Robert Scoble >>> Egg on Face

At present, there are more then a few sites talking about a recent video in which Robert Scoble describes how and why search engines that are created by people in one way or another, a la Mahalo and Techmeme, will overtake Google in popularity in the next 4 or 5 years.

Robert Scoble is probably a nice guy and a smart person.  But in this case, his thesis is ricidulous to the nth degree.

The best explanation comes from the Ted at Uncov when he says, “Robert Scoble doesn’t understand why man invented machines in the first place. The printing press was not a machine designed to facilitate a bunch of people all hand-copying the Bible in unison. A human being will always be able to classify a search result better than a machine. We use machines to do this because the problem is just too big for humans to do. If the machines aren’t doing a good enough job, we make the machines better, we don’t add more people.”

Perfectly said.  In the time it takes Mahalo to get enough search results to matter to anyone outside of Silicon Valley, Google will have further refined its algorithms to remain one step ahead.  In their most base form, machines exist to make tasks simpler for humans.  Man could build a fire and cook a piece of cod over it, or he could just pop it in the oven for 20 minutes and get the same result in less time and for less energy.  Same principle applies with computers and the internet and search engines.

It’s a nice idea to think that the people will eat the machines and not the other way around, but for the purposes of searching things on the internet, it simply isn’t the case.


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