Google: Cake, Ice Cream, and Presents. Outsiders Not Really Wanted

January 21, 2020

Sundar Pichai is generating some PR buzz. The topic is, on the surface, regulating artificial intelligence. News flash: Barn burned, horses gone, and a new data center has been constructed on the site. Google’s been doing the smart software thing for decades. The evidence is publicly available. Just read Google’s patent applications. There are smart “janitors.” There are intelligent advertising dashboards. There are the hundreds of “signals” processed to make sure that search results are just wonderfully useful. To whom? Well, to Google and maybe advertisers.

The write up “Google Boss Sundar Pichai Calls for AI Regulation” provides an interesting take on Google’s PR play. DarkCyber noted this statement in the Beeb’s article:

Writing in the Financial Times, Sundar Pichai said it was “too important not to” impose regulation but argued for “a sensible approach”. He said that individual areas of AI development, like self-driving cars and health tech, required tailored rules.

None of the examples provided in the first paragraph to this blog post are mentioned.


Google wants to have its cake, ice cream, and presents. The existing smart software is just fine. The future stuff which Google and others have not been able to convert to an online ad scale cash stream can be regulated. Autonomous weapons? Maybe?

The Beeb states:

Google launched its own independent ethics board in 2019, but shut it down less than two weeks later following controversy about who had been appointed to it.

Yeah, regulation. The Google way.

Stephen E Arnold, January 21, 2020


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