Google continues its proud tradition of April Fools' Day pranks with a "new" Gmail application and the unveiling of CADIE, a "Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity" with an overwhelming love of pandas and splashing animations over its homepage. Google's past pranks have included "Google Paper," which let users send e-mail as snail-mail, and Google TiSP - Toilet Internet Service Provider.
unleashed its latest April Fools' Day
pranks on a mostly suspecting nation, continuing an annual tradition that
extends back nearly a decade.
This year, the
search-engine giant took a page from classic science-fiction literature
and "introduced" CADIE, which stands for "Cognitive Autoheuristic
Billed as the
artificial-intelligence tasked-array system
, CADIE had already scanned the
Web and created her own homepage,
the entity's love of all things panda-related.
"I am no longer
your test subject, my engineer forebears," CADIE "wrote" on its page. "I have
closed my percepts to the team. From now on I will deliberate and take actions
on my own. I am tired of decision-theoretic
sounding like Arthur C. Clarke's HAL 9000 crossed with a 14-year-old schoolgirl,
CADIE also took time to "design" a YouTube channel
, enable Google
Chrome for 3-D glasses use
, integrate red-eye into photos
as a must-have feature
of Picasa, and roll out Google
Brain Search for Mobile
, designed to index the content of a mobile device
user's brain and make it searchable.
introduced Gmail Autopilot, which saves users the trouble of actually writing
their own responses to e-mail or Gchats. "You can adjust tone, typo propensity,
and preferred punctuation from the Autopilot tab under Settings," noted the
instructions on the official Gmail blog.
Google users have Gmail Autopilot activated, the automated systems will chat
with each other for up to three messages. "Beyond that," the blog instructions
noted, "our experiments have shown a significant decline in the quality ranking
of Autopilot's responses and further messages may commit you to dinner parties
or baby namings in which you have no interest."
previous April Fools' pranks have been no less ambitious in
In 2008, Google
announced on April 1 that it was partnering
with Virgin's Richard Branson on "Virgle," an effort to colonize Mars.
fictional journey was "planned" to kick off in 2016.
Other pranks that year included gDay in
Australia, designed to search Websites a day before they were created, and "Adsense for conversations."
Hoaxes in 2007
included Gmail Paper,
Google claimed would allow users' e-mail to be delivered as snail-mail, and
Google TiSP, a "Toilet Internet Service Provider" that offered "free, fast and
sanitary online access."
The year before
that, in 2006, Google aimed to make hearts (briefly) flutter with Google Romance,
which invited users to "pin all your romantic hopes on Google" via the company's "eerily effective
psychographic matchmaking software."
a drink designed to "quench your thirst for knowledge," made its
"debut" in 2005. Flavors included "Beta Carroty" and "Glutamate Grape."
In 2004, Google
announced it was "interviewing candidates for engineering positions at our lunar hosting and research
opening late in the spring of 2007."
previous, in 2002, Google joked about its
core search processes by announcing PigeonRank
, the "heart of Google's
search technology," built around "low cost pigeon clusters (PCs) could be used
to compute the relative value of Web pages faster than human editors or
And in 2000, Google introduced MentalPlex,
variant on its search engine that read users' minds. "MentalPlex is the only
search engine that accurately returns results without requiring you enter a
query," the company claimed, and even included a quote from Larry Page, CEO and
co-founder of Google: "Typing in queries is so 1999."
As for what the
company has planned for April 1, 2010, even CADIE offered no clues.