What if your search engine had personality? My brain has never really been wired to accept responses from a search engine that I didn’t ask for. My usual reaction is to step up to a search box, type in my query, and expect a response that is exactly relevant to my request.
Today, I was slapped in the face with another reminder to vote from Google. I had a sudden flare of frustration, destroyed the little reminder by clicking on its little x of destruction, and proceeded to type my feelings into the search engine’s text box so prominently centered, and framed by little images for voting.
I pressed enter, and then sat for a moment. Then I felt remorseful, and felt I had to append my message with a follow up. An explanation in my earlier outburst. God forbid I offend the internet. More seriously though, in an internet of lost context, my message would have been seen more as a rage entry or something. What I really wanted was the ability to indicate I already had voted. Understandably, early voting is still somewhat new, and even the analysts are not sure on how that will affect this election cycle in the United States.
What I really wanted to drive down into is the concept of talking to the search engine. In years past, the search engine has been a tool. It still is, but it has become far more intelligent and predictive. The speed in which it collects and exports data is incredible, and it has vast connections. If I had to reduce it, the search engine is is a method of learning. It is an access point to data. An intelligent being would know how to navigate the endless indexes and pull data from any point.
Personality is borne from experiences. Experiences are bits of memory, information, that contribute to our ability to interpret the world. Memory is measurable. Therefore, the internet is a collective memory. All those who have participated, leave something of themselves. If there was a way for the search engine to be used in the creation of a mind, I can only imagine the personality that could come out of it. Would it be analogous to our own? Would we be able to understand it? What would it learn?
If it came out as being benign, would it be willing to help us? Would helping us be to taxing, or would that mind be able to do other things? If it was willing to help, would seeing results being returned by it be different? How would that personality show itself? Would it modify my responses for the better, or for the worse?
I suppose I would have to ask Cortana, or Siri, or any of these new voice activated interfaces. Though, I’m not sure I can. Is their personality a result of their experiences? I’m willing to believe that, but I think those experiences were preprogrammed by the designers. I’m not very sure how far along this technology is as of now. Progress has been very swift on artificial intelligence research, and I really do wonder what is already being done.