FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – Eight years after Google initiated its Google Books project for the purpose of making the world’s books searchable in a giant online “library,” the tech conglomerate announced today that it would be expanding its capacity to include private journals and diaries, including yours.
Google Library Search, as it was originally called, was created to promote the “democratization of knowledge.” For years, workers scanned around the clock to compile a searchable database of every book ever printed.
But, as Google Books director Piers Tiplan said today in front of a massive crowd, “We simply ran out of published books.”
Google is confident that the news will be well received. Millions of closet writers will immediately become published authors when the eight novels they’ve stowed away in their bottom desk drawer are scanned and uploaded.
But Google is aware of the inconvenience of having personal documents signed, and they have taken extreme measures to minimize the intrusion. “Our next-generation Elphel 423 cameras scan at the rate of 1,500 pages an hour, so we’ll be in and out of your home before you know it,” said Tiplan.
“You can even save time by leaving your yearbooks, diaries, journals, and old letters in a box on your front porch,” he added.
Google Books’ text-recognition software has advanced to the point that it can recognize any handwriting in any language, claiming a 99.9% accuracy rate. Chief analyst Patricia Schwartzmann noted that corrections could be submitted to customer support. “If we mistakenly interpreted your diary entry to say, ‘I find myself thinking about the babysitter when I’m in bed with my wife’ and it actually said ‘…thinking about Thebe Byslater when I’m in bed with my wife,’ we take full responsibility for the error and will correct it immediately.”
Tiplan indicated that Google understands the line between private and public property. “We would never think of digging through your garbage to scan receipts, cable bills, and medical documents,” he said. “But post-it notes and sketches on napkins? They’re public record.”
Google emphasized the searchable utility of the program, adding that it will sync with its social network, Google +. “Reunite with old friends, rehash long-forgotten memories, and reopen old wounds when you learn what people really thought about you back in middle school,” Tiplan said, adding a personal anecdote involving an old crush who he hunted down after reading a particularly insulting diary entry.
If you would like to sign up for Google Books’ beta list, simply go to Google and search for your own name.
Copyright 2012 The Ass Press.