Inside Google HQ: What does the future hold for the company whose visionary plans include implanting a chip in our brains?

Ian Burrell’s visit to the legendary “Googleplex” at Mountain View comes at an awkward time for the company

ByIan Burrell

The power of computing, and the thrill of its apparently infinite possibilities, has also long been a source of fear.

Going into a San Francisco second-hand book shop, shortly before a visit to Google’s headquarters in California, I happened upon a copy of Dick Tracy, an old novel based on Chester Gould’s cartoon strip starring America’s favourite detective.

For a 1970 publication, the plot seemed remarkably topical. Dick, and his sidekick Sam Catchem, find themselves battling a sinister character known as “Mr Computer” who wants to control the world. His strange powers enable him to remember everything he hears or sees and recall it instantly. This is a bad guy who can store data, analyse voice patterns and read private thoughts.

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