Google banks on artificial intelligence, machine learning for future growth

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at an event to announce 'Digital Unlocked' skill program in New Delhi on Wednesday (Photo: Dalip Kumar)
Global technology major Google, which is primarily accredited for developing the search engine and transforming mobiles into complex devices, is banking on the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to drive its future growth.

Already implementing complex algorithms in its search engine, the company is now integrating these concepts and coming up with solutions which can be used and implemented in daily life like Google Maps.

The company's global chief executive officer (CEO), Sundar Pichai said a solution which can track blindness in early stages so that it can be cured before it takes an acute shape is being worked upon.

Traces of such machine learning techniques can be found in Google Translate which Pichai claimed, had become more powerful than it was 10 years before.

Pichai said India had the potential to emerge as a technology leader in the forthcoming times, and solutions which are made for India specifically can be implemented globally as well. This makes India the testing ground for the company 's future innovative products.

"I am confident India will be a global player in the digital economy," he said. "However, it'll take a few years."

In India, the company's focus is primarily on the language front through which, it aims to have a substantial rural penetration.

"In India, we need to get Google to work in as many languages as possible," Pichai said.

Besides, Pichai, which is relying on the smartphone market for future growth, is of the opinion that the average smartphone prices in the country need to hover around $30.

According to Google, at present, there are 200 million smartphones in India which is expected to scale up to touch 500 million by 2020.

The global technology major is also banking upon public-private partnerships like the RailTel project to drive internet penetration in the country which will open new possibilities for Google.

It is of the view that in the next four years, internet users in the country will increase to 500 million from the current 200 million.

Pichai, an IIT-Kharagpur distinguished alumnus of the 1994 batch opened his heart to the present students toeing the line of Bollywood actor Aamir Khan in 3 Idiots.

While the institute's students gave Pichai a rockstar-like welcome making him nostalgic about his college days, Pichai asked the students to chase their own dreams and not get demotivated if one hits a low.

"Setbacks doesn't matter. It is important to keep your dreams and follow it", he said, adding that people with merit are valued in the world and not just degrees from prestigious institutions.

The CEO, who confessed about his obsession to build new products, during his conversation with the students, got candid about his days in the college and his interview with Google.

"I had my (own) share of experiences (in college) which everyone goes through", he said while responding to a question. Later, he added that after an "embarrassed first year" at the college in his studies, he made up for it in the following two years.

Pichai appeared for an interview with Google on the April Fool's day in 2004 and was selected on account of his views and suggestions on improving Google's e-mail service Gmail.

"Google had just launched Gmail then and asked what I think about it," he recollected.

At a later stage, while answering a question on his favourite Indian actress, Pichai hinted at Deepika Padukone as his favourite, tacitly refraining from an absolute comment. He admitted that during his college days he used to like many actresses and keep posters of them.

Although Pichai had a light and fun-filled interaction with the students at IIT Kharagpur, he made one point very clear — Google can't be replaced.

A student had asked him "How can I replace your Google?"

Pichai, while answering this, didn't take a moment to think about the response.

"Be careful what you wish for", the CEO said. However, he tacitly added that it can be discussed over a cuppa.

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