The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

17 December 2006

Is this the negative Googlewhack?

Doc Searls reports:

[S]earch results for my name have ranged between one and ten million. Kinda meaningless, no? Especially when I'd like to see the 745,612th result. (You can only dig a few hundred down.)

I duly cranked up a search to try to hit that, and was promptly slapped down: "Sorry, Google does not serve more than 1000 results for any query. (You asked for results starting from 745610.)" Sheesh. I mean, it's not like I hit Next 75,000 times, or stretched out "Gooooooo ... oooooooo ... oooooogle" to the width of the Jumbotron.

Posted at 9:41 AM to PEBKAC

I wonder if there is a market for an AI engine that will sort through, mash up, and deliver the best of all the Google results we never look at. Sure, most of them are crap anyway, but that's NOW. Ten years from now, there will be far more crap but far more worthwhile stuff as well, and that 10,000th result may be worth a look.

Yeah, I think there will be a market for that AI engine, when it's finally built. It'll sift through text, pictures, and video and deliver a report. It'll be user-configurable. It'll be advertiser-supported, and have a community. It'll be partly Wiki. And it will need to have consciousness, to understand what it's analyzing.

This is of course the jumping-off point for any number of doomsday sci-fi stories, from Magnus to the Matrix. I don't see it darkly. Any truly intelligent, aware software tasked with sifting through the detrius of human knowledge (which let's face it is mostly pretty embarassing, even if you take out all the porn) is going to have a sense of humor. Now THERE is a sci-fi scenario I'd like to see explored.

Posted by: Mister Snitch! at 7:43 PM on 19 December 2006

Inasmuch as some of my best research results come from items seemingly tangential to the topic, I have to agree: we need more than just the top 1000 or so.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:16 PM on 19 December 2006