Wednesday, October 25, 2006
India, Google, God, and Technology
In no other place on Earth will you find devotion to God more intertwined in daily life than India. Those who practice various Hindu traditions will actually choose a date for a specific action such as marriage or a business deal during a religious festival. For example, business people in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra may choose to initiate a business deal on the fourth day of the festival of Diwali. Others may simply clean up their accounting books on this day, known as Muharat. Stockbrokers may even wait to initiate a particular trade on this day.
Now I know some readers may wonder about where the author is going with this discussion. Those who work in information technology occupations such as computer programmers, network engineers, and database managers are well aware of the important contributions made by individuals whose recent ancestors hail from India. They are often the primary architects of many popular software and hardware tools used by millions of people each day.
Every day in offices all over the world certain people are sought out to provide solutions and innovations for common problems. Any one of these developments may or may not grow into the next important organization, such as Google has become. Perhaps in India right now, there is a young boy or girl who will grow up to become the computer scientist who links all the data in the Internet together with the most advanced hardware to result in an application that emulates what most people think of as God.
This development will stir up extreme reactions in some corners of the universe while others may initially laugh it off as sheer nonsense. As time goes by more and more people will grow to rely on this new application for an increasing number of daily tasks. Some may use this new all-powerful tool to wake them up in the morning or to provide them with entertainment. Others will use this tool to link themselves up with people of like persuasion. Just like with Google today, people will pose questions to this new user interface and expect to be shown the correct answer or set of answers day after day. Hundred of thousands may actually ask this new entity to choose their new husband or wife for them. Certainly they will also expect to be provided with the correct date for the auspicious occasion to follow.
As a result of all this devotion that tool or set of tools will grow more powerful and become more prevalent with each passing day. Eventually that tool will be smarter than our most skilled surgeons and depended on to remotely operate robotic surgical systems. It will guide other robots that assemble or repair cars, computers and even design new tools. In the same manner that a computer chip at Intel designed the next generation computer chip, this new tool will become self-enhancing, self replicating, if you will.
Millions will eventually sing the praises of this new technology-based solution in forums far and wide. They may hesitate to call it God for a century or more after it appears among them. In fact, they may never choose to think of it as a God at all but that is exactly how they will use it in their daily lives. When we use a notion to guide us in our day-to-day existence, when we pay homage to it over and over, when we sing the praises of it far and wide, we are worshipping that thing. Whatever it is.
All this will happen, it is only a matter of time. It is both frightening and wonderful to imagine what this new tool will be capable of achieving. Certainly it will be capable of translating every language into every other language. Without a doubt it will accurately predict earthquakes, weather phenomena, and the impact of man on earth's ecosystem. It could finally allow hunger and poverty to be eliminated. It may even determine a method to bring about lasting world peace.
The only concern left up to humans may one day be how to stop this new machine from deciding that humans are a threat to the earth and perhaps no longer necessary.
This gives you a whole new perspective on Google now doesn't it?
Author's Note: This is the second installment in this series. The next installment is available at Prototype Development in SecondLife. The first article was Will Google Become God
Interesting Note: A man named Ragu caused me to think of all this with his simple posting Can Google Get Gods Mind, placed on a Google Blog page.