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  • Writer's pictureAustin Walker

5 Ways Google Lens Will Be the Next Step in Training Artificial Intelligence

If you haven't heard the buzz already from just about every single news platform, Google Lens was just announced by Google's CEO Sundar Pichai at the I/O developer conference. Tech Crunch has a pretty good article outlining what Lens is supposed to be. Google is attempting to put together its computer vision and intelligence to bring more search results directly to your smartphone. Brilliant right?

Artificial intelligence has certainly been quite the highlight this last year. From self-driving cars, to the shakeup of industries, and even Mark Cuban giving warnings against certain industries and trades.

So here is how Google Lens is supposed to work: you point your camera at an object, like, an animal or plant you don't know, and Lens tells you what it is. Sounds pretty simple right? This certainly extends the capabilities of Search, the one object you can still get completely free through Google. But what if Google is going to be using the searches people use to put together into their own artificial intelligence?

All the searches that people ask, from macro- to micro- levels, are working to help PageRank compile more relevant results. Okay, so Google has never come out directly and told us exactly how any of their core products work. They have competitors [ones you've never heard of like Bing, Baidu, and is Ask Jeeves around anymore?] looking to find out how they do it so well, so it makes perfect sense they won't come out and tell us. However, they do like to give hints. In this case, it was letting us know the 3 top things ranking webpages in search results. Unfortunately, they won't even give us which is currently #1 or #2. So now everyone guesses.

Artificial intelligence studying our heartbeat.

And for what we currently know about artificial intelligence, we aren't quite to the doomsday Terminator level, or even to sci-fi standards of Spock telling a spaceship to go into hyperdrive. (For any Star Trek nerds, I'm sorry if this reference is a little off. I'm phrasing just a little.) We are not quite to a point where artificial intelligence is thinking for itself on a massive level. At this point, it still needs inputs to create outputs, and humans haven't quite perfected how to keep the machines from making mistakes.

However, the question that I would really like to ask, is what is Google going to do with the data that comes with their new searches? Is it going to be used to give new inputs to PageRank, or is it going to just float briskly away into the sun? I'll bet you have the answer. So here are 7 ways that Google Lens is going to be shaping new search artificial intelligence:

1.) Google will now know where every flower taken on Instagram actually is.

That's right, now Google is going to know where Aunt Daisy's Petunias are. There's a switch on your phone giving away the location you take photos. Most people don't want to turn it off, or don't know how, and are going to be giving Google the exact location of every picture they've ever taken.

2.) If you're ever wondering what part is under the hood of your car, Google will know. And if it doesn't, you can give Google the answer the share with the world!

That's right, the information that you give to Google for free when it doesn't have an answer will be sold to the rest of the world through ads.

3) Hackers are now going to be able to see your WIFI password, they won't even have to ask.

Hacking is not a joke, but it sure used to be. I think I remember Jack Black attempting to hack into something during Enemy of the State. When the movie came out, nobody understood it so it was shrugged off. But now, there are teenagers hacking. You haven't seen them in the news because they're so elusive. But, alas, with hackers basically taking advantage of the privilege in front of their faces, and the fact that when you take a photo of your WIFI's router, it will automatically input the information into your phone to automatically connect, you may has well just have hung the red flag out yourself.

4) You'll never have to learn another language again.

Language is important in culture. So how are we ever supposed to be connected? Oh yeah, through devices only. Good thing we're not social creatures, am I right?

5) You'll never have to eat at a bad restaurant again.

Ladies and gentlemen, Google has done it! By using ratings, a name, and other business listing information, you'll never have to eat bad sushi again.

No more bad sushi.

Some of these are just good fun, but I think it should be something we take in to consideration: Google is going to know a lot about things we take for granted as private. Where we took photos of certain friends or family, whether it be in your house, their house, or a private family vacation, not only will it be something that the algorithms have, but it's something that can be found. In a world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a thousand other social media platforms, our best way to actually remain private is to remain shelled. Considering human psychology, social behavior, and our need to be wanted, loved, or even to have a friend or two, isn't this a little scary?

We are training Google's artificial intelligence to recognize everything that it doesn't already understand. Inputs to the information it currently hasn't received. Google may just sell the data, but I'm going to bet that it's going to become part of their algorithm, RankBrain.

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