer fit to drive. Or your Google glasses automatically beaming audio and video to the police when you say a phrase that indicates you're being mugged.'"

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Ehrm (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672171)

How many times a day does the average man think about sex again?
When looking at women, wearing Google glasses?

Re:Ehrm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672215)

Yeah but we don't mention it.

Re:Ehrm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672377)

Once. ;)

Re:Ehrm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672393)

How many times a day does the average man think about sex again?

pr0ntillion

When looking at women, wearing Google glasses?

Huh? What was that again?

It won't be long (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672453)

How many times a day does the average man think about sex again?

pr0ntillion

When looking at women, wearing Google glasses?

Huh? What was that again?

It won't be long before a combination of AI and graphics will be able to assess the woman's body type and produce a "clothes free" enhanced reality image. .... Just don't look at Ann Widdecombe [wikipedia.org]

Re:It won't be long (2)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672827)

Why stop there? Google can learn your preferences and make every woman appear sexy to you.

Re:It won't be long (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673245)

Or you could "bookmark" interesting candidates for further information gathering and subsequent stalking. Scary...

Re:It won't be long (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673415)

Or use the same technique to make your golden retriever look sexy [youtube.com] .

Re:Ehrm (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672589)

When looking at women who are wearing Google glasses? Or is the looker wearing the glasses and looking at women?

Re:Ehrm (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673689)

A computer (and google) are like a shovel. A shovel is an extension to your hand, Google is an extension of your mind.

It's a tool. We've had tools for thousands of years.

same as everything else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672201)

If you drive on a daily basis the car is an extension of your mind. Same goes for weapons or tools.

Re:same as everything else (3, Informative)

OldSport (2677879) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672663)

I don't know about the car analogy, but generally you're right. A calculator is a math plug-in to augment our brain's inferior ability to do complex calculations quickly. A scheduling app on your computer that reminds you of appointments is like a memory extension. I'm a translator and I use terminology/translation memory software, which function in much the same way. ...Of course, at the rate Google Translate is going, it will soon be an extension of my unemployment.

Is Google Making Us Stupid? (5, Informative)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672205)

Re:Is Google Making Us Stupid? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672307)

We were stupid in the first place, and only had the appearance of being intelligent.

Re:Is Google Making Us Stupid? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672951)

It's a nice thought, but I don't agree. Particularly when he says he can't read long articles. I'm the opposite, when I'm procrastinating on the web and Slashdot/Reddit/Hackernews throws up an interesting article I'll read it to the end. Often it'll be a very long piece, but if I get interested, I'll keep reading. I can still read long books, but I've always struggled with boring texts even before the internet. Unless I'm hooked within the first two or three chapters, which is about as far as I can forcibly read, I'm not going to finish.

It is beautiful irony that his article is itself a good few pages of text.

What's more incipient is the need to Google things, in the past if you didn't know something, you shrugged and got on with life. Now it's a race to the search engine to find out. Is this good or bad? Google has enabled us to immediately access vast quantities of knowledge giving us a breadth and depth that was simply impossible 20 years ago. It's amazing and it's empowering, Google has fueled my desire to learn things and get answers. What remains to be seen is what sort of information we retain and thus it's important to view Google as an aide, than as the solution to the world's problems.

For example, I still insist on navigating via paper maps because the people that have switched to GPS navigation have all but lost that ability. Often GPS reception is poor or the batteries fail or the route is simply incorrect. Google Maps is a nice compromise, good route planning, written directions and a printed map to use. Similarly I buy books, I read as much as I can, and I like building up my technical library. I do this because I know that one day Google might not be around. One day Stackoverflow might die and I'll need somewhere to go for answers.

Finally don't underestimate the power of Google to help you bullshit your way into and out of situations. It's very easy to get cursory knowledge of a field and trick people into thinking you know a lot more than you do.

Re:Its making our knowledge shallow (3, Insightful)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673417)

However, the *quality* of the information returned from a search is often questionable. So many of the "facts" presented on the web are really biased opinion these days and usually presented in a rather shallow format it seems.
Good highly detailed information is still mostly found in books I think. I don't see much replacing it on the internet except as shallow treatments of a subject.
You can get the summary of relevant information really quickly, get the gist of a subject effectively, but to get really good detailed knowledge of some specific subject - thats why I have a library at home and the public library or university library available elsewhere in the city (granted the data there is often dated by contrast).

Re:Is Google Making Us Stupid? (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673315)

Not exactly stupid. Humans are just very lazy and while having a lot of knowledge does have it's pros it used to take a lot of work. This time is no longer invested to the same degree, because it seems no longer necessary. This is not entirely a good thing, but also quite understandable. On the other hand many great inventions originated from the concept of using the least amount effort necessary to get work done.

Be afraid. Be very, very afraid. (5, Interesting)

Sqreater (895148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672249)

In time, we will come to love Colossus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossus_(novel) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Be afraid. Be very, very afraid. (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672621)

Maybe some day Google will tell us how to reverse entropy [multivax.com]

Re:Be afraid. Be very, very afraid. (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673329)

"Let there be light!"

Tons of augmented reality uses for stuff like this (5, Interesting)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672253)

Augmented reality HUD glasses combined with a few other devices for analyzing the environment around you and then connected to any massive and fast database would yield some interesting things.

The least of which would be facial recognition and connections to people's public information - a nightmare for privacy/anonymity.

On the less evil side, analytical tools for first responders - air sniffer that scans for various substances and then can issue warnings tend alerts, echo-location type devices that will help map out a disaster site and pinpoint where human type noises are coming from. Real-time traffic re-routing to get people out of the way, etc. and so on.

The next 25 years are going to be fascinating in the evolution of gadgetry.

Re:Tons of augmented reality uses for stuff like t (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672449)

Hmm, HUD glasses might be great, but:

"Or your Google glasses automatically beaming audio and video to the police when you say a phrase that indicates you're being mugged."

Maybe that phrase would be "Un Big Mac s'il vous plait"

http://news.slashdot.org/story/12/07/17/0335227/man-physically-assaulted-at-mcdonalds-for-wearing-digital-eye-glasses

Re:Tons of augmented reality uses for stuff like t (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672991)

Hmm, HUD glasses might be great, but:

"Or your Google glasses automatically beaming audio and video to the police when you say a phrase that indicates you're being mugged."

I'd be worried about getting my safe-word mixed up and accidentally uploading audio and video of my wife telling me what a bad boy I'd been.

Re:Tons of augmented reality uses for stuff like t (2)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673361)

Augmented reality HUD glasses combined with a few other devices for analyzing the environment around you and then connected to any massive and fast database would yield some interesting things.

The least of which would be facial recognition and connections to people's public information - a nightmare for privacy/anonymity.

If Google does it, the system will only identify people who have opted in for facial recognition. This is exactly how it's been implemented on Google+, and it seems like the ideal balance between utility and privacy.

On the less evil side, analytical tools for first responders - air sniffer that scans for various substances and then can issue warnings tend alerts, echo-location type devices that will help map out a disaster site and pinpoint where human type noises are coming from. Real-time traffic re-routing to get people out of the way, etc. and so on.

The next 25 years are going to be fascinating in the evolution of gadgetry.

Indeed they are. The combination of distributed sensors, always-on data links and massive centralized processing power is going to change our world in dramatic ways. It can clearly be used for great good or great evil... it's going to be on all of us to keep a careful watch on the trends and to act, individually and collectively and through various channels, to make sure there's much more of the former than the latter.

Re:Tons of augmented reality uses for stuff like t (4, Insightful)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673953)

Google might only do it for people who opt in, but I could easily see Facebook going the other way, given how they behave, or other groups finding ways to use it.

Right now, with google image search/search by image you can do some interesting things - the tech will only get better, and I can quite easily imagine that by the time this kind of thing really takes off it will only be easier to have software on these things that is home grown and doesn't give a whit about privacy options people picked.

I've long been one who feels that privacy, as we usually mean it, is dead, and has been replaced to some extent by anonymity. I live in Chicago and am probably on hundreds of video cameras every day - some for the police, some private - but nobody really cares enough to dig through that footage and figure ut what I'm up to. But eventually, when cameras are even more ubiquitous and are even more tied into networks, and we have even better tools for searching, I can really easily imagine a scenario where it's possible for anyone to put together an idea of where one has been and what one has done without much effort.

The nightmare scenario with these would be enabled in part because when you are in physical proximity to a person you could watch them, get the system to give you whatever information there is available about them (and information it thinks might be theirs, with an estimate of the match) and basically make stalking trivial and safe for the stalker. Or you could have a system to search through the sea of imagery out there looking for someone who doesn't want to be found by you (say a domestic abuse survivor being sought by her abuser...)

I think there will be solutions to problems, but it would require a cultural shift to valuing privacy more and to putting more protectins in place for citizens rather than the current system we seem to have where companies are basically allowed to own the digital you in exchange for your using their services. It will be interesting times for sure.

We lost the ability to read analog clocks first... (4, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672271)

When the digital clocks came, our children slowly lost the ability to read analog clocks. Then ubiquitous calculators eroded arithmetic skills. The with ever acclerating speed GPS killed our map reading abilities and PDAs and smartphones eroded our memory by taking over address lists and phone numbers. I could see eventually being connected to all the stored information of mankind all the time, and being able to store individual experiences cheaply will allow us to outsource most of our brain functions. But brain is not a factory where the released capacity will be put to some other use. Brain and muscle atrophy without usage. What we don't use, we lose, we don't redeploy.

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672301)

Indeed, proof of this is the fact that ever since man stopped hunting dinosaurs, civilisation has been on a steep decline!

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672343)

Except for people still need to use critical thinking, really the only truly useful brain function. The problem is schools don't teach it, schools focus on teaching just the "facts" which are pretty much worthless since even today any fact you might want to know is just a Google query away.

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672373)

Nonsense. The brain has a huge degree of plasticity. If you have a stroke, fresh neural pathways will form and route around the damage. If you don't learn how to read an analog clock, the neurons will be used for something else instead. The idea that not being able to read a map is a form of brain damage is one of the most ludicrous things I've ever read on here.

It's analogous to developer frameworks (bear with me). Because developers can leverage stuff other devs have built, it frees them up to concentrate on higher order functions. THAT is what GPS, google search etc does for us. You should applaud it, it's what we've been doing the entire time we've been on this planet - building and building and building on layers of others knowledge and technology.

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673321)

I couldn't agree more. I can't wait until 140Mandak262Jamuna's line of thinking has vanished and then we can embrace things that help us much faster.

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673867)

The idea that not being able to read a map is a form of brain damage is one of the most ludicrous things I've ever read on here.

It can be. There are various different types of brain damage which will screw with the interpretation of visual data. A fairly common one is when there's a problem in the hemispheres communicating, it can lead to a situation where a person can easily draw an object they're looking at, but can't recognise it as, say, a wine glass. Or where they can look at a building and recognise a spire, windows and flying buttresses but not recognise it as a whole building (ie Notre Dame). Not being able to read a map could well be a sign of brain damage, if not in the way the GP means - I think the original reference was to lack of learning rather than physical or biochemical damage.

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (4, Interesting)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672519)

"Then ubiquitous calculators eroded arithmetic skills."

Really? Perhaps you're simply aware that most people don't do math very well and having calculators around has made this more visible. People who are math inclined often do the numbers faster than it takes to even reach for a calculator never mind punch in the digits. Most people were never like that. Astonished me when I found out.

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672527)

Most USA'sian brains are destined to be fucked up by the illogical measuring system so don't blame it all on the digital clock ....

http://www.addfunny.com/funnypictures/usa/12/usavsrestoftheworld.jpg [addfunny.com]

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672979)

Most USA'sian brains are destined to be fucked up by the illogical measuring system so don't blame it all on the digital clock ....

I used to think that when I was younger. But I've decided that it keeps our brains more active as we can't simply look at our fingers to convert measures like the rest of the world. It also has the additional benefit of making it easy to tell when someone is from another country or really stupid.

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672615)

When was the last time you read a sundial or navigated by the position of the stars - both a mostly lost art.

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672875)

That would be before stars faded into the city glare.

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672919)

Navigating without electronic aids is still taught as a basic part of maritime training, in bushcraft and military training too.

I think the article is a bit heavy on the hyperbole, Google and the entire internet is a tool that can be used just like any tool. I've internalised it as much as I've internalised my keyboard or toaster.

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (1)

dontclapthrowmoney (1534613) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673037)

I've internalised it as much as I've internalised my keyboard or toaster.

I haven't RTFA of course but in my experience it's a little different for more complex tasks. I find I remember where to find things, and/or how to find things, instead of remembering things. Typing or toasting bread are lower level tasks than that.

It's like not memorising phone numbers, I store them in my phone instead of in my head. I used to know people's numbers off by heart, now I don't ever bother learning them except for one or two key people. I don't feel the loss of this, I still have the ability to memorise phone numbers, I'm just spending that time doing something more interesting these days (like working out how to back up my phone's contacts list...)

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674499)

Actually, I've read sundials fairly regularly - If I have a compass but not a watch, or vice versa, knowing how to read a sundial allows you to approximately determine either the direction you're travelling or time of day based on the shadow of any convenient tree. I would have made use of stellar navigation just last night if there had been less light pollution - I'd gotten slightly lost, and was basing my turns on my estimates of which direction I was facing. Had I seen either of the Dippers, I'd have been able to determine where I was trying to get to.

But I have to admit I've never made a flint spearpoint.

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (1)

UPZ (947916) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672747)

When the digital clocks came, our children slowly lost the ability to read analog clocks. Then ubiquitous calculators eroded arithmetic skills. The with ever acclerating speed GPS killed our map reading abilities and PDAs and smartphones eroded our memory by taking over address lists and phone numbers. I could see eventually being connected to all the stored information of mankind all the time, and being able to store individual experiences cheaply will allow us to outsource most of our brain functions. But brain is not a factory where the released capacity will be put to some other use. Brain and muscle atrophy without usage. What we don't use, we lose, we don't redeploy.

By analogy above, we got dumber each generation, as we less knew how to read sundials, star charts, grow our own food, build our own home, make our own tools, make our own clothes, ride our horses or whatever, etc.

Can you show me some evidence of human brains getting atrophied since those early days of civilization?

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (2)

jma05 (897351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673061)

> When the digital clocks came, our children slowly lost the ability to read analog clocks.

Good riddance. The method was an artifact of an archaic technology. Our way of denoting time is also archaic and at some point in the future, might also be considered for revision, in order to harmonize it with other types of measurement.

> Then ubiquitous calculators eroded arithmetic skills.

Arithmetic is a means to an end, not an end in itself. During this time, our math curriculum has also become more advanced than it was from before when there were no calculators. As a society, we have a greater statistical sense than ever before (and need to further improve, a lot more). As a side note, look up "A Mathematician's Lament" by Paul Lockhart.

> The with ever acclerating speed GPS killed our map reading abilities

As maps and even address systems killed our need for honing our instinctive positioning skill.

> smartphones eroded our memory by taking over address lists and phone numbers.

As did Gutenberg press of oral traditions. Also, before smartphones (and speaking as a guy who is still suspicious of smartphones, as they stand), we used paper address books for that, not memorize them all. And before automobiles came along, our address lists were a lot smaller.

> I could see eventually being connected to all the stored information of mankind all the time, and being able to store individual experiences cheaply will allow us to outsource most of our brain functions.

Kind of already happened. Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, Mechanical Turk. Unless you mean cybernetic cognitive integration with the cloud (shudder: not for atrophy fears though).

> But brain is not a factory where the released capacity will be put to some other use.

On what do you base that assertion on? The human brain is remarkably plastic. There is a lot of neuroscience research to back that up. The contrary is exactly what happens.

> Brain and muscle atrophy without usage. What we don't use, we lose, we don't redeploy.

So what parts of our brain have been documented to have atrophied so far? None, of course. Muscle is a different matter. I won't get into the reasons, but the mechanical revolution and the information revolution differ in certain respects.

We are cognitively consuming and processing more information than ever, not less. Whether this is mostly useful or simply information pollution is another matter. But we do think more of many different things now than we ever did. When the computers do our work, we take on more work... either to fully live, according to new expectations... or expect to be paid by showing value in tasks beyond the capability of computers. As computers progressively take on mundane and repetitive tasks, our tasks have become complex, not less.

You doubt you are one... but that is a Luddite argument.

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674351)

Then ubiquitous calculators eroded arithmetic skills.

Arithmetic is a means to an end, not an end in itself. During this time, our math curriculum has also become more advanced than it was from before when there were no calculators. As a society, we have a greater statistical sense than ever before (and need to further improve, a lot more). As a side note, look up "A Mathematician's Lament" by Paul Lockhart.

Basic arithmetic is NOT a means to an end. It's actually required to live day to day life. After all, if apples are $2/kilo, and you only have $5, how much can you buy including sales tax?

Can you calculate what your shopping cart should cost you, or are you going to rely on the store's calculation? (Yes, taxable, non-taxable and partially-taxable items complicate matters). It doesn't have to be down to the cent, but would you notice if instead of charging you $50, they charged you $55 because they screwed up?

And trust me, screwups are more common than you might think.

Even handling money requires math - quickly add up the change to make sure it's correct, or to ensure you paid enough (the 1-2-5 system makes it easy, but it's still math). Or calculating the tip.

While these examples don't require exact figures, they require getting a feel for numbers so you can say your groceries should not cost more than $50 including tax, that your tip on a restaurant bill of $75 should not be $25, but should max out around $10-11 or so. Or your change for $12.35 worth of stuff is a bit more than $2.50 so you know to get 2 $1's and 2 quarters and then some.

Or even just calculating the best deal - is $1.25/each (regular $1.50) on sale a better deal than the pack of 5 for $7?

Yes, you can pull out your calculator and figure it out in the store, but I imagine tasks like these are dull and boring enough that most people want to get in and get out, and it's either wasting time punching it into a calculator (thus making the chore even more of a chore) or wasting money (stores often price stuff funny to get people too lazy to figure it out for themselves).

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673353)

I don't agree with that at all. My kids probably couldn't identify what local plants they can eat and which ones they should avoid (a skill that was arguably of tantamount importance to our ancestors) but then again, our ancestors that depended on those skills to live probably weren't spending much of their time doing Calculus and discussing world politics, either.

Ignoring the fact that everyone I know is fully capable of reading an analog clock, over 30 years after the first digital clocks were hitting the market, even young children, tell me, how would society fundamentally be harmed by this if there were no more analog clocks to read? If the skill was no longer relevant, why the hell are we keeping it around? Nostalgia? What a waste of energy and those precious brain cells.

I will admit that filling our brains with useless pop-culture trivia is a waste, and I'm not innocent in that regards (I've pretty much become a walking encyclopedia of Star Trek: The Next Generation which is absolutely useless to me outside of playing "name that episode" with friends) but I'm not going to go into hysterics over the fact that our kids have no knowledge of, say, what it's like to operate a rotary telephone, or fiddle with a pair of rabbit-ears trying to get a better TV signal, or how to properly behave on a party-line. It's useless knowledge to them.

I'm sure there are lots of things our own parents learned that we blew off, and they probably had the same worries about kids getting stupid, too. Now that we're parents, the cycle continues...just as it will when our kids start having kids of their own, freaking out about the fact that they're not teaching kids home-row typing skills (which are probably already on their way out, honestly) in an era where 95% of written communication is being done on touch-screen interfaces.

Re:We lost the ability to read analog clocks first (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674163)

I just thought of a perfect, real world example I ran into a couple years ago when attempting to get a tune-up on my mid-80's Buick daily driver (it was a rust-bucket beast, but the winters here in Wisconsin are harsh and it handled great in the snow)...I had a ton of trouble finding someone that could even do a tune-up on it. Why? Because it was a carbureted engine, and in this era of fuel injection, it's a skill that hardly anyone except for hobbyists uses anymore. I was incredulous, but according to several shop managers I spoke to, they haven't even had a carbureted engine come into their shop in years. I think it took me 4-5 different tries before I found a place with an older mechanic that could do it...and they charged me a premium on the labor to boot.

Maybe I was just being bullshitted, but my own ignorance in car repair and maintenance precludes me from making a judgement call on that one way or the other. Logically speaking, though, if they just don't see carburetors anymore, what the hell is the point of learning how to repair them? I can't see one...

Self-Driving Cars are bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672329)

Look, I hate driving almost more than anything else in the world and I can't wait to have a society where it doesn't have to be part of my life *at all*. Unfortunately, that won't happen in my life time. I think it will be at least a quarter of a century before any sort of vehicle we have does not require a *licensed* driver to be on-board. Period.

Re:Self-Driving Cars are bullshit. (5, Insightful)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672399)

a quarter of a century before any sort of vehicle we have does not require a *licensed* driver to be on-board

Welcome to 2012, esteemed visitor. You will be pleased to know that the Cold War is over and that some of your predictions have come to pass:

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-17989553 [bbc.com]

Re:Self-Driving Cars are bullshit. (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674017)

Sometimes it's nice to be reminded that we really are living in the future.

maybe he forgot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672331)

Think of Google using tracking tools, GPS location data, street-level video surveillance, analytics and pattern recognition/machine intelligence to figure out precisely where you've been, what content you've been viewing, what you've been doing, with whom you've been doing it with, and what you're spending your money on, on a 24x7x365 basis stored permanently and mined continuously for hidden behavioral patterns using server farms running MapReduce applications. And since Wall Street demands public corporations post ever-increasing earnings per share even as Google hires thousands of new employees, Google needs to find ways of monetizing that incredible hidden (to you) web of information.

Google is becoming your Big Brother.

Re:maybe he forgot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672793)

Think of Google diagnosing your daughter's illness early, then driving your car to school to bring her home while you're at work

how about her "illness" being an unplanned pregnancy and that car driving her to the abortion clinic without your knoweldge, the profits of said abortion going partially to Google of course, because they drove her there.

Google translating an incomprehensible emergency announcement while you're riding a train in foreign country.

and adding advertisement, steering you to buy something that benefits Google

Or Google steering your investment portfolio away from a Ponzi scheme

straight to some investment Google profits from

Google, in essence, becomes a part of you.

actually, more like controller of you / your wallet.

Imagine Google playing a customized audio commentary based on what you look at while on a tourist trip.

after automatically charging your credit card for the music

and then sharing photo highlights with your friends as you go.

or any other corporation trying to sell more usless crap to you

Or Google taking over your car when it concludes based on your steering response time and blink rate that you're no longer fit to drive.

or Google driving you to the re-education camp when it decides you are a thought criminal because you didn't buy enough crap that Google would profit from

Or your Google glasses automatically beaming audio and video to the police when you say a phrase that indicates you're being mugged.

because Google paid off politicians to remove your right to own guns and defend yourself, because guns are so politically incorrect and defending yourself is not a human right.

When will people learn that Google is a corporation, and as such will only do things that benefit their own bottom line.

How Quaint, a Google story (3, Insightful)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672375)

I use IXQuick for quite some time now. Google not only tried to be my brain, but my room mate, blind helper dog ("Did you mean ..."), stalker, mother and a lot more I never asked for.

Re:How Quaint, a Google story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673343)

Wow, old school - I had to press "enter" to get it to start showing me stuff. I think it's ironic I selected "IXQuick" from your post, right-clicked and selected 'search google for IXQuick' from the chrome menu.

Do you at least get used to typing ixquick, quickly?

I searched for "huh" and got "About 2,759,920 results".
I searched for "huh" on google and got "About 192,000,000 results (0.18 seconds)"

Yes I realise 98% of the sites from either search result are probably total crap.

That should read (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672379)

How google has made a generation forget how to use book indices. How Calculators mean the mental arithmetic is disappearing from the average person. Hope that extra mind space isn't just used to remember brand names and apps!

Re:That should read (1)

nitio (825314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672789)

Hope that extra mind space isn't just used to remember brand names and apps!

I don't agree with you but can we consider the app/game LogosQuiz is a combination of what you were afraid could happen? Oh the irony of life...

Would be great (4, Interesting)

p0p0 (1841106) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672387)

I would love to live in a world where we are integrated with our devices like some futuristic sci-fi story. Where we remove our hands from the wheel and the car takes over, or it automatically taxis us home when we're drunk.

I just don't think I could put that amount of trust into any corporation. With the massive amount of password leaks lately and just the general track records of greedy corporations, they would need a HUGE incentive to get me on board.

For instance, if they were transparent with their security protocols, showed that they followed them, and held themselves to a much higher standard then just the bare minimum that most corporations seem to.
Even Google which has been a pretty great company has begun it's decline and is losing it's grasp of the "Don't Be Evil" slogan. I guess they are getting to big for their own good and probably won't change their path (eg. the removal of the option to remove their tracking data on your google account, the almost forced use of G+, and the discontinuation of Google Labs).

Re:Would be great (2)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673869)

Where we remove our hands from the wheel and the car takes over, or it automatically taxis us home when we're drunk. I just don't think I could put that amount of trust into any corporation. With the massive amount of password leaks lately and just the general track records of greedy corporations, they would need a HUGE incentive to get me on board.

So instead you trust the bank with all your money? The one with the online automatic payment system with only a password between the general public and your finances?

Ask yourself who would be nefarious with your auto-auto. What incentives THEM to go fuck with you? Sure, there are simply psychopaths who want to watch the world burn, but they're pretty rare and usually get caught after the first time. Maybe the radical offshoot of Mothers Against Automated Drunk Driving, but really, what are their chances? Meanwhile, your MONEY is a pretty big nearly-fungible incentive for a whole underground industry, but we still shuffle money around online.

If my password leaks out of my throw-away starbucks account, no big deal. I got the security that I expected. If my password leaks out of my bank, I'm going to be spitting fire and calling for blood. By and far THERE IS the appropriate amount of security.

So... (3, Funny)

arcsimm (1084173) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672405)

So if somebody steals my Google Glasses, will they then proceed to run around town shouting that they're Manfred Macx, while I wander around in a functionally retarded state?

One step away.. (5, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672407)

Or your Google glasses automatically beaming audio and video to the police when you say a phrase that indicates you're being mugged.

Or to the secret service when you are criticising the government. Or to the RIAA when you make an open invitation to come and watch a video at your house (an unlicensed public performance).

Re:One step away.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672773)

Speaking of the RIAA, what will happen if you wear the glasses at the movies...?

Re:One step away.. (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672885)

Speaking of the RIAA, what will happen if you wear the glasses at the movies...?

They turn opaque

Failure at Advertising (1)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672419)

Advertisements on slashdot aren't supposed to terrify me, Google.

it is often the case in real life (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672435)

that the butler controls the master

the advisor controls the king

the henchman controls the boss

when power and control flip between superior and underling, the power inversion is based on who has the most information, and who can therefore use control of information as a means of control, period

and google has all the information

"How Your Mind Is Becoming an Extension of Google" is the real story

Imagine... (3, Insightful)

hackula (2596247) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672491)

Imagine a tool that cuts paper called scissors. You now have scissor hands. You are a monster! Imagine walking on stilts. You now have 6 foot peg legs. The horror! Imagine using a pen. You spew ink everywhere! You are a God Damned SQUID!!!
Cmon, is this a joke? Just because you have a tool, does not mean that said tool is a part of you. Let's just turn down the Kurt Vonnegut vision for a minute and cool off.

Google Utopia! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672523)

Imagine that the government is curious about your activities of late. At the press of a button, Google transmits everything you've said, heard, everywhere you've gone, the people you've met and/or telephoned, the stores you've visited and what you've bought. . . the possibilities are endless. This should free everyone from worrying whether the police consider us criminals. They won't have to guess, they'll know.

In fact, we'll need fewer cops. With Google in proactive mode, it simply routes your car to the nearest fine or detention center whenever you commit a crime. The trial will be over before you arrive--Google transmits the data to the magistrate computer, which validates the offense and assigns the standard penalty. At that point only Google will be evil. Well, and maybe a few government people.

NR

John Ernest @IT Staffing Agencies in Houston Texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672555)

Google is evolving. The search engine is becoming more like a a human and how he would rate a random website based on how useful it has been for him. The other applications that Google has though will be a lot useful if we can integrate them freely into our programs through code schemes that we can get from Google.
http://www.mitprof.com

Okay, done all that. Now you! (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672565)

Imagine a fork being stabbed into your eye, over and over and over. Then realize that's not a fork, it's just a really skinny, really cold finger.

I'd like what you propose as much as you'd like the above. I guess it's good we talked about this though.

Do No Evil (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672579)

It all sounds so rosy and wonderful... provided we can trust Google. They used to claim to do no Evil but that was a thing of the past. They've biased search results, stolen intellectual property and any number of other Evil things. I long for a Go(d)ogle who is Good(gle).

Re:Do No Evil (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673699)

It's actually "don't be evil" [wikipedia.org] not "do no evil". You're probably getting confused with the three monkey thing [wikipedia.org] . This is one of those persistent errors that society just don't care to fix.

Also, you know this post would carry a lot more weight if you linked a little sauce in there.

Or... (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672613)

Or your Google glasses automatically beaming audio and video to the police when you say a phrase that indicates you're being mugged.

Or your Google glasses automatically beaming audio and video to the police when it decides you are doing something suspicious.

Google is more evil than Microsoft ever was (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672655)

Library++ (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672689)

How that is different from having access to an (enhanced) library? or an encyclopedia? Having "offline" storage for knowledge has been with us since the stone age, and probably made civilization possible. In fact, your very concience could be a consequence of mankind having that kind of enhancement. Internet (and google, but could had been any search engine or way to pick from that amount the information the one that you want) improved things, but is just another stage of a very long process, and not the last one.

Popular Science in the 70's (2)

tekrat (242117) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672727)

Popular Science magazine came up with all these grand predictions about how were were going to use personal computers. At the time, PC's were clunky 8-bit CPUs with blinky lights in front and had to be programmed by flipping switches on the front panels.

Needless to say, Popular Science Magazine got nearly every prediction wrong. They never figured on videogames, BBS's, graphic design, video editing, youtube or facebook. About all they got right was word processing.

This idiocy regarding Google is about as correct. It also assumes Google is even going to be here in 20 years. Furthermore, something will come along to shake up the entire computing paradigm so that when we look back on 2012, we'll wonder why things were so primitive.

More like replacing your mind. (2, Insightful)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672729)

Yeah, I know with every new leap in technology someone comes out and claims that it going to make us dumber, but something like Google Glasses is one of those cases.

Do you need persistent feedback on everything you are looking at?

I certainly don't. I could do with less situational advertising in my life and I generally don't find it difficult to get around town without some constant reminder about where I am and an arrow to where I am going. I can read signs and understand the concept of street addresses pretty good. And I haven't reached that level of chronic social lethargy that makes pulling a phone out of my pocket a tedious chore or think it's uncool to hold a phone.

I definitely think there are niche markets for Google Glasses but for general public consumption I think these will be even more annoying then some smug hipster walking around with their "Bluetooth" lit up and dangling out of their ear talking louder then they need to about nothing at all.

Putting on a pair of Google Glasses is claiming to the world that you are too dumb and insecure to function in society without a trendy gadget of the month...where's my coffee

Re:More like replacing your mind. (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672907)

The appeal to me anyway is te fact that I could livestream video that is what I see, not off center not on a clunky helmet. This would be very useful in many situations from the simple, family time to the protests in the streets.

Re:More like replacing your mind. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673887)

Putting on a pair of Google Glasses is claiming to the world that you are too dumb and insecure to function in society without a trendy gadget of the month...

It isn't, and you don't believe that it is. You are projecting.

Side-loading (4, Interesting)

John Guilt (464909) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672755)

I've always assumed that I will not have uploading available to me, but that rather as I get older and (probably, unfortunately) more and more mentally infirm more and more of what I need to get done to live will be taken over by expert systems that know how I like things and otherwise react like me...the onion will grow so, that the fact that the centre were hollow might not matter to the outside world, and by then I should be past caring.

Brain Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672765)

Or, imagine Google Shopping Bot running down the aisle at the store, throwing products on the shelf based on your interests and things you've already seen. You'd never have to see a new or random item again!

Cyborg theory (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672869)

There's a lot of doom-and-gloom being thrown around here... about how Google is going to destroy us, that we're becoming less intelligent, that we'll stop learning and thinking and Google, like some benevolent tyrant, will answer all our questions, and our thinking faculties will atrophy and wither away.

No.

Google is a tool, like a pencil is a tool. And from the very first human, we have been integrated with our tools. Are we the lesser for our use of pencils to store our information? Are we the lesser for using cars to convey us places our feet cannot? Ask any expert craftsman, driver, programmer - the tool becomes an extension of who we are and what we are.

Re:Cyborg theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673199)

Guns are tools. Nukes are tools. Handcuffs are tools.

I'll buy into your idealism when the pressure is lifted off Iran, and everyone trusts the Ayatollahs with a nuclear program.

Oh, but hey! Maybe my kids will get drafted into yet another middle-eastern war where Google provides ubiquitous real-time bullet tracking by satellite, and the fog of war will be lifted, and we shall be triumphant. Praise be our dear leaders!

Tax exemption! (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672899)

Bases on that summary, Google is fast becoming God so they should be tax exempt as a religion.

As with many things, how it's used will be key (3, Interesting)

Red_Chaos1 (95148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672913)

I'd have no qualms with these scenarios if they only were ever used to aid the people. But the problem is that as has been pointed out, this is unlikely. It will be used as a vehicle to monetize people, and the government and various entities will want unrestricted access to it for the most trivial of "offenses" if they can even be stretched to fit the definition of the word. Big Brother and Big Business would love nothing more than to be able to get inside your head.

Kind of sad that some of the greatest ideas and inventions cannot come to fruition or likely won't see widespread use because of the ways they could be abused far outstrip the legitimate and helpful uses.

Re:As with many things, how it's used will be key (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673583)

Well I imagine that if you can afford it, you'll simply be able to own the device, data, network, proxy, workaround, or whatever it is to let you use the device as you wish. To an extent. The poor on the other hand, simply can't pay for this stuff. You don't sell to the poor. What facebook has managed to do is sell poor people to marketers. And at the same time they provide an arguably meaningful service to the masses. Likewise Google gives out free services in exchange for ads, which is almost the same thing.

This is what you are afraid of.

But aren't you ok with it? Don't you come to Slashdot, maybe or maybe not view ads, and participate and consume the goodness? The typical .com website runs under this model. Simply by being the sort of person who comes to Slashdot, you've targeted yourself.

However, if you can afford it, and you don't use the government-subsidized Walmart-brand superhappyfuntime Hivemind of the future, I imagine that the government, marketers, salesmen, and other nefarious entities won't have unrestricted access to your dealings. You'll be able to afford privacy.

Kinda sucks for the poor, but it's always sucked to be poor.

Why Participate At All, Then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672941)

If Google's doing it for me, then why bother doing it at all? Do I have a choice?

the author is essentially right, but a bit behind (1)

emagery (914122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672973)

It is true to say that google is an app that extends the cabilities on the human mind; but this is not news and not new. The hoe was an extention of the human arm and hand that broadened out abilities. The abacus and the calculator enhanced our ability to do math. Telegraphs and phone wires and electromagnetic squeaks allow us to communicate far behind the physical limitations of our vocal chords. Google is simply the amalgamation of many minds into a common memory store. And this will progress as the scale of technology is further reduced and literally disappears inside our bodies through nanotech, without so much as a scar (yes, implants are essentially obsolete even before they've gained much traction.) We'll be dreaming together and having conversations in our heads with folk over the internet, witnessing events with our own eyes as they occur on the other side of the globe, et cetera, within just a couple decades, if not less. The point is; we have essentially been cyborging ourselves since the invention of technology itself. It is nothing new.

Google Usurper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673005)

Or Google cloning your interests onto a cyborg that drains your bank account by as it surfs pay sites pesky human.
Of course cloning you is redundant if they can just reprogram your brain as you sit idyly staring at your computer awash in media streams carefully selected for you....
Oh wait.....!
; )

Coming soon - the Google MCP APP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673049)

With the information Google can access, Google can run things 900 to 1200 times better than any human.

End of Line

Hive Mind (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673115)

It is no particular insight that Google is an extension of your mind.

Any tool that can manipulate symbols is an extension of your mind. Abacus, stick and clay tablet, and so on.

Where Google is different is that it is a step forward in the evolution of a hive mind for humanity. The first library was a start down that path; Google plus the content it indexes is currently the most encompassing, friction free implementation of humanities long trail towards ultimate shared thought.

I now know what Google bukkake reads like. (1)

techsimian (2555762) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673229)

I'm sure it's all perfectly accurate, but do we need to point it out? Googasm? Orgooglism?

Long live the new flesh! (1)

swampfriend (2629073) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673281)

The computer screen has become the retina of the mind's eye. That's why I refer to post on the internet... except on the internet. Of course, swampfriend was not the name I was born with. That's my internet name. Soon all of us will have special names - names designed to cause the 1080p flatscreen to resonate.

Re:Long live the new flesh! (1)

swampfriend (2629073) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673289)

Ugh - refer should be refuse - i'm an idiot.

We are the Google (1)

zeroryoko1974 (2634611) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673429)

We are the Google. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Resistance is futile.

Already Here (1)

PineHall (206441) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673499)

Our basic cell phones track us [nytimes.com] and that gives others a lot of information about our habits. With a cell phone turned on the company knows where you are, when you get home at night, that you made a late night trip to the drug store, and much more. Then you add the smart phone apps and the personal details that the company knows get even more specific? Are we willing to let companies know the personal details of our life so that we can have a personal digital assistant? Is it worth the cost?

How Google Is Becoming an Extension of Your Mind (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673805)

It's full of dirty pictures?

Glasses (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673831)

Or your Google glasses automatically beaming audio and video to the police when you say a phrase that indicates you're being mugged.'"

Or when you're entering a McDonald's in France, I guess. Just in case.

oh no im missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673891)

guess im missing a piece a my mind
oh noooooo
what will i do ....i know all i want to do instead of what they allow you to do...

Not THIS mind. (1)

toddmbloom (1625689) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674027)

Gave up using Google about two years ago and have never looked back.

I'm all set with dealing with their arrogance anymore.

Good riddance.

ridiculous (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674035)

if you dont like what the technology is doing or will do to you then dont use it! the point of technology was never to take over, it was to assist. feel like your cell phone has become a tether? use a land line! think your lawn mower is making you lazy? break out some scissors! scissors cutting into your sense of being? start ripping stuff with your hands!

frankly, i like the idea of technology making sure that when i say, "i think i'm having a heart attack" and fall over my roomba comes out with a defibrillator. it would also be nice to know that when i get shot, my cloths can communicate to get me help or possibly tell my car drive me to the hospital if i'm far away.

technology is a tool and if you dont understand that, so are you.

oh come on... Google? How about Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674087)

It's not GOOGLE that causes this. It's just the internet.
And libraries before that.

Sadly, the Google and most other commercial entities on the internet have gone from being a genuine provider or host of unbiased information to a system that "guides" you to what's "best for you."

So when that concerned father wants to read more about his daughter's debilitating illness, he will have to struggle to find strong resources.
Funny that there's a parallel going on in Television over then last 10 years as well... information must be entertaining first, stylized second, and factual 3rd.
History channel, Discovery channel... google.

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