AI looms large in Google's view of the future

'We will move from a mobile-first to an AI-first world," Google CEO Pichai said

AI technologies such as machine learning will play a key role in shaping the future, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in the company's annual Founders' Letter to stockholders.

"It’s what has allowed us to build products that get better over time, making them increasingly useful and helpful," wrote Pichai, who cited examples such as voice search, translation tools, image recognition and spam filters.

The recent victory of DeepMind's AlphaGo software over legendary master Lee Sedol at the ancient game of Go is "game-changing," Pichai added. Far from portending humanity's downfall, however, the victory is ultimately one for the human race, he said.

"This is another important step toward creating artificial intelligence that can help us in everything from accomplishing our daily tasks and travels to eventually tackling even bigger challenges like climate change and cancer diagnosis," Pichai said.

That's true in the working world as well as daily life: "Your phone should proactively bring up the right documents, schedule and map your meetings, let people know if you are late, suggest responses to messages, handle your payments and expenses."

Looking ahead, Pichai expects the concept of the “device” to fade away.

"Over time, the computer itself -- whatever its form factor -- will be an intelligent assistant helping you through your day," he said. "We will move from a mobile-first to an AI-first world."

Pichai also talked up artificial intelligence during Alphabet's quarterly earnings call last week. Last month, Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt was similarly enthusiastic about the technology.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has placed big bets on AI recently as well, including announcing chatbots based on the technology.

This year's Founders' Letter was the first by Pichai, who took over Google last October. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who wrote previous letters, now are CEO and president of Alphabet, the holding company Google formed last year.

The letter didn't discuss Alphabet, which has now been in business for six months. Alphabet reported $3.6 billion in losses last year through investments in "moonshot" projects such as self-driving cars and Internet balloons, but net profit for the last three months of 2015 rose to $4.9 billion.

"I’m really pleased with how Alphabet is going," Page wrote in a note preceding Pichai's letter.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AIGooglesoftwaremark zuckerbergartificial intelligenceFacebook

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?