25th Sep 2018
Happy Birthday not warranted
We all know by now how the actions of FaceBook and Google are treacherous and all encompassing. Bottom line…user beware!
So, this piece from the Australian Financial Review (behind a paywall) – republishing the article from The Telegraph, London – is “interesting”….
“It has revolutionised the internet and changed the way billions live, communicate and search for information. But when Google marks its 20th birthday this week it will be a strangely muted affair.
Despite an $US800 billion ($1.1 trillion) valuation and a product used every day by more than half the world’s connected population, the Silicon Valley giant finds itself under attack from all sides.
Amid soaring profits, Google has been struggling with an internal war over employee diversity. It has withdrawn from a contract to build AI for the military after an employee revolt and is dealing with a backlash over an alleged plan to move into China, which would mean acquiescing to Beijing’s surveillance requests.
A company which quietly shelved its “don’t be evil” motto earlier this year now owns a video site, YouTube, which has been accused of harbouring and encouraging terrorism, violence and cyber-bullying while Donald Trump has launched an attack on the tech giant, threatening repercussions for claimed anti-Republican bias.”
“For a company that has taken pride in a socially responsible and democratic ethos, it seemed an odd strategy. But for Professor Terry Winograd, the former head of Stanford University’s computer science department who taught Page, then an introverted but razor-sharp student – and encouraged him to crack on with a scheme to index the internet – the no-show was no surprise.
He says: “Silicon Valley, as a whole, believes power lies in technology and if you say ‘what about those people who get elected’ they say ‘they are a bunch of hacks in Washington, they don’t have any real power’.”