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Google is Skynet, and other Internet conspiracies

By / September 18, 2009

Google is Skynet? Google is going to take over the world? It's certainly on people's minds.

Screen grab from Google.com

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Google is going to take over the world. Not really, but it's fun to imagine. As the Internet behemoth lays claim to more and more territory – books, smart phones, voice mail, magazines, maps, electricity meters, we could go on – Google has long passed the critical mass needed to become the butt of many, many conspiracy theories.

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The US government is investigating Google's book deal. But are they looking into what many Internet users fear – that Google is Skynet from Terminator series?

Fast Company compiled a fun list of similarities:

Is Google SkyNet? In a word: Yes. In fact, in some ways, it's even smarter. SkyNet didn't assume worldwide domination until 2029, while Google has already effectively monopolized search and it's only 2009.

GoogleSkyNet
Established
September 4, 1998August 4, 1997
Built by
Cybergeek PhD studentsCyberdyne Systems
Goal
Eliminate 404 errorEliminate human military error
Origin
Menlo Park, CASunnyvale, CA
Cost
$1.1 million initial investment~3 billion human lives

But the Sarah Connor-like resistance came long before the magazine's side-by-side comparison. The blog googleisskynet.com existed back in September 2006, producing such warning calls as this YouTube clip:

If you think these comparisons are silly. They are. But its on people's minds. Don't believe us? Go to google.com, type in "Google is", then wait for the site's automated suggestions.

The top recommendation? "Google is skynet." Third suggestion? "Google is going to take over the world."

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Regulators drawing a bead on Yahoo, Microsoft partnership

In late July, after a few months of very public wrangling, Microsoft and Yahoo announced a search and advertising sales partnership intended to break Google’s stranglehold on the search market. Now, that deal will undergo scrutiny from regulators in the US and abroad.

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