The Intelligent Machine

I love Android cause it moves fast and changes all the time.

It’s still experimental.

One feature I’m especially thrilled about is Google Now. I had no idea what Google Now was until it told me my ETA to drive home. It was a creepy experience, but it had me at hello. I already hinted at it in a previous post.

But I want to elaborate a bit here. I really dig this technology and I’ll explain you why. It’s the same excitement I have felt for Wolfram Alpha back in 2009.

For sure there are similarities with Apple’s Siri. It’s like a personal assistant, but the subtle difference with Google Now is that you don’t need to ask the questions. It will deliver you the answers you need before you even realize.

So yesterday Google Now once again grabbed my balls! It told me how many miles I have walked in January: 51 miles, which is 50 miles less than December. I was just impressed. It’s not difficult if you understand how it does this. Google periodically sends my device’s location data to its servers. That’s all there’s to it and where the magic ends.

There are many more things it does. For instance, it will show me the latest postings for the websites I have visited. Many Now Cards area already out there and Google continuously updates them.

But the thing is: it delivers me what I need. It is context sensitive.

Google Now is like an intelligent machine. Occassionally it asks me questions, like: do you have a regular place of work?. How do you usually get around? Am I interested in weather updates for my location? Do I want updates from websites I often visit? Am I interested in weather updates for work and home?

Yet asking me these polite questions, it doesn’t feel like I’m forced to answer them. And it’s just a yes or a no. That’s all.

Perhaps I must nuance my wordings and call it an intelligent friend. Google is not evil after all, right?

It learns as you do things, it’s highly personalized and can be customized extensively too.

One thing I’m missing is that currently it just tracks my data and that’s all. I want it to tell me what I should eat and do to live a healthy live.

Imagine that it could tell me that I should avoid a certain highway after work due to a big event that is starting nearby. Now that is what we need and that is how Google can keep me surprised until it will become a commodity.

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