Google Predicting the Future?

Geeks among us will recognize the term “chaos theory”. It is a highly philisophical, and yet scientifically unproven, theory of physics that says, among other things, that there is a natural order to the universe that cannot be observed directly, but can be seen in patterns. Popularly known as the Butterfly Effect, it theorizes that though there appears a dissonance and disorder in nature, nature actually behaves in an orderly and predictable way. Examples of chaos can be seen in weather, the flow of currents and even the natural cycle of economic conditions. Though no two iterations of an event happen exactly as they happened before, there is a pattern that is distinguishable if charted or mapped.

Ike Pigott requested my input on a theory he floated last night on his blog. The theory is that Google, in their attempt to meet their stated mission of “organizing the world’s information”, is attempting to predict the future. He framed his argument around the dissolution of many Google services over the past week, in an effort to economically streamline their business and Steve Rubel’s prediction that their Google Reader product is next on the chopping block.

Ike’s argument was that, through Google’s monitoring and recording of key behavioral patterns – such as reading and sharing of stories, commenting, time of engagement, and subscriber base numbers – that Google is able to create a massive database over time that “learns” the patterns of human information engagement. With these patterns (and a nod to Chaos Theory), Google can accurately predict a large number of events, or cultural shifts before they come to be. Additionally, as the only owner of multiple copies of the internet in their massive server farms, Google positions itself to be the one and only benefactor of such information. It could be argued that “the Machine is among us” (in another nod to common science fiction themes),

It has long been my assertation that the tendency of the internet world to easily trust and adopt to Google efforts is a dangerous precedent to set. Increasingly, people rely on Google for mail, calendaring and even productivity. New bloggers tend to setup blogs on Google-owned Blogger and the saturation of video content is due, in no small part, to Youtube. Why? Because Google makes products that are easy and ease of use is more important than virtually any other factor that consumers might think of.

Without raising the alarm bells, folks should be cognizant about entrusting Google with all of their data. Personally, I use Gmail, FeedBurner, YouTube and other services, but the data is yours and should be diversified as much as possible.

Question of the Day: Is this theory of future prediction fact or fiction, good will or conspiracy? Isaac Asimov outlined the rules for robots in his book I, Robot:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Food for thought.

g is the new i

If you’ve been a long time reader of Technosailor, you might recall when I wrote about how i is the new e. Things change quickly in our industry and while the points made might be valid still, quickly we are finding that g is the new i.

It seems there’s a lot of buzz over g products. gmail. gTalk. gPhone. (!!)

Of course, particularly astute readers know that the gPhone is simply vaporware – but it’s fun to speculate about what might be!

Google’s got this karma going on that is false, yet the perception is very real. They have come out in the last two weeks with a slew of announcements about openly standardized stuff, and a lot of people seem to eb buying the big G. First there was Open Social – an “open platform” for creating apps among social networks.

Wow, cool. Google’s doing something open and cool – how very different of them. Hold that thought, we’ll get to it.

The second announcement pertained to Android, a mobile platform purchased by Google back in 2005, yet just coming to fruition in the Google suite (if only by announcement) last week. The theory is that phone manufacturers can create phones run on open source software running Google apps that would maintain portability of data among computers, phones, and any other point of service allowing access to the Google heaven.

So what’s this bad karma I am referring to. Well, it’s good karma. After all, karma is just a perception anyway. People sign on to the ways of Google – openness for all, defeating the evil Microsoft-Facebook alliance, and all will be good with the world. Hoorah for socialistic groupthink!

Open Social provides a way for a single massive regime (trading at $660/share as I write this) to control the way you and I operate on the internet. All roads lead to Google. Google controls the gateways. If all roads lead to Google and they control the gateways, it goes to reason that as the single largest source of revenue in the world, they are also looking to Adsensize social media (as if we don’t already willingly have enough already).

And if you don’t think that the Google Adsense bot isn’t also monitoring how you consume your internet, well then…. just go ahead and think I’m a conspiracy theorist! ;-)

Carrying on, if Google can also control the mobile platforms through (ahem, already freely available) google applications on phones (What? They’re FREE?!), then they can also control how information is sent and received and, yes, even consumed over the airwaves.

But it’s cool. Google has recieved amazing karma points in the social media community these last few weeks. It’s all about perception anyway, and they are percieved to be benevolent dictators. Quite a PR coup after the PR blowout.

That karma leads me to believe that g is the new i.