Sir, It was refreshing to see Google redistributing some of its advertising treasure through the FT Weekend Hidden Cities magazine (August 6). But surely algorithms providing insights into exotic locales via the Ask Google service, gratuitously marketed throughout, is anathema to high quality independent journalism. Digital mapping can be useful yet one never really knows what ad deals underpin recommendations, in spite of a veil of objectivity. Is this merely the latest case of tech titans attempting to dominate our physical world for commercial gain? Is Google’s end game to finally replace FT global reporters with centralised Artificial Intelligence? Is this too far-fetched?

Not if one reads the daily tech prognostications, even within the FT’s Comment section. Let us simply pray there are no hidden Pokémon-esque promotional gimmicks to follow in future editions.

Eric Stryson

Managing Director,

Global Institute For Tomorrow,

Taikoo, Hong Kong

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