What was once a small startup that solved one problem found a way of getting a good revenue stream. No problem with that.
Massively growing in 2 decades to something that a majority of people rely on is quite astonishing, but is also good for the company. Before going on, I have to reminisce to realize the DuckDuckGo type of Google I used in elementary school in old iMacs and the type of Google I used in middle school to look up past competition problems, was a tool that I practically grew up with. I can't imagine my life
without a Google.
I took it for granted and in a way grew up with it.
I mean it's something where I can easily store files and use GDocs with... right? That's one great thing Google did. It completely dominated the outdated, complicated Word and simplified it by putting it on the web and made it the go-to service for kids to use. This makes kids like me get used to the platform and trust it from day 1. And as we know, if you dominate what kids use, you easily make those same kids use the same thing during middle school, high school, college, and eventually jobs.
One of the reasons Google practically was giving Chromebooks for free. Once they got the market-share they get more power.
They could potentially track everything we do online from a kid all the way through life.
For the vast majority of people, this isn't a problem.
But it is. You see, once you see Google as a good company and rely on it, what would happen if it were one day to go away?
And in the argument that it would never, what if it just told you it was selling everything you were doing away to advertisers?
Again, most wouldn't care. But the problem is, if Google boots you off, you may very well lose a part of your life.
No email. No files. No documents. Possibly no contacts either. With this type of power and surveillance, Google also has the power of controlling the narrative. In essence, they have the power to control the world. They know everything about you:
They sell you everything you need.
They show you everything you want to see and can very well manipulate you over a period of time to maximize profit. And this is the biggest problem.
Mass manipulation and mass surveillance.
With many things, you won't realize it until it's too late (hedonic treadmill) Is Google helping other companies?
Yes and mostly no.
Their research team and open-sourcing Tensorflow is a great contribution to the community.
However, ToS on TPUs and Waymo's Laser bear Honeycomb clearly dictate that they can't be used by competitors. So now Google:
Is helping themselves create one of the best self-driving companies there is (honestly, who has unlimited compute?)
Creating the best NLP models (recently it seems they made a 50B param model based on BERT) With this much compute power, user data, and world-class researchers, they seriously have huge potential to slowly do anything they want -- including controlling every part of our lives. Think of it:
Health - Fitbit
Surveillance within home: Nest
Surveillance anywhere else: Android phone
Surveillance in the workplace: GSuite
Traveling: Maps, Waymo?
Vacation: Translate Or more abstractly:
Hear: Pixel Buds
See: Google Search
Touch: Google's AR tech
Smell: Google Nose (a joke now... but who knows?)
Taste: Google Health Anyways, I'm going on a tangent.
Given the trust a majority of the people (I'm assuming) who are not in tech have in Google, they can manipulate and control masses of people in ways that haven't been able to be done. Ever. They potentially know everything about you.
Everywhere you go.
Who you talk to.
Everything they feed you (through News feeds to Search results or Youtube reccs)
Work you do.
Emails you send... etc. "With great power comes great responsibility" - Peter Parker I feel Google has already addressed how they're moving forward a little bit already:
1. Our ML models see that your emails spam? You're spam.
2. You're using Tor or a VPN? Here's 10 reCaptcha's. 3. Don't use Google Webmaster or use AMPs? Good luck finding your page on the 1st page.
4. Youtube video includes education hacking tutorials? Demonetized Huge Youtube recommendation flaws (if you've seen @fairtrending for over a week you'll understand what Youtube is hiding from the trending tab)
6. Search censorship (to an extent)
Anyways, to summarize this rant:
Google has a lot of power.
They haven't been taking the best steps recently given their newfound power.
But who can blame them? They're a huge conglomerate now. Pack your bags to get off Google.
Future isn't looking so bright.