Google's Schmidt: We don't (yet) have a connection inside your brain

In conversation with Glenn Beck, Google's executive chairman explains that humans can still occasionally be useful -- for now.

Not inside you yet. The Blaze/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

When I heard that Google's Eric Schmidt had sat down to chat with a curiously trendy-looking Glenn Beck, I was hoping for questions like: "C'mon, Eric. Are you a commie?"

Instead, what ensued was a conversation about man and machine achieving perfect harmony, something that Lenin spectacularly failed to master.

Some might suspect that, in Google's eyes, such harmony would involve Google being able to control your arm as it reaches to scratch your head.

Schmidt, though, was at pains to put that concept to rest.

He said: "Google does not have a connection inside of your brain."

Which doesn't mean that it wouldn't make Larry Page sing Tosca in his self-driving Prius, should it ever come to pass.

Indeed, Schmidt then offered this follow-up: "We're not that good. Maybe yet. Maybe never."

This uncharacteristic spurt of modesty surely covers a burning need, you might imagine, to turn humans into the machines of the machines.

To this, Schmidt offered: "What we're very good at, if you look at the AI is, we're very good at looking at historical patterns and, based on historical patterns, suggesting things."

Oh, yes. And just as good at excluding other things.

But Google's executive chairman wanted to remind Beck that he is still human. "There's something about humans that people always forget," he began.

Could it be that people always forget they're insane? Could it be that people always forget that Google crawls all over every piece of information they ever create within a 1,000-mile distance of a Google machine?

Catching himself, he seemed to emphasize that "humans" meant actually "technologists." Which is an odd equivalence, given that some humans believe that technologists are the least human of humans.

So what do "people" always forget? That humans are creative and unpredictable, revealed Schmidt.

Why, then, would Google and its singularity savior Ray Kurzweil be so fond of making us as stupid as machines that clearly don't realize how creative and unpredictable we are?

Especially as these machines are made by technologists, who, according to Schmidt, always forget that humans are human.

 

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