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Friday, September 19, 2008

Google on the "Intelligent Cloud"

Google’s Franz Och and Alfred Spector add their thoughts to Google’s series of musings on the future of the internet and Google over the next 10 years:

In coming years, computer processing, storage, and networking capabilities will continue up the steeply exponential curve they have followed for the past few decades. By 2019, parallel-processing computer clusters will be 50 to 100 times more powerful in most respects. (...)

Thus, computer systems will have greater opportunity to learn from the collective behavior of billions of humans. They will get smarter, gleaning relationships between objects, nuances, intentions, meanings, and other deep conceptual information.

The writers add:

The impact of such systems will go well beyond Google. Researchers across medical and scientific fields can access massive data sets and run analysis and pattern detection algorithms that aren’t possible today.

Google and other companies may use this for smarter tools – smarter tools which won’t be without privacy implications to consider*.

*Depending on what people decide to store in the cloud, Google may be able to run their analysis and pattern detection over information such as our emails, health records, search behavior, browser surfing behavior, docs and blog posts which are live or in draft, over uploaded videos, Google reader subscriptions, satellite imagery and more, as “research and analysis ... in order to ... improve services” is part of Google’s privacy policy. Beyond that, depending on local laws, Google may share information collected in the cloud with “companies or individuals outside of Google” if they believe that doing so satisfies “applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request”. Government policies and requests to Google vary by country.

[Via GoogleWatchBlog.]


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