Google Knows All?

Last weekend the missus and I were in Brandon, Florida. We were searching for a restaurant, in vain, because Google Maps provided outdated information, specifically that the highly-rated restaurant was no longer in business. We had just gone a side street, stopped at where the restaurant should have been, then resumed our search, going back down that same side street.

Evidently just minutes earlier a Ferrari had collided with a large pickup truck, resulting in the left front tire of the truck being parked in the center of the Ferrari’s hood.

With my new and faithful Droid in hand, I managed to snap this photo as we drove by:

Truck/Ferrari

Truck/Ferrari


The police hadn’t yet arrived, but several people were already taking photos/videos, and I commented to the missus that there would probably be video on YouTube that night. Sure enough, one was posted the next day:


It even made the Today show:


The episode became even more surreal. I emailed the photo from my phone to my gmail account, and was quite surprised by the associated ads:

Does Google have photo recognition? How can it have “stale” information about restaurants, but be able to determine that the photo is of a car? And of a luxury car, that is, one that would be associated with Lexus, Lincoln and Acura?

Bizarre.

I think I know what actually happened. On another computer, while logged into Google, I searched YouTube for “Ferrari truck”, and Google associated that search with my profile, thus resulting in the advertisements for luxury cars.

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