Google Has Lost It’s Focus

Has Google lost it’s focus? It sure sounds like when you take into account all the investments that Google has made recently, such as investing in social game developer Zynga, a myriad of wind and solar energy projects, and even in DNA analysis outfit 23andMe. But nothing can be further from web search and a self driving autonomous vehicle. You may ask, what does developing an artificial intelligence for a driverless car have to do with Google’s mission of indexing the world’s information. Another question is why wouldn’t Google leave autonomous terrestrial vehicles to the military, or Ford.

Most Silicon Valley pundits have been predicting that Google next project would be Google Me, a social networking site to compete toe to toe with Facebook. But no one predicted these investments outside of search, ads, and mobile.

Over the past few administrations, federal funding for the National Science Foundation and NASA have been cut while military spending has increased. Maybe Google is the new NASA. They are funding and starting projects usually considered the realm of large federal agencies such as NASA or DARPA. What other areas of scientific research will Google fund or get into next?  Will Google invest in unmanned aerial vehicles, much like the MQ-1 Predator?

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Google was working on a Googlenet artificial intelligence engine and robots powered with the Android platform.

4 Responses to “Google Has Lost It’s Focus”

  • Tolboy Says:

    The connection between Google’s core and autonomous vehicles is… Google has figured out a way to simplify AV technique by using Google Maps to set the vehicle’s course! This, apparently, greatly decreases the on-board computer power needed. Might be good for business, what?

  • Adam Says:

    I see where you are going, and I agree on some points that Google has ventured from its original mission but to answer your question of “Another question is why wouldn’t Google leave autonomous terrestrial vehicles to the military, or Ford.”, I would have to say that it is because the Military (which I am a Soldier in) and Ford isn’t doing that. So Google, who has the funding and the brains to achieve that goal is doing it. So what if it not their main focus? At the rate they are going, we may have a Google Moon Base and a Google IV Shuttle landing on Mars before NASA does.

    They are just a company who happens to have the ability to achieve goals that other companies and government agencies only talk about. Why poo poo on that?

  • TechKnow Says:

    @Adam – I’m sure I didn’t make it clear, but I agree that it’s better to have this level or research by a corporation than not have it at all. Ford and the other car makers have had decades to make alternative energy vehicles a reality and they have failed. I am just amazed that it took an internet search company to bring this a little closer to reality. That said, it is legitimate to question their motives. It is common for companies to pivot to a different business from time to time, but I’ve never heard or imagined such a shift. I do have to congratulate Google’s efforts, from investing in Google books to education projects such as the Khan Academy.

  • TechKnow Year In Review 2010 Says:

    […] Google Has Lot Its Focus […]

Leave a Reply