We take back what we said about Google CEO Eric Schmidt. The man isn’t a giddy privacy-invading harbinger of an unsettling future in which Google knows what bad things we want to look up before we can conceive of words to describe them. He’s just an acerbic Oscar Wilde-type whose arch bon mots are lost on the tech groupies, search junkies, and clueless Intel writers who hang on his every word. During his talk at the Newseum for the Washington Ideas Forum, an audience member asked whether Google planned to implant technology in human brains as part of the next iteration of the mobile Internet. Schmidt, “looking amused,” responded: “There is what I call the creepy line. The Google policy on a lot of things is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it. I would argue that implanting something in your brain is beyond the creepy line—at least for the moment, until the technology gets better.” Making a crack about Google’s bottom-up approach to R&D, Schmidt quipped, “As far as I know, we do not have a medical lab working on implants. As far as I know. I will check after this.” So you were just kidding about people having to change their names to get away from their Google-able past.
Call us up, Schmidt! We can have a drink and discuss The Social Network. Zuckerberg actually came out looking totally sympathetic, no?