We’ve long harped on the idea that Google is just not very good at understanding human beings. Eric Schmidt, in a new interview, revealed just how bad they are at it, however. (SPOILER: Freaking terrible.)
Glenn Beck interviewed Schmidt, and asked him a fairly good question: If Google is constantly collecting and analyzing data, and putting out products that will attempt to anticipate your needs based on that data… what’s going to stop Google from trying to manipulate people? Schmidt’s far-from-confidence inspiring answer?
Google does not have a connection inside of your brain. We’re not that good. Maybe yet. Maybe never.
Schmidt immediately followed that up by referring to technologists as “humans” (keep in mind, Schmidt himself is a technologist), and then said basically Google is only good at finding historical patterns at data, not reading the future in them, and that humans are creative and unpredictable special snowflakes. Which is a nice little thing to say, but it’s also a wee bit disingenuous.
We flatter ourselves that we’re unique, but, just taking myself as an example, I’m predictable as hell. I tend to be in the same place, doing the same thing, at the same time, most weekdays. It’s a function of my commitments and how I lay out my workday. I’d imagine many of us are in the same boat.
One would also imagine Google knows this. Normally, this would be worrisome, but considering Google thinks all humans at parties want desperately to stare at a screen instead, we really won’t have to worry until they get their own country or something. So, in other words, in about twenty years.