Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What I want from Google

I don't have enough words to describe what Google means to me. I can't think how I went through life before Google. Or for that matter, before the Internet. Or to think of it - before the computer. Or, before the.... Ok... I can go on till I get to The Wheel, so I'll stop right now.

Anyway, what I want to say is that Google is an integral part of my life. I find myself depending upon Google for everything - to the extent that Google has made me lazy. Anyway, I don't expect that I am saying anything new.

But. There is a lot that Google cannot do yet. And I am waiting for the day when a search engine comes along with capabilities that I am about to enumerate.

1) There is a creepy-crawly that lives in our bathroom. I have no idea what it is. I want to take a picture of it, post the image in the search bar of the search engine, and hit enter, and I want Google to tell me what that insect is.

2) I have been humming a tune for some days now. I can't, for the life of me, remember where I heard it, and whether I will hear it again. Meanwhile, it is driving me crazy. So I want to record myself hum that tune, post the wave file onto the search bar, and click on Enter. And I want the search result to contain the name of the song, the singer, and everything related to it.

3) I am trying desperately to remember a poem that we had, back in primary school about "Trust". I don't remember the name of the poem, nor the name of the poet, nor any line in the poem. But I know the meaning - the poet says that there is nothing great in trusting a person you know. What is amazing, is that we go through life trusting people totally unknown to us. We trust the cook at a restaurant not to poison us, we put our lives willingly into the hands of an unseen pilot on an aircraft, we trust an unknown doctor to cure us, etc. The latter kind of trust is greater than the former.
I want to paste this gist of the poem in the search bar, and click enter, and I want the poem retrieved for me.

Oh, I know it is not impossible to find out even now. I mean, there are poetry forums and insect-lovers' sites where I can get the info that I need - with a little effort, and some patience. But that's precisely the point. I want it done without lifting a finger. Or rather, lifting a finger just once (to click).

And I have complete faith that the day will come when I will read this post and laugh.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

dont remember any poem about trust but definitely what you wrote about the poem seems so interesting and true ! How much do we trust the ppl we dont know anything about...may be we dont have a choice either ! Many a times we trust people we have never seen or met with so much details of our life that we might find it difficult to tell the same things to ppl we known all along...Or is it the trust we have in them that they wont tell any one else just 'coz we dont know them!

Prashanth M said...

Hilarious!!! But those days are not far :)

Inder said...

surprise! a few days ago i was wondering how great it would be to have a search engine which takes pictures as input. like in quizzes, where they ask you to name the person in the picture... i know image comparison is pretty time consuming. but with increasing processor speed and high speed connectivity, it should be possible. when it is possible to input your picture to an application that lists the movie stars you resemble, searching for an input picture in the internet whould be possible.

Shruthi said...

Anon: Food for thought, right? I was fascinated by the poem when we learnt it, but I just cannot remember anything about it now.

Prashanth: :)) I am sure!

Inder: Coincindence! Yup I am sure those days are not far off - by the way, which is this application that you speak of?

Inder said...

it is the "Star Estimator" - a freeware available in the net. it compares any picture with celebrities. i haven't tried it, but have heard a lot about it :)

mysorean said...

Well, well, the rate at which Google is going, nothing seems to be impossible. Our imagination seem to pale in comparision to their innovation! I hope Larry Page reads this page!

Shruthi said...

Inder: Ah yes, I remember having read about it somewhere - I should try it out! ;)

Adi: Heh heh... that's true - we only have to see how soon it happens!

Ranjini said...

Soon there will be an answer to at least one of your requests

http://www.popgadget.net/2006/08/google_vision_c.php#019820

Rk said...

The poem and tune stuff has happened so many times for me ! Once co-incidentally I recd the poem as fwd (which I was just trying to recall for days)!!
Do post/link the poem you mentioned if you come across it !

Shruthi said...

Ranjini: That sounds so cool! Thanks for the link! :)

RK: It's so frustrating, isn't it? Sure, I will post the poem if I manage to get it!

Anonymous said...

http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page -see if this helps with your search on 'creepy-crawly' thing....

Rajit

rajeev said...

i have not tried it, but maybe this can be handy:

http://answers.yahoo.com

Sudhakar said...

This reminds me the times when I searched google for 'How to search google effectively' ..

on the same lines ,Just wondering what you want from Mr.S....

Just kidding..

Deppe said...

zigackly! There was a poem about a nuclear holocaust that our teacher had read out to us in school. It had me in a daze for days. The only thing I remember about it was that its in the form of a radio announcement just before an imminent nuclear attack, and I remember a part of the advice was to not take your grandma and dog into the bunker because they will compete for the oxygen. I want the poem so bad. Google didn't find it. Someone help me. pleeeeeeeeeease !

Viky said...

We can extend it to dreams, too. We can find some way of putting whatever we remember of our dream into a device, and it will show us on the monitor what we saw in the dream.

Shruthi said...

Rajit: Thank you for this link! -- Did not know about it. With a little patience, I should be able to find it out!

Rajeev: Thanks a lot! Slightly difficult, again - coz I really don't know what I am looking for in most of the cases ;)

Sudhakar: :)) Err... I don't think I understood what you meant - clarification please?

Deppe: This poem sounds interesting!! Will let you know if I come across it. There are some sites called poemhunter.com, etc. Try in those. Actually yours must be easy to find. "Nuclear holocaust" isn't a very common theme. Or rather, it is more uncommon than "Trust" :(

Viky: Ohhh that would be so impossible!! Each human brain is unique and a big crackpot :D I am sure the device cannot show us what we dreamt exactly ;) Yeah, but if that device is customized to your brain's eccentricities, then maybe it could take a guess ;)

Viky said...

Each device comes with a baseline, from which each crackpot makes his own customization, no?

I'm sure you would have customised your Google toolbar to show translations in German, or Spanish maybe.

Haage enadru maDidre aytu, alwa?

Shruthi said...

Viky: Yup! That should do beautifully! Now all that remains is to contact Google and give them our requirements. What say?

anandanubhava said...

1. It's called content based image retrieval... when I used to work for R&D, we were conceiving something similar. It's easier said than done tho.
2. Speech recognition & extraction of the important syllables.. very much possible.
3. Semantic search.. I believe there's some technology already!
What we think of as sci-fi, is already a working prototype in some lab. You won't even believe some of the things being done in top secret US defense labs :-)

Shruthi said...

Anand: Thanks for the tech terms ;) -- Yup :) I know that these are in progress somewhere... I just wish it would come faster ;) -- and I don't even want to think about what is happening in top secret

Viky said...

There was one fwd I came across, which I'm not finding now, which had the Google Innovation Board or something like that - Employees can write their ideas onto it, and can name them as well.

Given a suitable business plan, it becomes a product - Like Google Earth, Google Toolbar.

People had scribbles a lot of things - Google Directory, Google Calendar, Google Assistant and things like that...

There were serious ones, and there were the fun types too...The funniest came with its own punchline too - Google Condoms: Slip one on, and it will find you a hundred @#$%& to !@#$.

Viky said...

Third para, third word is "scribbled". Sorry.

All because of your contest, and your entry.

Deppe said...

guess what! I found it

http://www.ppu.org.uk/learn/poetry/poetry_nuclear3.html
God bless you for reminding me!

Gangadhar said...

Great thought! Dat's fantastic..And i'll sure forward dis post to Google people..
Well i came here a couple of times..But i couldn't resist myself to dropdown here dis time..

travel plaza said...

You, me and a lot of others are waiting for all the stuff you mentioned from google:))

Shruthi said...

Viky: Ha ha :)) That is hilarious! If you find the GIB, let me know - I have a lot of demands ;)

Deppe: That is so wonderful!! How did you find it? Give me some tips too - please!
And I read the poem - it is very interesting!

Gangadhar: Sure, please do fwd it to them :) Thanks for dropping by!

Travel Plaza: Yup - I am sure everybody has their own wish list! :)

Sarad said...

they are all research topics that people are working on. its not easy, thats why its still in research
:-)

Shruthi said...

Sarad: Ha ha yeah :) Nevertheless, I demand that I get these services ;)-- coz I am sure that day is not far off!

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