Eric Schmidt’s Frightening Futurism

By  |  Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 11:04 am

Cnet’s Tom Krazit thinks that Google CEO Eric Schmidt should be careful with his visions of a profoundly computer-augmented future:

It’s not that Schmidt is wrong or misguided in making these predictions: the seeds for such a future were sown long ago. But Schmidt and Google never seem to understand how much they freak some people out when they evangelize a future that de-emphasizes the role of people in their day-to-day lives.

I agree that Schmidt’s enthusiasm can be unsettling, at least on first blush (which is not the same thing as saying that his predictions won’t come true, or that I won’t be happy if they do). When he talks about the end of human-driven cars, one of the questions that pops into my head is this: Does Google plan to run the computers that run the planet’s automobiles?


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2 Comments For This Post

  1. David Hamilton Says:

    Schmidt's enthusiasm is only unsettling because almost all of us in technology are completely in denial of the real impact things like AI & Robots will have on our lives. For instance, anyone else noticed the automated checkouts in large stores, ridding us of the first job that most students have (and rely on)?

    Harry: It's now 10 years since Bill Joy wrote "Why the Future doesn't need Us", and yet I've not yet seen anything like a decent rebuttal. (Most who disagree with it merely say "Well, it's wrong" without reasoning any case.) Yet I'm seeing more and more things in technology and robotics that chime with what he was saying.

    How about an article on his piece, from the perspective of a decade further on?

  2. Rob Says:

    I think Google wants to display ads to the occupants of those automatic cars of the future. After all, with no one driving, the eyeballs can be glued to a screen consuming information.