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Google bets big on artificial intelligence

Sundar Pichai says that google are making a big bet on machine learning and artificial intelligence

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Google

Press Trust of India  |  Kharagpur 

Google, Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at an event to announce 'Digital Unlocked' skill program in New Delhi on Wednesday (Photo: Dalip Kumar)

Technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning can make huge difference to everyday life and is investing in bringing these to "as many people and as fast as possible", its India-born chief Sundar Pichai on Thursday said.

"We are making a big bet on machine learning and artificial intelligence. Advancement in machine learning will make a big difference in many many fields," Pichai said at his alma mater IIT Kharagpur campus on Thursday, while chatting with students.

He pointed out that the ability of to do tasks like image recognition, voice recognition or speech recognition, are reaching a tipping point.

"So, we are definitely at a point of inflexion," he said, adding that is investing a lot in this space and if the investments are sustained over a few years, it will pave the way for the next wave of computing.

Pointing out to a paper published by recently, Pichai said machine learning can be used to detect diabetic retina, which can cause blindness if treatment isn't administered on time.

"This is an early example of the kind of changes that will happen when you apply machine learning to all kinds of fields. Google alone won't do this. What I am excited about is bringing machine learning and AI (artificial intelligence) to as many people and as fast as possible," he said.


Pichai said that at Google, the aim is very high and the criterion is building that will apply to the lives of billions of people.

On India, he praised that the PPP model has been working well and the company is a big supporter of the Digital India campaign.

"To really make Google work in India, you need to make it available in as many languages as possible. English is spoken by only a small segment of the population," Pichai said adding Google has progressed but wants to work more in rural conditions and in the right dialects.

To improve access to digital world, he said he would love to see cheaper smartphones hit the market.

"You really need to bring the prices of entry level smartphones down at around $30," he said adding connectivity is also extremely important.

He described India as the most dynamic internet market in the world and the second largest one.

"When we built for India, we built for the world," he said citing the YouTube offline feature which is now available across 80 nations.

In the next 3-4 years, Pichai expects there will be big software companies coming out of India.

When asked by students, he said "You can build for a global market from India."

Pichai said he is convinced that India will become a global player soon.

"I am confident that it will compete with any player in the world. It is growing well as a country and will take few more years," he said when asked to comment on whether India can take on China.

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First Published: Thu, January 05 2017. 16:42 IST
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