Artificial intelligence is the foundational technology at Google and its parent company Alphabet, CEO Sundar Pichai told the audience this year. Code Conference(Opens in a new window) In Los Angeles. He noted the “extraordinary” successes of AI teams at Google and DeepMind in areas such as large language models and AlphaFold Project(Opens in a new window), which showed the basic structure of 200 million proteins. He said Google is now applying deep computer science and artificial intelligence to all of its products, from research to its work with pharmaceutical companies using AlphaFold to self-driving cars. But, he added, “it is important that we develop artificial intelligence that is in line with human values.”
Conference host Kara Swisher featured a 2016 interview in which Pichai (who interviewed now retired Walt Mossberg) said he expects we will have real “conversational AI” to help get things done in the next five to 10 years. That’s not fully yet out, Pichai said, saying it’s been a few years now, and Google still has work to do. For example, he said, it would be great for everyone to have a teacher in their pocket on any topic, but artificial intelligence is not good enough for that.
Swisher and Pichai (Credit: Michael J. Miller)
Swisher pressed him about how to get the company to switch to AI, talking about framing the transition to “AI first” which is the same thing as “mobile first” and that AI will be “internet-sized,” then getting a big call to arms within the organization. Now he said, “Artificial intelligence is part of all of our products.”
He was asked about the ethics of artificial intelligence and how Some people have left the company with complaints about how they handled the problem(Opens in a new window)Compared to most technologies, he said, AI is very early stage. He gave credit to the people who shed light on this issue. The companies are talking about it, he said, and Google in turn has published hundreds of papers and opened up sources for their models. He admitted there were internal disagreements over what should have been published, saying “we should have handled it better”. In this case, he said, the company should have slowed down and been better involved. He said Google’s focus on decentralization gave it more speed but at a cost.
Since the controversy, he said Google has expanded its AI ethics team, but he also praised “independent voices” looking at AI and said there is a role for government in regulating AI, such as that being promoted in the European Union.
on me Noise whether Google’s LaMDA model is really consciousGoogle has slowed things down and followed the process, Pichai said. “I don’t think lambda is sensitive to any actions,” he said, but it showed the problems Google is facing. “I think there is a long way to go,” he said, adding that the discussion delves into philosophical topics about what is sensation. “The good news is that we are a long way from that and may never get there.”
The talk touched on many other issues facing Google and the technology industry. When asked about the competition, he said the competition comes out of nowhere, noting that “none of us were talking about TikTok a few years ago.” But overall, he said, Google’s biggest competitors are the other big tech giants including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook. emerging technology such as TikTok; And in some areas Chinese companies (Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu). But he added, “They tend to get it wrong by focusing on competitors,” and that big companies that fail usually do so internally.
Later, when asked about antitrust issues and Google’s big place in the advertising market, he talked about how he doesn’t see “public search” as the market to consider because people can see ads and buy products in a variety of contexts. He noted that TikTok now has $12 billion in advertising revenue, Amazon has $30 billion, and Apple is now expanding its advertising business, saying “the competition is very intense, and it can come from anywhere.”
While he said he had great respect for Senator Amy Klobuchar (from Speak at the conference(Opens in a new window) Earlier on her antitrust bill, and said it was appropriate for elected officials and regulators to look at the technology), Pichai believes that most American consumers will prioritize consideration of privacy and the safety of children online.
On the topic of moderating controversial content, he noted that the company faced a lot of scrutiny a few years ago for hosting unsafe content for children. Google has called the “yellow inner code” to fix it and has made content responsibility a mainstay in areas from search to YouTube. “Our mission is high-quality information,” he said.
Asked about details, Pichai said the company blocked new videos of Donald Trump after Jan. 6 due to a “risk of violence,” but said Google was “committed to freedom of speech” and that the decision would be re-evaluated as circumstances changed. He said Trump’s Truth Social app was only recently introduced to the Play Store and that the Google team is working with Truth Social on things like a mechanism to remove outright violent content. He pointed out that the Parler social network was Recently approved(Opens in a new window).
Recommended by our editors
It is necessary to protect speech, Pichai said, but there is also a balance to prevent hate speech and threats of violence. The company continues to consult with experts on matters such as terrorism and election integrity, but there is no silver bullet. He thinks Google does better in these areas, but “You’re as good as your last mistake.”
Sundar Pichai (Credit: Michael J. Miller)
When asked why Google Cloud Platform isn’t performing like Amazon and Microsoft, Pichai described it as “one of our fastest growing companies” and claimed it would generate tens of billions in revenue and be profitable. He said the company is “adopting a long-term vision,” and that the future of the cloud will be about bringing AI to the world.
Swisher asked him about Google’s responsibility after the Roe v Wade case was overturned, and Pichai said it was a very complicated case. He said the company was making sure it was providing accurate information — such as certifying whether providers actually performed abortions; It made Chrome’s Incognito mode more secure by offering various options for automatic deletion, and undoing overly broad government requests for information that bypassed legal process. But, he said, over time, we need privacy legislation.
Asked why Google didn’t take a more frank stance on the issue, Pichai said we’re an information company, so we need to be objective in dealing with information. He said the company cares about the welfare of our employees but that’s separate. He concluded, “The best way to influence the world is through our mission and products.”
Get our best stories!
sign for What’s new now To deliver our most important news to your inbox every morning.