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Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Tech: ‘Deep Responsibility to get This Right’

Have responsibility for getting things right in tech: Sundar Pichai

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Wikimedia Commons)
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Amid a global call to regulate digital platforms and safeguard users’ data privacy, Google’s Indian-born CEO Sundar Pichai has reiterated that the tech companies have a “deep responsibility to get things right”.

Kicking off the annual “Google I/O” developer conference at its Mountain View campus in California on Tuesday, Pichai said we’re at an important inflection point in computing, and it’s exciting to be driving technology forward.

“But it’s clear that we cannot just be wide-eyed about what we create. There are very real and important questions being raised about the impact of technology and the role it will play in our lives,” Pichai told the gathering of over 7,000 developers.

Also Read: Google Assistant Now Lets You Easily buy Movie Tickets

“We know the path ahead needs to be navigated carefully and deliberately — and we feel a deep sense of responsibility to get this right,” Pichai added.

Pichai’s call came after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Monday stressed that the company is determined to ensure users’ data and is building secure solutions towards preserving data privacy.

“We have the responsibility to ensure that the new-age technology is empowering everyone, creating equitable growth for all while creating employment on the global scale,” Nadella said at the annual Microsoft “Build 2018” developers’ conference.

Google.
Google. Pixabay

Echoing Nadella, the Google CEO said that “the need for useful and accessible information is as urgent today as it was when Google was founded nearly two decades ago”.

“What’s changed is our ability to organise information and solve complex, real-world problems thanks to advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI),” he added.

Betting big on AI, Pichai said there’s a huge opportunity for this technology to transform many fields.

“Already we’re seeing some encouraging applications in healthcare. We’ve also found that our AI models are able to predict medical events, such as hospital readmissions and length of stays, by analyzing the pieces of information embedded in de-identified health records,” he said.

“Another area where AI can solve important problems is accessibility,” he added.

During an earnings call in April, Pichai said that Google was ready for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to harmonise data privacy laws that would come into effect on May 25.

Also Read: Google May Launch New Set of Controls at Google I/O

After four years of debate, the GDPR was finally approved by the EU Parliament on April 14, 2016. Organisations that fail to comply with the new regulation may face hefty fines.

In a blog, Google said it was informing advertisers and publisher partners about changes to its ad policies.

“Google already requires publishers and advertisers using our advertising services to get consent from end users to use our services, as required under existing EU law. However, the GDPR will further refine these requirements,” the post added.

“To comply, we will be updating our EU consent policy when the GDPR takes effect and the revised policy will require that publishers take extra steps in obtaining consent from their users,” it added. (IANS)

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EU Prepares to hit Google with Record Fine in Android Monopoly Case

As well as the fine, Google is set to be ordered to break its agreements with phone manufacturers

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Opponents claim that this constitutes abuse of Android's 74 per cent share of the European smartphone market and harms rival search engines and browsers.
Opponents claim that this constitutes abuse of Android's 74 per cent share of the European smartphone market and harms rival search engines and browsers. Pixabay

Google will be hit with a record European Union (EU) fine for using its Android smartphone system to fortify its search empire.

The fine — likely to be handed down on Tuesday or Wednesday — is expected to eclipse the 2.1 bn pound monopoly abuse penalty Google paid last year over its internet shopping business, and escalates the war between Silicon Valley and Brussels, The Telegraph reported on Saturday.

The European Commission’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager has been investigating Google for three years over complaints the company illegally forces smartphone manufacturers to install its apps.

It gives its Android software to phone manufacturers for free, but binds them to “exclusivity agreements” that force them to install Google’s web browser and search engine if they use the Google Play app store, the report said.

The commission has the power to fine Google up to 10 per cent of its parent company Alphabet's annual turnover, or 9.5 bn euro (8.4 bn pound)
The commission has the power to fine Google up to 10 per cent of its parent company Alphabet’s annual turnover, or 9.5 bn euro (8.4 bn pound). Pixabay

Opponents claim that this constitutes abuse of Android’s 74 per cent share of the European smartphone market and harms rival search engines and browsers.

Meanwhile, Google insists the agreements allow Android to remain free to manufacturers and help them compete against Apple.

The commission has the power to fine Google up to 10 per cent of its parent company Alphabet’s annual turnover, or 9.5 bn euro (8.4 bn pound).

Also Read: Google Rolls Out ‘Morse Code’ Support on Gboard for iOS

Although it is not expected to use the full extent of its powers, the fine is likely to be higher than the 2.4 bn euros Google was ordered to pay in June last year over claims it stuffed search results with its own shopping adverts, squeezing out price comparison services.

As well as the fine, Google is set to be ordered to break its agreements with phone manufacturers. This could mean more Android phones being sold without Google software installed, potentially boosting rival search engines and web browsers such as Microsoft’s Bing or Firefox. (IANS)