Google, Kirk, Spock, and us

Patrick Pichette, Google’s CFO, in an interview with McKinsey Quarterly, recently said that 15% of the queries Google processes everyday are brand-new.  What he means is that despite the ubiquity of our world’s favorite search engine and the almost complete reliance most of us have on Google to give us answers to virtually everything, and despite access to vast to-the-horizon data centers filled with information ready to be algorithmically crunched, the most elegant user interface on the planet still receives millions of questions each day that it has never seen before. That’s not to say it can’t answer the questions; it just means the answers are not as easy to serve up to the questioners.

I suppose the geek in me is why I find that statistic so interesting. Here’s why…. it strikes me as a positive signal that human curiosity, and the ability to think in complex ways, is alive and well.  Just as Star Trek’s James T. Kirk was occasionally able to pose a question to Mr. Spock that he was unable to answer, humans find the opportunity every single day to ask of the biggest brain in history questions it has never been asked before.  Just like Spock, Google uses sophisticated logic to deduce the best probable answer.  It’s still up to us though to be like Kirk and make the final decision.

About Peter Armaly
I get jazzed by automation, big data, and blockchain tech. Business, technology, and fitness are things I understand. Scotch, wine, food, and fiction are things I appreciate.

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