I make no secret of the fact that I love Google. I mean, I'm not generally optimistic about corporations, and I know Google is capable of screwing things up. But in general, I think they're one of the handful of entities in the world most meaningfully pushing towards a brighter future. At the heart of that push is the Google search engine, which is sort of the consciousness of the internet -- or, at least, that's the end goal. In an interview in October of 2000[1. Writing the year 2000 always seems weird. Like, it doesn't flow properly. I don't feel like there's a way I can write it that will be satisfying to read in your head.], founder Larry Page said:
[...]artificial intelligence would be the ultimate version of Google. So we have the ultimate search engine that would understand everything on the Web. It would understand exactly what you wanted, and it would give you the right thing. That's obviously artificial intelligence [...] because almost everything is on the Web, right? We're nowhere near doing that now. However, we can get incrementally closer to that, and that is basically what we work on. [...] (Source)
That in mind, I love seeing Google get closer to making the search engine more like AI. The Knowledge Graph is a huge step towards that. They're setting up Google to connect ideas in a coherent mesh, similarly to how human minds do. (Video linked here, embedded below)
The graph would pick up our search habits, and start to connect ideas based on the way humans around the world relate those ideas to each other. Not only will it allow Google to think more like a person, but that person will be the collective consciousness of all Googling humanity.
This could be scary, sure. Maybe the hivemind will just reinforce bad species-wide behavior and prejudices. But maybe this is exactly what we need. Maybe something like a Mind On The Web is exactly the sort of medium within which we as a species can start developing skills of discipline, self-sacrifice, self-improvement and peace.