| This 43 message thread spans 2 pages: 43 (  2 ) > > || |
|How the 'Intelligent Cloud' may Change Google Search|
The Official Google Blog has a thoughtful post about the "Intelligent Cloud" that the internet is becoming, and how the whole face of search will shift as technology adapts to it.
|As we're already seeing, people will interact with the cloud using a plethora of devices: PCs, mobile phones and PDAs, and games. But we'll also see a rush of new devices customized to particular applications, and more environmental sensors and actuators, all sending and receiving data via the cloud... |
We could train our systems to discern not only the characters or place names in a YouTube video or a book, for example, but also to recognize the plot or the symbolism. The potential result would be a kind of conceptual search: "Find me a story with an exciting chase scene and a happy ending..."
As systems are allowed to learn from interactions at an individual level, they can provide results customized to an individual's situational needs: where they are located, what time of day it is, what they are doing. And translation and multi-modal systems will also be feasible, so people speaking one language can seamlessly interact with people and information in other languages.
Google Blog [googleblog.blogspot.com]
[edited by: tedster at 12:16 am (utc) on Sep. 19, 2008]
You can begin to see the plan behind all those diverse products that Google is developing, and their almost insatiable appetite for data.
This vision of the future is both inspiring and chilling. The missing ingredient here, as many readers may immediately notice, is privacy. Now I don't want to take this thread off into a privacy rights rant. But it must be noted that privacy is a major challenge, now already and more so in the future. Privacy is at least as tough a problem as the development of more intelligent search is. And it's a challenge that needs to be met with same level of technical creativity, if not more. The balance of human society depends on it.
That said, I do like the vision of the Intelligent Cloud. I can see many benefits, both personal and social. Less time wasted with struggles that someone else, somewhere else, has already resolved!
>>>You can begin to see the plan behind all those diverse products that Google is developing, and their almost insatiable appetite for data.
It's all very web 2.0 tech bubble. And it's nice to clutter up blogs with fanciful ponderings. But the fact is, in Google's lifetime they've come up with exactly two things:
1) using backlinks as citations
2) adwords, to monetize their newfound concept that backlinks are citations.
They've had one hit out of the park, and ever since a complete string of strikeouts. We're much more likely to see the next thing from Apple or MSN than GOogle - they've both got decades of showing they can get on base repeatedly.
|complete string of strikeouts |
How true, gmail, google news, blogger, youtube, all complete and utter failures.
Google news is such a failure that nobody uses it was single handedly responsible for tanking a stock [webmasterworld.com] just a few days ago.
Not too many failures with that kind of power.
|How true, gmail, google news, blogger, youtube, all complete and utter failures. |
And which of these is innovative?
Gmail - do i even need to comment on this? ajax email. WOW!
News - according to the aforementioned thread, NOBODY wants to give them credit for being an actual news reporting agency, so they either get credit for it (and face the RESPONSIBILITY outlined in the thread)
it's not so great.
Blogger - Google invented this?! News to me.
Youtube - Google invented this too?! I should read more.
(Psst. Have they found a way to monetize this yet?)
|They've had one hit out of the park, and ever since a complete string of strikeouts |
This is spot on.
As I've said many things... making billions of dollars has a funny way of making the TWO, yes only 2, creative people at the company not so interested in creating the next greatest thing since... hmmm.. windows?
PERHAPS, Goog (like the MS model they are emulating) will buy out the next genius mind who's working on this in her basement.
But Goog THE COMPANY hasn't invented ANYTHING yet.
|But Goog THE COMPANY hasn't invented ANYTHING yet. |
You are right about YouTube and Blogger - bought successes. This is typical pattern for big companies - the closest example is Microsoft. One could say that Microsoft did not invent anything apart from their OS and Office suits, parts of which were acquired same way Google bought other companies.
|2) adwords, to monetize their newfound concept that backlinks are citations |
Overture (or whatever they were called before - GoTo.com?) invented that and even got patent (now owned by Yahoo). Bogus patent like the many others, but they were before Google in that.
>>>How true, gmail, google news, blogger, youtube, all complete and utter failures.
Wonderful if you're an internet nerd. But as businesses go,compared to how google actually makes their money, then yes bill, you just strung together a long list of failures.
Majestic, Though I can no longer find any info on this, but I'm sure Microsoft actually purchased Windows from some person in the beginning.
Google actually loses money on everything except for adwords which seems to have a finite market which they make smaller by postpay billing. At least with Yahoo they get prepayments from many smaller advertisers and when the bids get to high the small guys get stuck with a balance for ad credits - but cash has already been spent. Google simply loses these ad dollars. New people take Google up on their $5 free all the time, then never buy more ads. Yahoo ad least collects a healthy amount of prepayments. Is Google switches to prepayment for all but their larger accounts they will make much more money.
|I'm sure Microsoft actually purchased Windows from some person in the beginning. |
No - they bought first version of DOS (way before Windows), Windows in some respects was co-developed with IBM but I'd say it was mostly IBM funding Microsoft's R&D, clever deal for one side, not so for the other.
Google has got just one very good product - Google Search (I include here AdWords and AdSense), it is very good and makes lots of money. Microsoft is very much the same only they have got 2 products - OS (Windows) and Office. Almost everything else for both companies are loss leaders, even though Microsoft seems to be having some success with Xbox console game - new market for them but I doubt it will be big cash cow.
As you can see Google is very much like Microsoft including monopolistic position in its field - just check out the kind of rubbish predictions Bill Gates was making in the 90s, this "Intelligent Cloud" thingy is in the same ballpark.
My apology for originally omitting the link to the article. If I want to discuss it, it helps to include a link ;) I've added it now.
And I do want to discuss it. It seems like we often go through a kind of ritual of Google-bashing, but there's nothing new or innovative coming in on that wavelength. The technologies this article discusses ARE innovative, they ARE under development -- and some of the rudiments are already here: text search on audio files, image indexing by tile similarity, the beginnings of results that are flavored by "user intention" and so on.
This blog post is not just someone's idle musing, it's part of the uber-vision that is driving Google today. We may or may not like it, but it WILL affect us. It's good to keep our eyes on the road.
|The technologies this article discusses ARE innovative, they ARE under development |
Bill Gates was talking about pen and voice recognition for a very long time (15 years or more) - those were technologies under development but they never matured enough to replace simple keyboard. This kind of posts is something that Bill Gates wrote in his books: "The Road Ahead" and "Business @ the Speed of Thought", interesting but mostly wishful thinking that is not going to happen for a long time.
Future of cloud foggy, then
|And which of these is innovative? |
Who cares if they created them or bought them?
They're wildly popular, not a strikeout, which is innovative in itself.
Half the battle is marketing and if you can sell ice cubes to Eskimos you're innovative.
Besides, Google has enough cash to buy new business models if they can't create them own their own.
[edited by: incrediBILL at 1:23 am (utc) on Sep. 19, 2008]
The example given in the quote box (about the story) seems to be more along the lines of making a "suggestion", rather than finding something specific that the user has in mind.
Here's another example: "a housewarming present that is unique, under $100, available in blue, and easy to ship".
So Google might suggest a blue limited edition medium-size plastic widget.
How will they get the data they need to make that suggestion? From the actual wording/images on our sites? From user feedback? From paid advertisements? From all of the above? If I understand it correctly, it seems they are moving in the direction of doing more and more thinking FOR people, which may not be the best development over the long run.
RE: See the movie "Idiocracy".
lol perhaps i missing the 'innovation' that already passed me by.
How is this any different than what they are ALREADY doing?
|they can provide results customized to an individual's situational needs: where they are located, what time of day it is, what they are doing |
Gee, how many searches a day do i get (granted ASK.com send alot more searches like this) that read:
"How can i buy cheap widgets in SpecificTown, USA"
....which leads to my page thats targets
"cheap widgets in SpecificTown USA..."
absolutely GENIUS Goog! They created AI!
'Cept I(we) already did all the work for them.
Google already forces MyTown searches and Ads down my throat when i'm searching for ANYTHING that might be "mytown" related.
This is different and unique how again?
Those results ALREADY change depending on time of day (again, partly do to Goog, partly do with the ADVERTISERS preferences)
|We could train our systems to discern not only the characters or place names in a YouTube video or a book, for example, but also to recognize the plot or the symbolism. The potential result would be a kind of conceptual search: "Find me a story with an exciting chase scene and a happy ending..." |
Gee, Goog, You're going to "TRAIN YOUR SYSTEMS" or write a 3-day script that uses the same simple algo on IMDB to put together the USER-GENERATED TAGS with the titles of the movie?
Or are they going to "train their systems" to use the same algo that Amazon has been using for their books for 4+ years?
Again, absolutely BRILLIANT!
Although that should have been coded 2 years ago before you bought youtube and books.
Thanks for playing "catch up" and acting like you've created a new wheel.
Hmm. isn't there a saying about invented wheels?
|Who cares if they created them or bought them? |
I don't care.
lol you made the sarcastic argument. I responded.
|They're wildly popular, not a strikeout, which is innovative in itself. |
As mentioned above, popular (within a certain niche) but NOT successful within THEIR niche (ie making money), therefore neither innovative monetarily, nor innovative in the strict sense of the word.
|Besides, Google has enough cash to buy new business models if they can't create them own their own. |
I already made this point in the first post. :confused:
But as YOU used the word "business".... the point of BUSINESS is to MAKE MONEY.
Again none of those "wildly popular" products comes anywhere close to being innovative, OR profitable.
Which brings into question how "innovative" their monetization/marketing is, as well.
|They've had one hit out of the park, and ever since a complete string of strikeouts. We're much more likely to see the next thing from Apple or MSN than GOogle - they've both got decades of showing they can get on base repeatedly. |
We might see truly new innovation from existing heavy hitters, however I think that it's more likely to come from new kid (s) on the block. I am also of the opinion that the 'next thing' will be in the arena of interface /interaction with robotic systems. I don't necessarily mean "irobot movie" type of a thing in near future, but more in line of sensor automation, step above 'Nabaztag', etc.
I posted related topic in the supporter's forum [webmasterworld.com] but it didn't take :)
It basically asks who will be next google?
Sparked by article from Nature journal:
10 areas from the article:
-PRODUCTS WITH MEMORIES
-OPEN CONTENT MANAGEMENT
-THE SEMANTIC WEB (yes yet again :) although this is one of the better explanations I heard about what semantic web is)
-BETTER BROWSERS ( - this one is from Googler :0 )
I recently watched a show on the Science Channel about computer screens embedded in contact lenses, so that only you can see the screen. You could even put your GPS in the corner of your field of vision and never have to look away from the road.
The thing about that innovation is this - the protoyype already exists! They figured out how to embed monitor circuitry into a contact lens without using high heat that would destroy the lens.
When it comes to Google innovation, the one I get the most from currently is Google Earth. When I last visited my buddy on Oahu, we used Google Earth to identify a path from his property to the Weimaea Audubon Center. With a little creative bushwhacking, it turns out to be a 10 minute walk from his back yard, instead of a 15 minute drive.
Without Google Earth, we would have had quite a challenge identifying the best path to bushwhack through that terrain.
I just realized one way that these early days of "the cloud" have already added somehing to my routine. Whenever a client posts a pdf or a video to their website, I always check the meta data embedded in the file and I never used to do that.
Last year I noticed a client was getting some traffic for a phrase related to a type of punctuation - when their topic was nothing even close to grammar or punctuation. It turned out that the phrase was embedded in the meta data for a pdf file they had online.
That got me started checking meta data, an area where most documents are currently quite unconscious. in fact, some of what comes through by default can be humorous or even embarrassing. I'd say it's not too early in the cloud-game to add this step to your routine.
The basic ideas of that intelligent cloud had already been sketched by Marvin Minsky in the early sixties, if I remember correctly. He was very successful raising funds and research budgets with his promises of what Artificial Intelligence might manage to do within only a few decades.
Now, fifty years later, I still have to drive my car myself, which I hate.
No. "Understanding the world" is a permanent challenge at best, a "regulative ideal of reason" as Kant would say. A robot to understand the plot of a story? On the niveau of most Hollywood-bull#*$! maybe, but we developed a different class over here. The google machines killing their programmers after understanding Oedipus, hehe.
A funny side-note of recent past: We had an order from Great-Britain a couple of weeks ago. The customer obviously had used googles translation tool, which had translated our company-name with the correct english noun. But it is a company name, not as large as the one distributing the Kleinweich-operating-system, but a company name. And this company name follows the standard of being one of the first prominent words in the upper left corner of every page on our website. If google really targets to understand "the world", it should probably begin with this very core of it's business: Understanding websites. All else will follow.
[edited by: Oliver_Henniges at 3:28 pm (utc) on Sep. 19, 2008]
The new iTunes feature genius is a musical version of this. While it far from perfect it does try "to recognize the plot or the symbolism" as well as genre and style of music to create "intelligent" playlists.
It has started already....
Also why are we driving our own cars? I too hate it. I am to the point where I trust the failure rate of hardware and software over the failure rate of humans these days.
[edited by: Demaestro at 3:37 pm (utc) on Sep. 19, 2008]
|The google machines killing their programmers after understanding Oedipus, hehe. |
|The new iTunes feature genius is a musical version of this... |
What about those music genome sites? Don't they work on the same principal as the Genius? I listen to music from one of those sites daily and after a few day's worth of training, the sites are REALLY good at picking out songs that I like.
[edited by: SEOMike at 3:41 pm (utc) on Sep. 19, 2008]
Why are people so skeptical of Google's technological ability?
Touching on Whitenight's rant specifically: What you're failing to recognize is the foundation and architecture Google has been amassing since its inception. No one but Google knows for sure, but I've heard rumors of over a half million servers throughout the world, and that number, I imagine, is only growing day after day.
So, what does this have to do anything? These half-million servers, apart from managing Google's website, are responsible for crawling all over this great web of information, categorizing everything it sees. From words to images to flash animations, anything can be read by Google's bot.
Words are easy to categorize, because they're already in a representative form; in PHP, words are the key in your associative array. What google is missing from the equation is the value, and that's where I think we're going to see some massive shifts in the coming years. If what this post implies is true, Google will begin to attempt pattern recognition in images and movies.
While I don't know how exactly this would work for them, I have my suspicions. Google could begin to look for consistent or similar shapes in all the image results for "apple" and eventually come to the conclusion of what an apple looks like. The result? Instead of basing image search results around the alt text, filename, or surrounding content, Google would have the ability to search its image index for the shape of an apple, leading to much more accurate results.
The same can be applied to language. Presently Google's results are based on a number of factors but are based largely on Keywords (links get a lot of weight, but the words are what's important here). There is no meaning associated with the keywords, they are simply words that are common throughout the document. But suppose Google starts being able to recognize the pattern of a sentence. Subject Verb Object. Subject Object Verb. Languages follow these patterns to a T; it's the fluff and exceptions (Sentences like "Sit down." have implied subjects) that's throwing Google off now.
With a large catalog of objects you can recognize by name, though (thanks to the image pattern recognition I was referring to), you now have two key parts of a sentence. Throw in YouTube and you can start to get a bigger piece of the puzzle: actions. If Google has the ability to track a pattern over a series of images instead of just an individual image, Google may begin to recognize actions (verbs).
In mathematics, you're given known quantities and unknown quantities (variables). Algebra is the art of determining the value of an unknown quantity based on the known quanities surrounding it. In my scenario, the known quantities at this point are the subject, the (direct) object, and the verb. The unknown quantities are abstracts, articles, metaphors, and probably some other things I haven't thought of. Those would be tough things to break down...
Thing is, though, Google has that thing it likes to read called the internets, and that has a lot of information, mostly in the form of words and other language constructs, and those unknown quantities are being used all over the place. With most of the parts of a sentence already being defined, it would only be a matter of time before Google understood the context of those as well.
Regardless of whether or not this system is sentient (I think it ultimately will be; Singularity here we come!), you now have a system which not only has a ton of information, and not only a system which can cycle through that information a million times in a second, but a system which is analyzing that information in the same way a human would: based on context and a pre-existing knowledge of what it represents (concretely at first, abstractly later).
This may not be the monetized success that you think it might, but then, none of Google's products really are. What it would be is a technological innovation, one which could give a severe bump to artificial intelligence as we know it (and, if the Singularity holds true, another severe bump after that, followed by another, and another, and another...).
Maybe that's part of the appeal of Google, though; they hand out their technologies without concern for the potential monetary gain. They continue to improve their search algorithms even though I get what I'm looking for most of the time. Sure, they work to appease their shareholders, and maybe low adsense payouts and high adwords prices are a result of that. Maybe, just maybe, Google is pushing webmasters around a bit when they decide your site isn't good enough, so you have to pay more to advertise.
For me, though, this is a good thing. The internet has become far too cluttered with people who are trying to take the easy road into your pockets. Too many sites are the same. When you and your competitors offer the same service with a different layout, what should drive me to one or the other? The only thing left to compete over is your position in the paid advertisements; who knows, get enough competition in there and you could be paying $20 for that keyword... Could this be a means of battling inflation?
On another theme in this thread, claiming Google has only one successful product is naive. GMail has been a success; it may not be terribly innovative (well, their spam recognition is well above the fold; I've never had a false positive from Google, nor has any spam ever gotten through to my inbox), but it has brought people even closer to Google. Blogger may not be wildly successful, but it carries the Google brand.
Google is in the dictionary. Google is a household name. Millions of people use Google, and they don't just search the web; they do search, however, and when they want to search for something they have more than enough reminders about where they should go.
I'm of the thinking that Google measures its success primarily on customer retention, and what better way to retain customers than to give them everything they could want for free?
I hope I'm right; it would be so refreshing to see a company after my own heart. Success is not measured in dollar bills, it's measured in smiles, sunshine and rainbow farts.
|claiming Google has only one successful product is naive |
It is naive to think that high usage is the same as commercial success - there are lots of sites that burn through investor money, they are successful in terms of giving away their product for free but they can't make money on it. Specifically main idea for GMail was that there will be a kind of AdSense for emails to monetise on loss-leaders free email - this did not work (and could not work in my view).
You mention branding - that's good point. All big companies put a lot of money into brand, TV ads usually don't make it back in direct sales, however they help brand and that translates later into sales. GMail and other things certainly do help Google from this point of view, but commercial success comes from main activity - search, everything else is a commercial failure. This is a pretty typical situation not limited to Google - Microsoft had it for long time and most big companies fail to diversify effectively.
|Why are people so skeptical of Google's technological ability? |
Touching on Whitenight's rant specifically:
skeptical? or just realistic.
Humans ultimately run/program Google.
I place my "faith" in humans.
Or more precisely in the ENTIRE history of humankind.
The bigger the company, the more humans involved.
The more humans involved, the less likely anything "innovative" is created.
The bigger the company, the greater the possibility anything "innovative" will be squashed, screwed up, messed around with, or ruined.
This is why I continually point out the differences between
GOOGLE the brilliant college-project brain child of 2 geniuses
GOOGLE THE COMPANY
(yes, they are 2 DIFFERENT animals)
People can argue this point until they're blue in the face, and I can simply point to every single company, government, country and "perfect" idealistic THEORY since the beginning of time as my counter-argument.
|What google is missing from the equation is the value, and that's where I think we're going to see some massive shifts in the coming years |
And value comes from humans.
Not automated bots "trying to figure out" what things mean.
VALUES change, adapt, become important, become meaningless depending on the individual person, the individual person and their interaction with their culture, and the culture itself.
Its NOT static. It's not even TRUTH.
You are trying to "capture" the unexplainable, paradoxical ever-changing, always-static mystery of LIFE/VALUES/HUMANS with 0's and 1's?
Good luck with that!
Human brains with their multitude of complexity, infinitely more adaptable and interconnected than any "half-million servers," have failed at this same "goal" since the beginning of time.
But Goog and their super-brilliant PHD's, who can't even figure out what my page is about, are on the cusp of AI?
I've heard this argument in a multitude of forms on this and other boards since Google started.
As Oliver said... let's just get the algo to figure out what my little pages are about first WITHOUT HUMAN INPUT (ie links). Then we can work on advancing humanity into the singularity.
|The same can be applied to language.... |
In mathematics, you're given known quantities
Again, these are REPRESENTATIONAL ABSTRACTS of a thing.
They are NOT the THING itself.
They can NEVER capture the essence of the THING itself.
They can only point to the THING, which is then FURTHER "un-THING-ed" by the VALUES AND INTERPRETATIONS of the individual using that language abstract.
No one's even talking about the same THING when they use language.
And mathematical theorist and philosophers for centuries, have already acknowledged that math only POINTS to the TRUTH.
It's is NOT the TRUTH itself.
|Google is in the dictionary. Google is a household name. Millions of people use Google, |
Yes, that's great marketing by the 2 guys who started it... AND the millions of WEBMASTERS who pushed their visitors to their page.
Nothing exist in vacuum.
And since humankind is what it is, Google's "glory" will change and adapt, be meaningful and then become meaningless over time.
I can promise you that.
|Success is not measured in dollar bills, it's measured in smiles, sunshine and rainbow farts. |
Indeed, and Goog as a CORPORATE culture goes out of their way to make sure no one sees the smiles, sunshine, or rainbow farting....lest the competitors steal their secret sauce and the evil webmasters corrupt their results.
This doesn't point to a company that's interested in "changing the world"...this points to a company that's worried about it's bottomline... money.
Better yet, creating AI and then only using it to get higher profit margins on their ADS. ;)
No COMPANY is EVER going to create, discover, find, AI.
It will be the single (or small group) researcher, geek, nerd who TRULY wants to "change the world" ..... much like Serg and Larry when they FIRST started.
npwsol, I'm not "skeptical of Google's technological ability," but just fed up with people promising things like the ones in Tedster's quote from the google blog. These people don't give a damn about "truth" or the ethical conequences of their doing, instead generally only have their own career in mind.
"The world" covers far more than just some I-Tunes or Hollywood films. Proof-Theory in Mathematics for instance, which quite precisely meanwhile describes the epistemological limits of computer-algorithms in general.
> the known quantities at this point are the subject, the (direct) object, and the verb.
This is a good example for the very, very naive view, which many information-scientists have on language and logic. My proposal: Take you're own complete posting and try to only describe the syntactic structures with these concepts (subject,object, verb, conjunction...), which you recalled from school. Did you manage the first paragraph? And that was only syntax. Here we are talking about understanding the MEANING, not only of written sentences, but films and videos with all their pauses and minutes of silence.
"Baby you can drive my car..." (The Beatles)
BTW: What does apple propose I should listen to alternatively?
With all of Google's supposed technical abilities the one thing that I would have thought that they would have been seeking to achieve is some sort of consistency in their search results over time. All I see is that they are consistently inconsistent.
Fog would be a better description than cloud.
> consistently inconsistent
This, in turn, I'd rather view as a general characteristics of mankind (and intelligence). According to Goedel, inconsistency would be a necessary condition for a machine to understand "all of it";)
But there are no inconsistent computer algorithms by definition (putting aside aspects of error-probability in physical machines for a while). What you perceive as inconsistent in the SERPs, are just consciously implemented regular fluctuations on the output, designed to fool SEOs.
|All I see is that they are consistently inconsistent. |
It's by design. If you want consitency you can check DMOZ or something that does not get updated often - same SERPs all the time, but are they better SERPs? No.
|With all of Google's supposed technical abilities the one thing that I would have thought that they would have been seeking to achieve is some sort of consistency in their search results over time. All I see is that they are consistently inconsistent. |
Really? I see a remarkable consistency for many of the competitive words and phrases that I track. Still, some "inconsistency" is to be expected, since the Web itself is constantly changing.
As for Lord Majestic's comment that "It is naive to think that high usage is the same as commercial success," I'd point to npwsol's suggestion that "I'm of the thinking that Google measures its success primarily on customer retention, and what better way to retain customers than to give them everything they could want for free?" If services like gmail and Google Maps keep people coming to Google (and reinforce the Google brand), then such services are contributing significantly to Google's "commercial success." At the end of the day--or the end of the quarter, or the end of the year--Google's success is measured by total earnings, not by whether gmail or Google Maps is dumping money into shareholders' wallets directly.
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