Make us your home page
Instagram

Top Google minds gaze into the future

Excerpts from an interview with Larry Page, Google's chief executive, and Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president in charge of Android and Chrome.

One of the company's recent themes is Android is going to be a platform for more than phones. You want to have it in multiple devices. What's the long-term vision for how Google services will be in different devices?

Page: We've been talking about a multiscreen world for a long time. I think you see it culminating in something that's a great experience across lots of different kinds of devices; from the watch to the TV to the laptop to the tablet to the phone.

How useful is the multiscreen world now?

Page: More and more of my time is on phones; though also it's nice to use a big screen and have something plugged in. Some of the basic things we've done like Chrome tab synchronization and the ability to access your email across devices, we take those things for granted. But if you use them 100 times a day, it's a really important thing.

Pichai: I also think we are just at the beginning stages. Today, computing mainly automates things for you. But there's an evolution from today we tell computers to do stuff for us to where computers can actually do stuff for us. For example, if I go and pick up my kids, it would be good for my car to be aware that my kids have entered the car and change the music to something that's appropriate for them.

Do you worry that the more devices we have connected to Google, there's not just a privacy question, but also something like creepiness?

Page: I think that the Internet and mobile devices in general are changing people's lives a lot. And we're feeling that. Everyone can tell that their lives are going to be affected, but we don't quite know how yet because we're not using these things. And because of that, there's a lot of uncertainty. I think we'll figure that out. And we'll get products, services and technologies that really benefit people a lot and that make their lives significantly better.

You're saying the usefulness of the products will change how people feel about them?

Page: Yeah, and we know that if we talk about things before people see them, there's a much more negative reaction. That's one of the things we learned. It's really important for people to be able to experience products. Otherwise, you fear the worst without seeing those benefits. I think that's what's happened in health care. We've decided, through regulation largely, that data is so locked up that it can't be used to benefit people very well. Right now, we don't data-mine health care data. If we did, we'd probably save 100,000 lives next year. I'm very worried that the media and governments will try to stoke the people's fears and we'll end up in a state where we could benefit a lot of people but we're not able to do that. That's the likely outcome.

What's going on with Google Plus?

Page: I think there's a lot of things going on with Google Plus. I'm a very excited user of it. It (now) works with Chromecast. That's one of the things I've been excited about. The service has been growing tremendously. People are always like, "Oh, what's going on?" But for us, we're super excited about it because it's a big service, growing continuously since we launched it at a high rate and we're making it better and better every day.

Is "social" as important to you now as it was two years ago?

Page: Yes, if anything, probably more important. We have a very excited, dedicated community. People forget we're able to make our services better by understanding your relationships, making sharing work and understanding identity. These are deep and important things for us as a company. When people ask about Google Plus, they think about it as, "I'm going to the stream." For us, Google Play reviews are part of Google Plus, too. We see all those things growing and being important for us.

Top Google minds gaze into the future 07/04/14 [Last modified: Friday, July 4, 2014 7:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, New York Times.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  2. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  3. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Coming soon at two Tampa Bay area hospitals: a cancer treatment that could replace chemo

    Health

    A new cancer treatment that could eventually replace chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants — along with their debilitating side effects — soon will be offered at two of Tampa Bay's top-tier hospitals.

    Dr. Frederick Locke at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa is a principal investigator for an experimental therapy that retrains white blood cells in the body's immune system to fight cancer cells. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved these so-called "CAR-T" treatments for adults this month. In trials, 82 percent of cases responded well to the treatment, and 44 percent are still in remission at least eight months later, Locke said. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  5. Regulator blasts Wells Fargo for deceptive auto insurance program

    Banking

    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.

    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images, 2017]