It would be such a good ad.
- Scotus vote will be polarized anyway
- Flex that NLP muscle
- This is google’s last gift to humanity
- Bury this in process arguments
Scotus vote will be polarized anyway
Recent major antitrust cases (ohio v amex, apple v pepper) have been party line votes mostly; kennedy was with the conservatives, his replacement kavanaugh was with the liberals. Too soon to say which side ACB will pick (as she keeps insisting in her confirmation), but (1) the good soldier act is convincing and (2) whatever she picks, she won’t be moved.
So it may not matter what you argue (as long as you preserve your ability to appeal your core points. Figure those out in advance).
A fait accompli is an opportunity to role-play to the hilt, so david drummond’s replacement, if you’re reading this, here’s what you do:
Flex that NLP muscle
Three things that computers can more or less do now: writing and responding to legal briefs, plan arguments and respond to them in court, and schedule filings. (Maybe with some ‘centaur chess’ help).
Computers will be so good at practicing law. They’ll drown the opposition in a mountain of paperwork. Their citation of precedent will be comprehensive and meticulous.
The vast increase in available legal attention would let google own the field of play. When computers first started playing starcraft, I heard people say ‘their strategy is sometimes questionable but their tactics are overwhelming’. Basically that allowed to operate at full speed, the AI was unbeatable because it could manage more units and make reasonable decisions a zillion times a second.
An example of what this means in practice – goog could mount a specific and impassioned argument for exclusion of every single discovery item. When the court rules that’s not allowed, it could instantly switch to a clustering strategy and still have the advantage.
If the court chooses to restrict the volume of filings and arguments, the system can use likelihood of arguments and an internal profit pool map to decide which elements of the business to protect with its limited ammunition. And it can access a complex strategy in real time in court to defend its arguments. The plaintiff will go down in history as the Garry Kasparov of regulatory litigation.
This is google’s last gift to humanity
(The others were golang and microkitchens. If you add kubernetes to this list, stop calling and delete my number).
I think they may be fucked! Highly-margin ads make it possible to offer a free search product. But the profitability of the ads have been going down, any DOJ action to enforce competition will drive it down further, and in my experience they don’t work that well.
What’s G’s margin on ads? How far will DOJ action reduce the price of them? If these numbers cross it’s over.
I think the transition from free to paid search is a good thing. The quality of google search has been going down (in my opinion as a user). They’re indexing crap and slinging it back at me. It’s too expensive to give the user control of NLP filtering, so they haven’t, which is why “x isn’t y” searches often return “x is y” results. They also can’t usefully surface paid content; they can’t be lexis nexis or westlaw. Paid search changes all that, but google in it’s current form doesn’t survive the transition.
There are privacy issues with paid search, but the legal + technical framework that allows us to to paid search in private will be a good thing. It rescues an online content ecosystem that is fun but overwhelming and mostly low-quality, and should be making more money for creators.
Let’s assume google’s life as a profitable adtech company will be counted in months not years after the end of this lawsuit. Giving AI its day in court gives them a shot at surviving in a different form.
More importantly, it transforms the way the law works. I’m not saying it makes it fairer necessarily – AI is expensive. But if the law is commoditized, we increase access.
Also there are opportunities to increase fairness. Imagine if certain criminal actions were purely computerized beneath the appeal level. It wouldn’t eliminate bias (AI doesn’t easily eliminate bias) but it gives us an opportunity to work in that direction.
Bury this in process arguments
The question of whether it’s legal to use AI in this way will be a hard swallow for the courts. That’s a good thing. Spend time arguing that it is. Make the case about innovation and technology rather than the fact that google is a shitty product making its living by letting ads encroach SERP.
The ads don’t even work, you know. Most of my click throughs are bullshit. (But don’t say that in court).