Wednesday, 5 February 2014

2:29 AM EDT, August 29, 1997

The title surely acts as an overture to what this post has to say. All the arcane verses prophesied by a crotchety Cyberdyne systems corporations model 101, enacted by Arnold in T2, pointed towards the parent supercomputer of all of Cyberdyne's networked systems, to go self aware of its conscience and its purpose. Just like Orwell's clairvoyance and insinuation about 1984 went awry, Skynet too couldn't materialize specially with the kind of gigantic computing powers it was supposed to vest in itself. However, it does not write off the kind of future that was predicted and envisaged in that celebrated movie. Neither does it demean the possibility of a universe where machines not only acted as mere companions, but acted as a faithful entourage wherever you went. Whether the machines would go nincompoop and expunge the existence of the very humans that made them, only time will  tell.


Having seen a lot of burly corporations coming up with humanoids and robotic arms in the past few years, it never really tantamount to any real progression towards imbibing self guiding intelligence into a set of circuits. However, research has suddenly started getting impetus and things have started to move a little. Maybe the way we are connected every facet of our existence with a multitude of other devices, Skynet would not be a single computer with a core in some silo, but would be the entire Internet we feed on. 

Coming straight to the point, what compelled me to expound all this was an eerie and esoteric feeling I had about where the Internet and the corporation that guides the Internet has been heading of late. Google, the company that has literally paved the way for Internet to materialize into something so comprehensive, is so ubiquitous on the virtual landscape and with such dominance, that's its hard to write off no matter what you are doing on the progeny of erstwhile ARPANET. Even as I post this blog, I rely on a platform run by Google, using an account I hold with Google, using a hosting server housed by Google through the content delivery services, using publishing technologies developed and nurtured withing Google, and finally I'd rely on Google's magnum opus - Their search engine, to have some daylight fall on the post. While all of this seems an encomium or panegyric, it hints to something more nettlesome and bothering.

For one company to have such an impact on the Internet and even the devices that now run it, it's imperative that the company breaks its shells and experiments with contemporary models. It seems that Internet is no longer the heirloom of ICANN and Internet societies but now runs at the behest of Google's and the consociation of the companies that rule it. While adjudicating a corporation which exudes awesomeness would be wrong, Google's recent demeanor seems less than unquestionable. 

Google, known for its variegated acquisitions in the past is known to have leveraged on the opportunities that were available. Google bought DNNresearch Inc. early in 2013 and speculations were rife that the neural network expertise of the company was to be deployed in the next level of Google's search. And then Google kept buying incongruous turbine companies and gesture recognition technologies(Flutter), keeping their motives rather discreet. For a company sitting on a pile of hefty cash, no one really minded whether the leprechaun was really looking to build something comprehensive. But just then, in the end of last year, Google played their first maneuver.
After having bought companies that have either improved its services of helped Google foster a new offering, Google seems to have gone somewhat haywire on their purchasing patterns. While multibillion dollar honchos perch on your shopping data to find your preferences, I chose to delve on that of Google. 

Google acquired 8 companies in 9 days and all of them had to do with futuristic man machine interaction technologies, a space Google always wanted to venture into. Starting from Schaft Inc. which makes humanoid robots to Redwood Robotics, a robotic arm maker to Boston Dynamics, another Robotics company, Google had it all under its belly. It also went for Industrial Perception, a virtual reality company and Bot and Dolly, which is into robotic cameras. And the ballyhooed acquisition of Nest for a humongous 3 billion + was kind of an innuendo.Although the purchases seemed to be somewhat reconditDeepMind technology which is purely into AI. Now given Google had to spend just a modicum of cash to get these cos, it wouldn't do that at the simple pretext of setting a prognosis of it venturing into 'cool' avenues. Google does have an agenda behind this semblance.
e in context of what Google does, all of them had to do with machine intelligence and robotic development. While Nest's product line seems less dilapidated, it too wants to turn your residential network into a cognitive learning setup on its own. Eventually, Google went on to acquire

Google, ostensibly has a facility called Google X, located meters away from its headquarters. This facility works in a largely clandestine manner but also divulges details of some of its most intriguing of projects. They were the ones who announced a lens type that could monitor glucose levels in diabetics and the ones who are working in augmented reality space pertaining to Google glass. While most projects seem to be in harmony with Google's overall visage, the new acquisitions hint towards something more discreet. While the projects Google has come up in the past considered using a mix of innovation and peppiness to come up with new wonders, Google X's new escapade seems a little different. As the Internet is planning to step into its next phase, Internet of Things(IoT), perhaps Google has something else to offer.

As we enter one of the most stupefying of phase in silicon technology development, Google probably wants to become the one that ensnare all the enigma. We've had chimeric things in the past which are now reality and maybe Google wants to be the harbinger for the ext such set of things. As we progress towards a completed connected cohort(CCC), we are going to need much more than mobility from our IP connected devices. We'll obviously have refrigerators that could control themselves and homes that could eliminate the acclimatization phase, but world would linger to the idea of something bigger. How about cars that could not only be driverless but that also know wherre you ought to go and on the basis of your past experiences with it, could adjust their driving paths and still better their very algorithms. And what if prosthetic arms are no longer conventional and now use your proxemics and dynamics to anticipate your action, thereby having a brain and a conscience of your own, Perhaps a case in point is the entire Internet getting apprised of its existence and its responsibilities wherean nodes are no longer passive but are a set of neural networks, each with a set of data and designated actions, which thereby drive the entire data transfer. 

All in all, Google X is not very different from the utopian world which makes us s inquisitive. A world where every palpable device has an IPv6 and has a connection to your central device which manages your very life. Just imagine a universe where your tardiness and tenaciousness compells you to share your burden with technology that is very well capable of handling all your worries. Your PAN of devices not only begins to assist and suggest you, it also develops the propensity to guide you. Slowly and slowly as we  turn more slovenly and tepid, we allow the systems to permeate to organizations and to nations. Just imagine a nation which carves its strategic decisions on the basis of the suggestions and information elicited out of a large network of tax collection servers, financial planning servers, public subvention servers, public data servers and maybe even the strategic defense and space research servers. In our quest for getting a wholesome view  of our situation courtesy of our technological prowess, we indeed woul drop the piecemeal approach and would benefit but we would do it at the cost of wilting human role in decisions made for humans themselves. Ultimately as machines begin to intercede on our behalf, we would find the prospect too lucrative and let the times beguile. And then one day, maybe a 100 years down the line, all decisions would become the prerogative of a network which should have comprised of humans made of flesh, but which would actually comprise of humans made of silicon. We missed out on 2:29 AM EDT, August 29, 1997, but maybe we just procrastinated the inevitable. Maybe self awareness isn't that impossible at all.

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