OK Google, what happened? Google Docs and Google Drive crash for the first time as millions of global users lose access.
Google’s specific and useful applications of AI is perhaps where the company outdoes its direct competitors.
Although the majority of our predictions came true, there were some issues with Google AI that surprised all of us this year.
Google Goes Down
A week ago, Google Docs, completely (though briefly) malfunctioned not just for Google USA and Google UK, but worldwide. People were unable to access any documents with the pages failing to load. As users scrambled to find a solution, it was quickly realized that the problems were apparently being caused on Google’s side. Despite that, the company’s status dashboard shows that all of Google’s “G Suite” of apps were fully working.
As if that wasn’t enough, at the beginning of the month, a range of people found that they were being locked out of important documents because the site told them they were “inappropriate” and violated its terms of service.
It was forced to apologize for that outage, which lasted for hours. Many pointed out that the problems could cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars, given that many large companies use Google’s service to run their businesses.
In fact, it’s still not clear whether or not those documents will ever be recovered. Google’s entire suite of products is based in the cloud, so it’s possible that anything that was done after the apps began to crash is now lost.
What’s at Stake Here?
Because of these errors and the recent wave of accusations of censorship against Google, some argue it’s a good time to stop trusting Google altogether.
However, as our Chief Technology Officer here would say, it’s “hard to foresee all the consequences of our actions”.
The Internet of Things is a continuously developing field where advancements and improvements are being made at a lightning pace. More than that, though, is the fact that because IoT is so vast (spanning across a massive network of objects and commands) even tiny mistakes can have large repercussions.
However, at least for myself, the benefits have far outweighed the consequences.