Eric Schmidt: Google Tries to 'Get Right Up to The Creepy Line', Not Working on Brain Implants (Yet)
At the Washington Ideas Forum presented by The Atlantic, the Google CEO talked about American politics, Chinese industry and, most terrifyingly, the ethos and the future of his company. When asked about the possibility of Google developing an implant, Schmidt replied, "Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it." He remarked that implants probably cross that line ("at least for the moment, until the technology gets better," he said) but noted, "As far as I know, we do not have a medical lab working on implants... I will check after this."
Great! So Google is probably not working on brain implants for all of us. That means Google is our friend, right?
"With your permission, you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches," Schmidt said, crossing what we consider our high bar for the creepy line. "We don't need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about." Line officially crossed.
But it gets worse. Expounding his vision of the future, Schmidt said, "It's obvious that the computers will be our assistants, that they will wander around with us, if you will, they'll know where we are, they'll care what we're doing." And that means we'll have more time to expand our minds, and learn new things, and become those mega-brained pacifist utopians that the science fiction writers always imagined we would eventually become, right? Schmidt explains, "This means, for example, you don't need to remember as much as you used to." Doh.
This isn't the first time that creepy Schmidt has creeped people out with his futurist vision of Google. He toed this same line when he talked to the Wall Street Journal back in August, saying, "I actually think most people don't want Google to answer their questions... They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next." Schmidt doesn't think it's creepy that he wants a dictatorial Google, guiding memory-less users from one thing they didn't know they wanted to the next. We'd almost rather take the implant.
Watch the video with Schmidt below. (He starts on the tech stuff at about 13:00.)