Google threatens to leave Australia

Google brain: the search engine uses artificial intelligence that mimics the human mind.

Has Google changed the way we think? The search engine is threatening to block searches in Australia because of a new law. It has left some people wondering if humans could survive without it.

What’s happening

In 1998, two young men came up with a website that would change the world: Google. The simple search engine made it easy to find information online. Today, it receives 70,000 searches a second and is used in 219 countries.

But now, one of those countries could soon lose access.

Find out more

Google has threatened to remove its popular search engine from Australian users. This is because of a new law in Australia that will force tech companies to pay to use news content.

Australia wants to pass the law because its newspapers and news websites are finding it hard to make money. Meanwhile, Google is paid every time somebody searches for news.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says that having good journalism is important for democracy. Google says that sharing free information is what the internet is all about.

If the law goes ahead, everyone in Australia could lose access to Google. Some people worry that we rely on search engines so much. They say losing this one could make life impossible.

Has Google changed the way we think?

Some say…

Yes! It has completely altered how we learn and think. We are not good at remembering things because we don’t need to. We no longer care about why things happen because Google gives us the quick answer. We have completely forgotten how to exist without Google. If it disappeared tomorrow, we would all be lost!

Others think…

No. Humans will always think in the same way. We will always have emotions and we can be imaginative. The only thing Google has changed is how we find information. We no longer need to remember dates and facts. This is good – it means we can spend more energy on deeper thoughts and solving the world’s problems.

You Decide

  1. How would your life change if Google disappeared tomorrow? Would you manage – or would life become impossible?

Activities

  1. Write a play about a world where search engines were never invented.

Some People Say...

“We want Google to be the third half of your brain.”

Sergey Brin, Google co-founder

What do you think?

Word Watch

Search engine
A web search engine is a type of website that helps a computer user find information on the Internet. Bing is another search engine.
Tech companies
The rule would apply to Facebook and Twitter as well as Google.
Paid
Google makes its money from adverts. Companies pay Google a lot of money to advertise because so many people use it – and will therefore see the adverts.
Good journalism
News needs to be researched well and the facts need to be tested.
Democracy
In a democracy, people have a say about how the government is run. Lots of people make their decisions based on the news. That means, journalists have the important job of asking politicians questions and finding the truth about what is going on. That way, people can make decisions about who to vote for.

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