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Pichai’s free Net pitch

Google chief also said privacy cannot be a luxury item and it has to be safeguarded for everyone
Sundar Pichai in Davos on Wednesday
Sundar Pichai in Davos on Wednesday
(AP photo)

PTI   |   Davos   |   Published 22.01.20, 07:57 PM

Google chief Sundar Pichai on Wednesday said the world needs a free and open internet for everyone and hoped that all countries will come together for a common regulatory framework for artificial intelligence (AI).

Speaking here at WEF 2020, Pichai also said privacy cannot be a luxury item and it has to be safeguarded for everyone.


“We need a free and open internet for all, while data sovereignty is important for every country and that needs to be taken into account in any data protection framework in any part of the world.

“Internet is actually an export product. Even in India, if we talk about YouTube, a video created by an Indian gets audience from across the world. That’s the beauty of digital economy,” he said.

Pichai, also CEO of Alphabet, said he has always been a technology optimist, having experienced firsthand the benefits new technology brought to his own life.

“Growing up, I had to wait for either a telephone or a television and each time these things came to my home I realised what an important role technology plays in our lives.

“More recently, we have seen how AI can play a great role, including for doctors and weather forecasts,” he said.

Pichai added he is clear-eyed about the risks of technology, but the risk of AI is failing to work on it, because it can affect billions of people.

On quantum computing, he said this is a major milestone because quantum computers can do a lot many things that the classical computers cannot.

“With this, we can simulate nature better and we can better predict weather and climate change. They can make better batteries. It’s very profound,” he said.

Addressing the challenges of regulating AI, he said: “AI is no different from climate — you can’t get safety by just one company or country working on it — you need a global framework.”

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