In the second round of Big Think’s Farsight 2011 event, Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer at Google, accused Bing of using Google search data for improving its search results. Dr. Harry Shum, a former professor, resented being called a “cheat” and responded by claiming that Bing is simply putting to work the data *that users have made available online* to improve their search algorithm — just like Google. Later in the discussion Dr. Shum emphasized that Google’s way of incentivizing spammers via its AdSense program “lies at the heart of the spam problem.” Google’s Matt Cutts may lament the fact that there are a million new spam pages created every hour, but Google, says Dr. Shum, is making billions on those spammers. Until that changes, spam will always be a problem for search.
Next up, Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget, presents a “Is there a sustainable revenue model for online services?”