Google’s search engine algorithms are getting smarter. Great, right? What if the trade-off is that we’re getting dumber? Ian Leslie has an article up on Salon.com that asks this question and whether or not Google search is harmless. Is it beneficial to find immediate answers by Google search on our smartphone/tablet/computer? Not if we’re getting too lazy to ask the right questions.
Google’s suggestions feature (that is, when you start typing something in and it guesses in advance what question you’re going to ask) is a great way to get a snapshot of things the world is thinking, by showing what search queries tend to be on people’s minds.
For example, while watching the Olympics over the weekend, I did a quick search during a commercial break to find out more information on Ryan Lochte, the gold-medal winning swimmer. Notice the second suggestion:
You can read a lot into “I’m Feeling Lucky.”