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Google thinks, therefore I am

The Internet had made this dictum possible — Google thinks, therefore I am. That is good for the society by and large. But we should not owe our existence to google-thinks. What I mean by this is — when it comes to decisions, we should not form our opinions based on google search. Decision science calls it as attribution bias —it means your decision is based on the wrong source and/or not a completely accurate source.

Think a bit about google business. Their business is to give you the right information. But Google doesn't always succeed in giving the right information. If they can succeed in giving you the right information, then they will build a business out of it. For example google flights, google maps, etc. It is not to say that Google is not providing important information. Yes, it provides bits and pieces of good information, on the same note, there is a very good chance they are providing you the information that is not relevant to the decision that you want to make. Next time you do google, collect as much information you want but think for yourself.

When my father fell sick, I attended him; that involved usual doctor visits. Every time I went to the doctor, I would quiz about what is the cause and how we can cure it. He would share what he thinks are the causes of my father’s ailment and what are the possible cures. I would immediately go home and do a google search; Next day I would suggest the doctor that — can we do this and can we do that? Usually, the doctor would listen to all the tech-savvy suggestions I brought to him. He appreciated my curiosity and the effort I am putting in giving the right thing to my father. Then he advised me, “Son, you are confusing information as the diagnosis; you are confusing part as a whole. Information you get on google is not a substitute for expertise. Human expertise thinks differently and make decisions differently. Yes, our expertise is built on data—which we call experience. But we know how to eliminate good data from bad data and build knowledge. If you want to give the best to your father, all you should do is to find the best doctor and walk with him. To walk with him use google, but follow his advice.” So I changed my dictum to — Walk with google, think with experts.

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