April 8, 2004

No Worries, It’s Just Processing

by Andrew Stern · , 10:35 am

Google’s new free email service, Gmail, offers users 1GB of free storage, in return for ads that appear in your email. Not just any ads, though — the Gmail system scans the text of the email you’re sending, to choose customized, targeted ads based on the content of what you’re writing about.

This is bound to spook some people out — the idea that someone, some thing, is secretly reading and deciding things about your private email. However Google downplays this:

“It’s not that Google is peeking… It’s computers doing processing.”

Just another case of “if it works, if it’s mainstream, it’s not AI anymore”?