Google, please stop finishing my sentences.

Google’s autocomplete (aka autofill and autosuggest) feature makes me feel like I am a member of the Borg. Sure, it provides quicker results to the internet, but it makes me feel like everything I think (and then search) is cliche and been done before.

I was curious as to how it works. Based on my own observations, it seems to factor in my geography and possibly my previous search history. I Googled how it works (it that ironic?) and didn’t find too much relevant or recent information, not even from google themselves.I did find that it uses javascript, AJAX and XHTML, but I am not smart enough to understand their inner workings, so I will just say that Google autocomplete is magic.

Back to the implications for the ordinary user. Is this autocomplete and future variants of it leading to us having hive mind of information and thought patterns? Probably not, but if I type something in Google and it isn’t autocompleted I do feel special.

On the lighter side, Google autocomplete does lead to sometimes baffling and funny results.

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Filed under The Interwebs, Thoughts

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