Trust, But Verify

How Google Ruined the Internet — Superhighway 98

The web was supposed to forcefully challenge our opinions and push back, like a personal trainer who doesn’t care how tired you say you are. Instead, Google has become like the pampering robots in WALL-E, giving us what we want at the expense of what we need. But, it’s not our bodies that are turning into mush: It’s our minds.

Back in the day, you could refine your searches to exclude words or focus on specific domains. But that presumes you know how to write your query. And I don’t think that’s even an option with voice assistants.

More to the point, as the article notes, Google (and other search engines) are trying too hard to give us the results they think we want. Perhaps they should step back a bit and instead seek clarification or qualification where a search is ambiguous or there are conflicting answers. That would work for voice assistants also. Yes, it would slow things down a bit, but is that such a terrible thing?

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