I thought Jay’s presentation on Google Galaxy was a fascinating response to questions about technology we’ve considered in class. A lot of the scientific possibilities we’ve encountered throughout the semester have honestly been difficult for me to imagine, at least in a society that resemble ours. Within our lifetimes, I can’t imagine we’ll witness a harvesting of organs from clones like in Never Let Me Go or manufacturing of skin as seen in Oryx and Crake. However, it is conceivable to me that we may soon find ourselves utilizing tools very much like Google Galaxy.
Seeing as Google Glasses have already been created, there’s really no telling what next step Google will take toward making their consumers’ lives easier. The idea that we would willingly give a website access to our thoughts, memories, and experiences by way of a computer chip seems insane, but in actuality it’s not much different from the way we use Google today. There has been a lot of talk about “online identity” over the past few years; practically anything we do on a computer has the ability to be tracked and analyzed.
One thing that crossed my mind during the presentation was how Google Galaxy might be used for purposes other than Jay demonstrated. If someone could ask the program “What did I do last night?” after an evening of over indulgence and get a clear answer, what else could be learned from its processes? What if there was a way to find out “What did he or she do last night?” Maybe an angry father doesn’t believe his daughter was just ‘hanging out’ with friends, or maybe a young woman doesn’t trust what her partner tells her.
All of this is fair, but what about more serious issues? Minority Report comes to mind. The need to interrogate suspects, give them a trial, and any other process related to proving or disproving their innocence would be made insignificant if all someone had to do was ask Google Galaxy their whereabouts. Certainly many problems would arise, but it’s interesting to imagine a legal system that could be made as simple as Google has managed to make searching the internet.