Google is hiring the people with all the questions

Think technology robs us of our humanity, shoves us into mechanized, standardized roles and drags any shred of individuality into the giant maw of behavior aggregators that categorize, consumerize and resell what's left to marketing giants?

Ever seen a job description with a line like this one (maybe every job description?):

Are you passionate about helping people? Are you intuitive? Do you often feel like you know what your friends and family are thinking and can finish their thoughts before they can?

But...are they usually followed by this?

Are you an incredibly fast Google searcher?

Isn't everyone?

Google wants candidates for the position of "Autocompleter" -- the most dehumanized-sounding job since pre-digital days when "computer" was a title for people who sat and calculated all day.

The actual job isn't bleakly mechanistic at all. Autocompleters are ghosts in the machine – actual humans who create questions other people ask, connect precise answers to imprecise questions and relationships that help search subroutines zero in on likely questions while the user is still wondering if "affect" is spelled correctly.

And, if you do it right, there's plenty of room for humor, though it's always possible the funniest examples are pure user contributions.

User asks:

  • "Why is"

Google suggests:

  • My computer so slow
  • Pluto not a planet
  • This movie called bees
  • A raven like a writing desk

User asks:

  • Why is my g

Google suggests:

  • My gas bill so high
  • My goldfish turning black
  • My girlfriend so mean
  • My goldfish turning white
  • My girlfriend ignoring me

User asks:

  • Will I go

Google suggests:

  • Bald
  • To heaven
  • To hell
  • Into labor soon

User asks:

  • Apply as Autocompleter

Google suggests:

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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