Most of us know by now that Google is no longer just a search engine but a company a bit like Skynet from Terminator with little or no malicious intent; Google has research and technology labs in California; one of these laboratory divisions is called Google X. What does Google X do?
John Gertner from Fast Company explains what Google X does:
“…X is tasked with making actual objects that interact with the physical world, which to a certain extent gives logical coherence to the four main projects that have so far emerged from X: driverless cars, Google Glass, high-altitude Wi-Fi balloons, and glucose-monitoring contact lenses.”
Google X will be launching a Wi-fi wireless Internet balloon into Indonesia in the near future to to give internet access to millions of people without it.
Jessica Guynn of USA Today reported the following:
“Project Loon is targeting the world’s fourth most populous country because two-thirds of its citizens don’t have Internet access. Mike Cassidy, vice president of Project Loon, says Google parent company Alphabet wants to bring the Internet to 100 million people in Indonesia currently not connected to it….
….Project Loon is part of Google X, the secretive laboratory for experimental projects such as driverless cars that is run by Google parent company Alphabet. Loon beams the Internet from balloons circling the earth at altitudes twice as high as commercial aircraft, helping mobile operators extend wireless networks into more sparsely populated or remote terrains without running fiber optic cable or building cell towers.
Google X is positioning the test as a leap forward for Indonesia, where Internet connections are often spotty or slow and infrastructure is challenging to build because of the nation’s 17,000 plus islands and sometimes rough terrain of mountains and jungles. The test has been embraced by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who has been in office for a year and is wrestling with a slowing economy.”
Internet access could bring dramatic improvement to the lives of Indonesians.
Richard Nieva from CNET reported the following:
“Alphabet is signing a preliminary agreement, known as a memorandum of understanding, with three Indonesian telecommunications companies — Indosat, Telkomsel and XL Axiata — to bring the balloons to the country over the next year.
‘While the physical distance between here and Indonesia is great, increasingly the emotional distance around the world is shrinking,’ Sergey Brin, Google co-founder and Alphabet president, said at a press event here…..
….Four billion people still don’t have access to the Web, according to Alphabet. Changing that could have staggering implications for emerging countries. The Internet could give rural villages video access to remote doctors and classrooms, for example. It could even help break the cycle of poverty, according to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, by allowing the rural poor to send and receive money right from their phones.”
This might turn out to be a very positive innovation, but it scares me when Google becomes the dominant source of all this technology. If we depend on Google too much, to put it into words, society could become a dictatorial autocracy…kind of like Sky Net from James Cameron’s Terminator film where the computers rule everything.