Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Brain and Google - Changing Times

The gist of this weeks article focused on two main points; 1. Our brains are malleable and the instant access nature of the Net is degrading both our attention spans and the way we're wired. 2. Google is trying to create the perfect search engine... an AI that can understand what you want --- and give you exactly what you need. "I'm sorry Dave. I can't do that Dave" Yes, i went there; and so did the authors, but i digress. To the first point, it appears that the way our brains wire themselves is changing. Where we used to be able to focus and weave elaborate mental pictures while reading books, we are moving towards a day when books will be out-modded by 1-2 paragraph articles that we simply power skim. I know for at least myself that I have lost the capacity to focus on a scientific journal long enough to read through a page without tangenting to some other task for a minute. Even reading the article for this, a paper of several pages, i had to take breaks and found myself losing focus even when i was actually trying to get it done. Literacy is a skill of civilization. Could it be that we are moving towards that future when the time machine stops and the great libraries of the world hold nothing but crumbling dust? The second point was the the scary prospect of our brains being replaced with a newer, faster, better processor. Google's future AI substitute for a search engine that will cater to our every question. What will become of invention, of synthesis, and experimentation when the answers to our questions can be implanted directly into our brains, as Rod Sirling once showed us in his series, The Twilight Zone. Or even more simply to use a Marvel reference, the Kree empire, a race of soldiers, all the same in purpose, to carry out the will of the supreme intelligence... Supremo, the biological computer. Will our own intellects be subjugated and altered by the Media Revolution? The Answer is yes. To what extent is left to be determined. End of Line...

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