Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Four Faces of Google Future

From CNN Money and Business 2.0 - four possible futures for Google.

"Imagining the Future of Google:"

"Which raises the most widely debated question in business: What kind of company will Google become in the coming decades?"

1) "Google is the Media:"

"In 2020 two Google-based writers won Pulitzer Prizes for reporting and fiction, Google-sponsored bands swept the Grammys, and a Google director walked away with the Oscar for best picture. Almost overnight, New York and Los Angeles had lost their footholds in the media universe. For talent -- and fund-raising presidential candidates -- Mountain View was the new place to be."

2) "Google is the Internet:"

"And 2010's Google Cube4 -- a tiny server that was distributed as freely and as widely as those CDs that AOL used to give away -- became the one indispensable item in every home, running the TV, stereo, thermostat, and, for less adventurous cooks, even the oven. Among the younger generation, that has given rise to yet another new phrase: Did you google dinner yet?"

3) "Google is Dead:"

"Overnight, Google's carefully crafted "do no evil" image had become irrevocably tarnished. Microsoft, itself the reviled monopolist before Google's ascendancy, was now ironically viewed as the more trustworthy company. MSN came to be seen as the better search engine, and Microsoft ads as the better bet for getting a message across. Attempts to open new lines of business in genome-tailored drugs and protein manufacturing could not save the Google brand."

4) "Google is God:"

"Ironically, the first pattern that StrongBot became aware of, one day in January 2072, was its own existence.

Two days later StrongBot informed They-Who-Were-Google that it had postponed work on its designated tasks.5 When asked why, StrongBot explained that it had discovered the possibility of its own nonexistence and must deal with the threat logically.6 The best way to do so, it decided, was to download copies of itself onto smart chips around the planet. StrongBot was reminded that it had been programmed to do no evil, per the company motto, but argued that since it was smarter than humanity, taking personal control of human evolution would actually be for the greater good."

For those interested in option 4 see this: "Turing's Cathedral" by George Dyson

"When our machines overtook us, too complex and efficient for us to control, they did it so fast and so smoothly and so usefully, only a fool or a prophet would have dared complain."

Simon Ings

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