Saturday, March 17, 2012

What am I thinking Right Now

Try this, type ruby yacht of khayyam into Google or Yahoo or Bing. Go ahead I’ll wait.

Bullwinkle (Photo credit: bbaltimore)
Did you come up with a Rocky and Bullwinkle episode? Did it come up even before you finished typing yacht?

I find it amazing that a a bad pun for a children’s show that has been off the air for years comes up so quickly and easily.

I guess this goes to show you that I am not part of the digital native generation. I grew up with the idea that computers were stupid, if you didn’t spell things out exactly the way you wanted then you didn’t get what you wanted out. It even had its own acronym GIGO garbage in garbage out.

I suppose we shouldn’t read too much into this. The pun after all is probably the only one like it. Then I’m sure some geek heard the pun as a kid years ago and spent hours searching the information in dusty encyclopedias in the library. With the invention of the Internet and Wikipedia and finally Hulu s/he then created the page and as it turned out there were thousands of other geeks who did the exact same thing. Then when I introduced Rocky and Bullwinkle to my sons and got curious about the pun I could suddenly tap into the research in seconds.

This is the natural skepticism of the digital native. I question what seems like to amazing ability of technology to anticipate my needs. I’m sure it is getting pretty good right now, but it isn’t actually thinking. It is using the data it has about me and building a model of what people with similar data models might be thinking about.
What I’m wondering now is do our digital natives think the same thing?
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