Oct 15 2010

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.