You might be familiar with Google Poetics – a website and Twitter feed showcasing ‘poems’ created by the autocomplete function in the Google search engine. The premise is this; if you type the word ‘David’ into Google, it’s likely to give you autocomplete suggestions like ‘Cameron’, ‘Beckham’ and so on. Try it with all sorts of things, and the resulting poems are funny, bizarre or even disturbing.
This is thanks to a tool called Google Instant Search, which predicts what you’re about to look for, based, Google says, “on what other people are searching for and the content of web pages indexed by Google” – i.e. you’re getting a sense of what the rest of the internet’s users have been looking for already.