Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Google solicits search feedback: working with an algorithmic mind

Even as Google has been infuriating me by (probably algorithmically) filtering out my comments and questions to the Gmail Google groups help forum, the google-mind is asking for my feedback in other domains. When I'm signed in to personalized search, the bottom of the screen now has a discrete feedback link to this form:
Dissatisfied with your search results?

Thanks for helping us improve our search. While we aren't able to respond directly to comments submitted with this form, the information will be reviewed by our quality team
The Google mind is divided. In a similar vein, Google seemed to have removed the feedback form I used to complain of splog misidentification, but when I submitted my mislabeled blog URL for clearance via the old method the CAPTCHA sign of doom vanished immediately instead of the old 3 day wait.

Working with an entity that functions by alogorithm, rather than by traditional human thought, is ... different. I cannot model Google the way I can sort-of-model a human; to work with Google I need to understand the underlying algorithms and resulting emergent behaviors. The Google-mind is not sentient (quite yet), but it has emergent behaviors that are starting to feel as complex as those of my dog -- albeit far less appealing than those of Kateva.

Managing algorithmic entities with emergent behaviors will be a new skill for the emerging generation, much as using a PC was for my generation, using a phone was for my parent's generation, and driving a car was for my grandparents.

See also.

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