Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Google = Skynet? and who is the new Neo?

With reference to Siva Vaidyanathan's work on Google  (I discovered this during my Coursera Session on Understanding Media by Understanding Google by Prof. Owen R. Youngmanwhere he says the following as part of his seminal work called Googlization of everything:

"Most of us are not Google's customers. We are its content. It sells our attention and our user data to its customers and they are all the businesses that advertise with Google. Google is not necessarily more secretive than Coca-Cola, but the difference is Google knows everything about us."

Read it from the point of view of today and please remember that Siva wrote this book in 2007. Six years later a lot of what was addressed seems to work brilliantly and becomes more scary than anything else.

Which bring me to the title of this post: Is Google and Skynet similar? Or Is google the machine controlled Matrix?

I have been teasing friends who work for Google about the firm being similar to Skynet - the fictional all controlling machine from the movie series - Terminator. And over the last few years as more and more of the Google products start to dominate our lives, work and as we feed it with minute details of our lives, I get a feeling that the Google guys know more about us than we know. We are the actors who live out our lives, whereas they can analyse and dissect everything we do and give us what they think is 'right'. 

When do you think this Google intelligence become self aware? and then what happens? Are we doomed to becoming like the humans in the movie Wall-E - fat lumps who are fed a constant barrage of information? or like the human battery cells of Matrix - living in the belief that what ever is shown is real. 

At what point will the rebellion happen? and who will be the Neo emerging out from the Matrix created one search result at a time?

My post might be out of context to the subject of the course here but am curious to find if anyone has done any study on the pop fiction of movies like Matrix, Terminator, Oblivion, and so on and overlapped the same with the progress made by Google, Amazon and Facebook?



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