Google Suggest is a feature that sees the search engine trying to complete a search query as you type words into the search engine's text box. Suggestions are meant to be helpful -- but they can sometimes be funny, bizarre, or downright creepy. More than that, they give an insight into the sorts of things that people search for, and the sort of content those searches return. And in turn that tells us interesting things about the subjects of our searches.
We made a variety of search requests, and noted down what Google suggested every time. Smartphones are evil. Macs are crap. Apple is dying. Everything you need to know about tech, from Google Suggest. Here are 11 weird Google Suggest results, and what they tell us about tech in 2014.
(This shot is above.) Smartphones are evil apparently. Evil? The other searches make a weird -- if somewhat angry -- sense. A waste of money? I don't agree but I can see the point. For idiots? Colour me idiotic. But evil? Are we really as a species suggesting that a portable computational device is the work of the devil?
Perhaps, though, our searchy ways are revealing a deeper truth. Perhaps the use of a handheld device gets in the way of true interaction, leading to the break down of family life. And the presence of a smartphone may make people feel tethered to work in a way that is truly evil.
Or perhaps there are a lot of cranks on the internet. Yes, that's it.
The future, or useless. The internet truly is a binary medium, with nuance in short supply. And so it seems with our 'tablets are...' search. Most Suggest results are anti-tablet, one stunningly positive. They're all wrong of course. Tablets are a useful and fun additional device. But that isn't nearly as punchy a search term.
I know the argument: because we never have to learn or remember knowledge, we are getting less capable of learning or remembering knowledge. And because we never have to learn or remember knowledge, we are getting less capable of learning or remembering knowledge. Also, as we never have to learn or remember knowledge, we are getting less capable of learning or remembering knowledge.
I know, I missed my calling as a comedian.
Of course it is not Google that is making us stupid, it is all connected technology. And it is not making us stupid, but causing us to lose skills that were previously important. This is a legitimate cause for concern, although it is something that has happened throughout history, as technology made our lives easier. We do need to use or lose mental skills, but you can't argue with the benefits of the ability to sift through data quickly.
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