Google is an information black hole ingesting every bit of data in its path. Google essentially crowdsources data gathering by using willing humans to volunteer information – including sensitive PII data – typically by way of the mobile phone as a conduit. Mobile applications such as Google Assistant, Chrome, Photos, Maps, G-Suite, Google Retail, Google Travel, Google Translate, Lens, Live Caption, YouTube, Google Cloud, Drive, Home, Nest, Google Health, Fit, Stadia and more help feed Google’s voracious appetite for information.
As a result of the above: 1.) Google has the world’s best AI platform (only China is a serious competitor) and, 2.) Google knows more about us as individuals than perhaps any other entity. Taking numbers 1 and 2 in reverse order, Google has more insight into the world’s population, with China again a close #2 followed by Amazon and Facebook. We are basing this claim on: a.) the number of touch points Google products have into our lives, b.) the frequency with which we engage with Google products and c.) the ever increasing number of people interacting with Google products each day.
Let’s consider the example of a business traveler who books his travel plans (flight, hotel and car) on Google Travel from the U.S. to France.
- The gentleman’s travel plans are of course stored by Google and used to inform Google Ads targeted to him.
- Let’s assume our traveler is not a fluent French speaker and therefor makes frequent use of Google Translate while in France. Those queries are stored and leveraged by advanced machine learning and Natural Language Processing underpinnings making the service smarter, faster and more accurate with use.
- Our traveler maintains his plans in Google Calendar where travel arrangements link back to specific bookings that are embedded in Calendar and that also may be found in Gmail.
- Our traveler is the trusting sort and has granted Google Assistant full privacy permissions in order to facilitate travel plans, scheduling, automated notifications, voice query capability and more in exchange for:
- allowing his Google Pixel microphone to remain in the “listening” position 24 x 7 x 365;
- granting full access to his Google Search history, YouTube viewing history, Chrome browser history as well as;
- providing access to Gmail, Google Docs and more.
- While window shopping in Paris our friendly traveler snaps photos of jackets and shoes with Google Lens in order to run price comparisons.
- Back at the hotel after a long leisurely walk around Paris our traveler decides to research men’s footwear using a “shoes near me” query on his phone’s Chrome browser. The query returns 6 shops within a 3 block radius plotted on Google Maps with the ability to purchase footwear online via Google Ads run within the search result or, the traveler may further refine his search results by price range and/or selecting the “Buy on Google” option among other criteria. Google Retail powers many of the merchant e-commerce sites including embedding Google Pay as a payment option.
- While performing this mission critical shoe research our traveler’s incoming phone calls (most of which are spam) are filtered by Google Assistant and marked for the trash by Google Voice.
- Our man in Paris has a keen eye for photography and took a number of photos on his new Google Pixel 4 while walking the Champs-Élysées including a cool short video of L’Arc de Triomphe. All of this media is stored in Google Photos, part of his Google One subscription.
- Our man is a man of leisure. He spends the wee hours of the morning in his luxury hotel suite streaming the latest hit video game on Google Stadia, the firm’s cloud gaming service built on top of Google Cloud Platform (“GCP”).
- Our man in the city of love does have a piece of business to attend to. He is working on a deal to sell a hospital his company’s Electronic Medical Record offering. Too late. Google just sold the Paris-based hospital system its proprietary Nightingale platform.
All of these various interactions with Google products inform the various machine learning and NLP models that underpin each of the above services, enabling them to become smarter, faster and more accurate with each interaction. This ensures that the quality of Google’s AI-powered services remains best-in-class. Only China is a real AI challenger given the size of its population and the amount of data it collects on its people.