Google CEO Larry Page is the man fueling Google with unbelievable, crazy ideas and also ensuring that they work. For tech enthusiasts, he is clearly a man of deep interest. For those curious to know where Google is going next, his chat with US TV host, Charlie Rose at the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design), Vancouver is a bag full of goodies.
Talking about Google, Page said that the mission of the company is to organise world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. However, despite having spent 15 years on search, he feels that Google is still at early stages. “Computing is a mess. Computers don’t know what you know, where you are, how you do things and so we started working towards that with our recent devices.”
Talking about the acquisition of UK machine learning firm, DeepMind, Page said the company is exciting as it helped make computer smarter, taught them how to play computer games. And what excited him most was the prospect of throwing that intelligence at your schedule.
Page shared that Google has been working on a machine learning project using YouTube to make computers learn and they have taught them what cats are!
Talking about his Google Loon project that uses balloons to provide Internet access to remote parts of the world, Page said, “I got this idea while searching on the net. I found out that 30 years ago someone had put up a balloon and it had gone round the world multiple times. So why can’t we do that now? Infact, we can build a world-wide mesh of balloons to cover the whole planet.”
Another crazy yet interesting idea from Google’s kitty is that of automated cars. Reportedly, such cars may hit the roads by 2017. “My obsession with cars started when I was in college. I would be waiting for the bus in cold and snowy weather and it got me obsessed. I learnt about automated cars 18 years ago and I am super excited about the possibility of driverless cars. It is a known fact that driving is a leading cause of death in the US and 20 million people are injured each year in car accidents.” He feels he can change that very soon. He added that ‘the more I learn about technology, the more I realise I don’t know because there are so many possibilities.’
When asked about the Edward Snowden revelations, Page said, “It is disappointing that the government secretly did this stuff and didn’t tell us about it. It is not possible to have a democracy if we have to protect our users from the government. The government has done itself a tremendous disservice and we need to have a debate about it. World is changing, it knows where you are. So much information about you is floating everywhere. So it is important to give people choice and let them know what information is being recorded.”
However, stressing on the importance of sharing information, Page added, “We are not thinking about the tremendous good that can come with sharing information with the right people in the right ways,” he said. He feels that medical records should be made available to doctors across the world. It could save many lives.”
It is a known fact that Page suffered a bad cold 14 years ago and his voice became hoarse and never got back to normal. However, sharing about his condition helped him. “We got thousands of people with similar conditions,” he said.
Page wrapped up the interview by sharing his innate quality. “Most businesses fail because they miss the future. I also made that mistake by feeling guilty for spending a lot of time working on the Android operating system, which was a side project for Google at a time.” But he realises that the guilt was stupid and it was for the future!