Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Google Speaks by Janet Lowe

On 300-odd small pages of "Google Speaks" Janet Lowe tells the story of Google and the key people who run it: Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt.

This book was published in 2009 - only 3 years ago - and it already shows signs of age: Facebook, which is the biggest danger to Google's dominance of Internet, is not mentioned even once.

A few gems:

Google makes money from advertising, however, initially Page and Brin didn't want to go that route. They wrote: "[...] we expect that advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of the consumers."

The book contains a guess of Google having 1 million servers back in 2006. This was probably an overshot. Google may have about 2 million servers currently.

The ultimate goal of Larry and Sergey is to create AI. Larry Page: "Google will fulfill its mission only when its search engine is AI-complete. You guys know what that means? That's artificial intelligence." 

Sergey Brin: "It’s not enough not to be evil. We also actively try to be good." Despite the many controversies mentioned in the book, this guiding principle is clearly visible when you compare the history of Google with the history of Facebook. Google may be first to create AI and bring an end to the human rule on Earth, but it will do so with good intentions.

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