Saturday, July 20, 2024

Google turns 25, with an uncertain future as AI looms - 90.5 WESA

Last updated Tuesday, September 5, 2023 18:02 ET , Source: NewsService

Google helped shape the internet. Now, artificial intelligence threatens to change everything.

What is it? Arguably the most successful search engine of all time, which turns 25 this week.

  • Started in 1999 by two Stanford PhD students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, their objective, as stated by Page in a 2003 Fresh Air interview, was pretty simple: "We want to provide information to people. That's what we do. And so we try to err on that side whenever we can. And I think this will be a very interesting issue for the world going forward."
  • Of course, it has expanded into an entire internet ecosystem for users; there's the Google Workspace, Google Translate, YouTube (acquired by Google in 2006), Gmail, Google phones, and so much more, all tracing back to those early days of the DIY dorm room operation.

What's the big deal? Google's domination of the internet is complicated.

  • Clickbait, targeted ads and search engine optimization muddied the waters of the goal to just "provide information to people." And then there's the advertising.
  • Nilay Patel is the editor-in-chief of The Verge and says the founders of Google didn't know what business they were in at first. Patel told NPR: "At the very beginning of Google, they were both fairly opposed to advertising. And they knew that advertising would be a way to make money, but they thought it would corrupt the company inevitably. And here we are 25 years later, and Google is a dominant purveyor of advertising online. I think it's...

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