Could Google’s new Privacy Policy have something to do with Majel?


DISCLAIMER: This bit of news is based from a post on the forums over at The Verge. It is based entirely on rumors. But it just seems worth sharing.

December of 2011 was a very exciting month for Android – No, not because of the availability of the Galaxy Nexus, or the roll-out of Ice Cream Sandwich. Rather, the rumors of a secret project inside of the secret Google X lab, called Majel: a voice-action technology said to be far more advanced than anything we’ve seen so far.

If a post on Reddit by an alleged former Google employee is to be believed, the artificial intelligence behind Majel is so powerful, that it passes the Turing Test (which rates a machine’s capability to exhibit intelligent behavior) 93% of the time. But to make it work accurately at a personal level, it needs a great degree of data.

Where is this data available? Why, with Google of course! Only issue was, Google’s individual services kept their data about a user independent from other services. As is suggested in the forum post on The Verge, this posed as a hindrance for Majel. It would require the provision of permission to Majel explicitly by the user for each and every service.

Now, I’m not going to say this is the only reason behind the new policy. I was honestly surprised that Google hadn’t brought the personal data together earlier, itself. For a company that makes its revenues by an understanding of our nature and our needs, it seemed foolish to have the data separate for so long.

Yet, despite spending quite some time thinking, I couldn’t come up with any current Google service that would benefit from the new policy to the degree Majel would. Maybe Google has something else up its sleeve. I might help them improve their search algorithm or ads.

But I’d like to dream that it’s about Majel. I personally can’t wait to have such technology available soon.

Raveesh Bhalla
Multifaceted too the highest degree: I'm the co-founder of Apps Culture (an app development studio), an amateur golfer, former sport-blogger, now a tech blogger. And all this, while pursuing an undergrad degree in Computer Science in India.

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  1. Great, now I have to worry about my Android devices rising against me…

  2. Raveesh, from the looks of your first articles you are going to be an awesome addition to phandroid, keep up the good work man!!!!!

    1. Thank you, kind sir. I’m glad you approve of my work.

  3. Can’t wait for this great technology to be unveiled

  4. I hope that the final product lives up to all of the hype. Google better make sure that this eclipses Suri.

  5. Is Majel borrowed from Majel Rodenberry, Gene’s wife from Star Trek? Will her voice be used?

    1. It is, in fact. In fact, using her voice should, in fact, be possible through their purchase of Phonetic Arts in Dec ’10.

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