Right now, Google is great at answering our questions. We type in a query, and it spits out thousands of answers. But this is only the tip of the iceberg for the Internet giant. According to many experts, the future of the web is "discovery," where instead of providing an answer to your search, Internet companies will tell you what you want before you ask for it. Google will know you better than you know yourself. From the Huffington Post:

"I actually think most people don't want Google to answer their questions," former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal in 2010. "They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next."

The convenience of information delivered to us, without active agency of our own besides our membership to a social network or shopping service, raises the question of how intimately this convenience is tied with consumerism, and whether this technology will fuel our curiosity, or just our consumption.


When the computer apocalypse finally happens, we're all totally screwed. Businesses have been dependent on machines for a long time, but now our human brains are becoming dependent on them as well. Thanks to the Internet there's no need to learn anything any more. I used to be able to name all the state capitals from memory. Now I just look them up online. We used to discuss life's great questions with our friends. Now we ask Siri. Some people can't multiply two one-digit numbers without consulting their smart phone's calculator. Soon we won't even know how to work an on/off switch. And when that happens, computers can finally make their move. If we forget how to shut the computers down, we'll never be able to stop their eventually overthrow of humanity. Our demise is inevitable! Smash your iPad and save yourself now!

 

Follow Tom on Twitter: @thefaketomz 

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