Trusting Computer Generated Advice

Was getting directions to go to a thing.
Went to Google Maps.
was goin’ from Ann Arbor, MI to 2600 S Telegraph Rd # 100, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
It gave me this:

View Larger Map

Now, if I was doing w/o the benefit of this sufficiently complex magic mapping tool, I would have taken 23 to 14 to 275 to 696 to Telegraph. Sounds simple, compared to what they suggested.

Turns out the path they sent me on was probably a bit faster, wasn’t very complex, and had nice scenery.

I had the distinct impression that this was the route a person local to my destination would have suggested. It even had us coming up to the driveway to the building from behind the building, so we didn’t see the business sign – just trusted the directions given.

I was impressed by this. And I wasn’t alone. A couple other people had a similar experience – taking the same route suggested by The Goog. My favorite comment came from Les Orchard who said “I feel like I just gained experience points.”

It was freaky. A revealing of what would have otherwise been “localized knowledge”. I like benefiting from that. But it does make me feel drawn in, and this triggered some defenses. Do I trust somewhat wacky directions in the future? When I get this information from a human who lives where I’m headed, I trust. When it comes from a data crunching machine, what then? Trust?

All these roads we drive on are connected (other than some closed, corporate road correlate to the “dark web”), so it makes sense using that assumption that one should be able to just find the shortest path based on knowing the localized rules. So, I guess trust of certain advice coming from computers is bound to increase as it improves. Slippery road, trusting computer advice. Thar be dragons. (…but dragons give good experience points, hmmm…)