Google is set to launch a new version of its omnipresent search engine that will question the cultural validity of people’s enquiries. Rather than instantly offering a comprehensive list of the most popular websites and images related to the keywords, the new version will offer its opinion on the subject of the enquiry and if it finds the request to be intellectually vacuous, will steer the user clear of the original search altogether.
‘Seriously, if you could see some of the utter dross that some people search for through Google’ said Dennis Woodside, Head of Google UK. ‘It’s heartbreaking really, given the awesome power at people’s fingertips nowadays. That’s why we’ve introduced this more discriminatory version. For example, if someone enters the words ‘Peter’ and ‘Andre’ into the new version, before you would have instantly been presented with an endless stream of sites full of meaningless tittle-tattle and pictures of the antipodean puppet alongside his Styrofoam wife. Now the user is simply presented with the word ‘Why?’. It’s all about Google doing its part in helping to raise the standard worldwide.’
Tests of ‘Google Highbrow’ have shown that a search for Oprah will ask ‘Do you mean ‘Opera’?’, and ‘Rambo’ was presumed to be a miss-spelling of the 19th century French poet ‘Rimbaud’. A search for Pamela Anderson enquired whether you were referring to the 18th century novel ‘Pamela’ by Samuel Richardson or perhaps the film director Wes Anderson.
‘It’s all about using the power of the net to raise web-browsers intellectual consciousness’ said Woodside. However some users of Google Highbrow claim that the new service has brought them social embarrassment. One anonymous soldier surfing the web at his barracks in Aldershot admitted ‘I’m so ashamed. I told the lads I’d been using the computer to look at porn, but when they checked my browser they saw I’d been looking at the paintings of Matisse and his influence on the modernists. Now I’m a complete social outcast.’
goatboy (with pics)