Larry Page - Where Is Google And Where Is It Going?
Written by Alex Armstrong   
Saturday, 22 March 2014

An "off-the-program" conversation at lat week's TED  2014 Conference in Vancouver between Charlie Rose and Larry Page reveals some of what is on the mind of Google's Founder and CEO.

It ranges over so many topics you can't really come to any particular conclusion, but  it is well worth listening to.

 

larrypageted

 

What is perhaps surprising, although it shouldn't be given his background, is that Page seems to understand what is going on at a real and deep level. This is one big thing that makes Google different. 

The interview starts off with a discussion about Google's recent acquisition of Deepmind,  an AI company. Page explains how Google has used neural networks to learn how to recognize a cat from YouTube videos - and the audience doesn't laugh. Then he explains how  Deepmind has been able to apply neural networks to learning how to play video games simply by playing them.

You can detect a trend here - Page is very much a believer in AI. But when asked what the current state of the game is he doesn't go overboard and claim that thinking machines are just around the corner. Instead he lists the engineering AI that makes speech recognition better, recognizes photos and improves search. 

The topic changes suddenly at about 6:30 to move to a promo video about how the Internet and search in particular can change people's lives. The next obvious topic for discussion is project Loon and there is a nice video illustrating it in action. 

Watch the video for all this and the necessary discussion of security and privacy, automated cars and his ideas about the future:

 

 

 I think the elevated bikes idea is a slightly, but not entirely humorous, suggestion. Notice that once again the audience didn't laugh.

Toward the end we have the quotable fact that  Larry Page would rather give his Billions to Elon Musk rather than to charity. The world is made better by innovation, progress and technology.

The interview ends with a contemplation of business and technology.

 "Most businesses fail because they miss the future," 

As long as Larry Page is in charge of Google, I don't think this will be the reason for its downfall.

More Information

Deepmind

Loon

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