Google AI Moves Slowly to Google Advertising. Soon, That Is. Soon.

May 24, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_t[1]Note: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

I read l ”Google Search Ads Will Soon Automatically Adapt to Queries Using Generative AI.” The idea of using smart software to sell ads is one that seems obvious to me. What surprised me about this article in TechCrunch is the use of the future tense and the indefinite “soon.” The Sundar Financial Times’ PR write up emphasized that Google has been doing smart software for a looooong time.

How could a company so dependent on ads be in the “will” and “soon” vaporware announcement business?

I noted this passage in the write up:

Google is going to start using generative AI to boost Search ads’ relevance based on the context of a query…

But why so slow in releasing obvious applications of generative software?

I don’t have answers to this quite Googley question, probably asked by those engaged in the internal discussions about who’s on first in the Google Brain versus DeepMind softball game, but I have some observations:

  1. Google had useful technology but lacked the administrative and managerial expertise to get something out the door and into the hands paying customers
  2. Google’s management processes simply do not work when the company is faced with strategic decisions. This signals the end of the go go mentality of the company’s Backrub to Google transformation. And it begs the question, “What else has the company lost over the last 25 years?”
  3. Google’s engineers cannot move from Ivory Tower quantum supremacy mental postures to common sense applications of technology to specific use cases.

In short, after 25 years Googzilla strikes me as arthritic when it comes to hot technology and a little more nimble when it tries to do PR. Except for Paris, of course.

Stephen E Arnold, May 24, 2023


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