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Author Topic: Google's 'auto completion' - spooky!  (Read 2412 times)

sevenlayermuddle

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Google's 'auto completion' - spooky!
« on: November 21, 2013, 10:33:47 AM »

Anybody else find that google's autocompletion in their search box is sometimes uncannily accurate?

I just started typing a search and got as far as… "How many gue"

which was enough for it to autocomplete "how many guests can i take to costco"

Which is exactly what I wanted to know  :o

How the heck do they do it?   I tried again on the MAC (had been using the iPad), same. And same again after deleting all cookies & history, so if it's tailoring itself to my search habits I guess it must be using IP address?
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roseway

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Re: Google's 'auto completion' - spooky!
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2013, 11:10:45 AM »

I stopped using Google for searching some time ago because I hate the way they scrape information from everything which goes through their servers. But out of curiosity I temporarily enabled Google as my search engine and tried your search. When I got as far as "How many gue" it popped up several possibilities of which costco was about the sixth. So I guess they've picked up your use of "costco" in earlier searches (or possibly even emails). I've returned to Startpage now. :)
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  Eric

sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Google's 'auto completion' - spooky!
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2013, 11:21:14 AM »

When I got as far as "How many gue" it popped up several possibilities of which costco was about the sixth.

That's fascinating, I should've added… it was first in the list for me.

Double edged sword this.  I resent the fact they may be scraping information, in fact I am so resentful I too am tempted stop using. 

On the other hand, it's hard not to admit I'm impressed when they are able to answer a question before I ask it  :D
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4candles

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Re: Google's 'auto completion' - spooky!
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2013, 10:28:38 PM »

I've certainly never typed 'costco' before, but it's No. 1 for me too...
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kitz

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Re: Google's 'auto completion' - spooky!
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2013, 11:59:22 PM »

Ive never typed costo before & Ive never used cost so there shouldnt be any reference to them here... but its number 2 for me. 
1st was guests at a wedding.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Google's 'auto completion' - spooky!
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2013, 12:49:21 AM »

Interesting feedback.   Although (obviously) I am a Costco user, I have no specific recollection of using it as a search term either, until today... when it pre-empted me!

If somebody had asked me to rank the probability of 'costco' being the correct completion for that search phrase, I'd have placed it in the outside 1000s.   Yet it was spot on.

All very odd.   But at least I can stop being quite so paranoid about google's snooping.  Shame I spent the afternoon searching the house for hidden microphones, mind you  :D
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kitz

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Re: Google's 'auto completion' - spooky!
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2013, 01:52:17 AM »

Hopefully it's given you at least some reassurance. 

Ps sorry my i think my uipad doesn't seem to like COSTCO and attempts to autocorrect it to something else if I'm not watching.
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