Have You Ever Seen a Killer Dinosaur on a Leash?

January 27, 2023

I have never seen a Tyrannosaurus Rex allow a European regulators to put a leash on its neck and lead the beastie around like a tamed circus animal?

google on a leash

Another illustration generated by the smart software outfit Craiyon.com. The copyright is up in the air just like the outcome of Google’s battles with regulators, OpenAI, and assorted employees.

I think something similar just happened. I read “Consumer Protection: Google Commits to Give Consumers Clearer and More Accurate Information to Comply with EU Rules.” The statement said:

Google has committed to limit its capacity to make unilateral changes related to orders when it comes to price or cancellations, and to create an email address whose use is reserved to consumer protection authorities, so that they can report and request the quick removal of illegal content. Moreover, Google agreed to introduce a series of changes to its practices…

The details appear in the this EU table of Google changes.

Several observations:

  1. A kind and more docile Google may be on parade for some EU regulators. But as the circus act of Roy and Siegfried learned, one must not assume a circus animal will not fight back
  2. More problematic may be Google’s internal management methods. I have used the phrase “high school science club management methods.” Now that wizards were and are being terminated like insects in a sophomore biology class, getting that old team spirit back may be increasingly difficult. Happy wizards do not create problems for their employer or former employer as the case may be. Unhappy folks can be clever, quite clever.
  3. The hyper-problem in my opinion is how the tide of online user sentiment has shifted from “just Google it” to ladies in my wife’s bridge club asking me, “How can I use ChatGPT to find a good hotel in Paris?” Yep, really old ladies in a bridge club in rural Kentucky. Imagine how the buzz is ripping through high school and college students looking for a way to knock out an essay about the Louisiana Purchase for that stupid required American history class? ChatGPT has not needed too much search engine optimization, has it.

Net net: The friendly Google faces a multi-bladed meat grinder behind Door One, Door Two, and Door Three. As Monte Hall, game show host of “Let’s Make a Deal” said:

“It’s time for the Big Deal of the Day!”

Stephen E Arnold, January 27, 2023


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