If you’re as tired as I am in seeing constant online ads (especially of the invasive pop-up variety), then we’re probably in large supply. You can’t go on any website now without a glut of ads that seem to nearly consume you. And with many sites forcing you to watch the ads before you can even read one word of a mere article or see one second of a video, the clutter doesn’t seem to be diminishing. You’d think for clarity sake, websites would attempt to streamline ads so they aren’t so intrusive and annoying. This forceful way of marketing just isn’t doing companies any favors.
How will it be then if Google gets its way and they place ads on products they own in the real world? With a letter written to the SEC recently, it was almost surreal seeing Google arguing their case for ads on multiple different devices in not too distant future. With their acquisition of Nest, it might be the first step toward having a home wired by Google products and having to endure ads everywhere we turn, including in our homes.
Why is there such an insistence on invading every possible space with ads today when it really doesn’t have to be done that way to gain any attention? There seems to be an emerging fear that shorter attention spans and more entertainment options will force advertisers to more extremes in getting their products noticed. They could be right, and Google has been certainly listening to the pleas of business to help them gain more customers. While many of Google’s recent features for businesses have also been self-serving, small and local businesses have been found much easier thanks to Google’s online tools.
Now with their upcoming plan to take advertising to virtually every internet-connected device we use, what will the world look like in about 20 years? Are we really headed toward a world that resembles the 2002 film “Minority Report?”
Was “Minority Report” the Most Prescient Film Ever Made?
While you might want to cite “2001: A Space Odyssey” as the most prescient film in space technology, “Minority Report” has continually stacked up as the most stunningly accurate in the technologies predicted in the film. About half-a-dozen pieces of technology featured in the film have since happened or in development. And one of those is a future of seeing ads everywhere we look, including appearing out of nowhere in public spaces, plus our food products.
When you consider how powerful Google really is, only they can make things like this happen in a future not very far off. As Nest and other products Google will likely acquire start becoming more connected wirelessly to a cyber network, the chances of what websites look like today with all the clutter of ads may end up invading reality and our own private spaces.
Will we really wake up in the morning and have to face an ad on our boxes of cereal, or an ad for a new movie that appears on a random wall while walking down a public street? It’s probably going to be a lot longer before it gets like it is in “Minority Report.” That isn’t to say that within a decade, we’ll have to endure watching an ad while clicking on our heaters in the morning, or while simply checking the time on our smart watches. Plus, ads on Google Glass don’t even have to be mentioned.
With Google acquiring a recent British company that deals with artificial intelligence, you have to wonder if they’ll employ that to the ad process down the line. Then it becomes a question of whether AI can think for itself and realize moderation in advertising is better than what we’re enduring now on regular websites.
If a super intelligent AI program thinks we need more, we may be in big trouble when it comes to trusting AI for everything we do. That’s when “2001” perhaps takes the top spot above “Minority Report” for predicting everything further down the line.