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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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Google Sends Email to Employees Asking Them to Delete China Search Engine Memo

The China search engine would link users' search history to their personal phone numbers, according to the memo

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Google asks employees to delete China search engine memo: Report. Wikimedia Commons

In its bid to suppress a memo revealing information about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, Google has sent an email to employees asking them to delete the sensitive document, The Intercept reported.

Authored by a Google engineer familiar with the project, the memo disclosed that the search system would require users in China to log in to perform searches.

Codenamed Dragonfly, the search engine would track the location of users and share the data with a Chinese partner who would have “unilateral access” to the data, said the report on Friday, citing the memo.

The news about Google’s plan to build a censored search engine in China broke in August when The Intercept reported that the search platform would blacklist “sensitive queries” about topics including politics, free speech, democracy, human rights and peaceful protest, triggering internal protests among some Google employees.

Two weeks after that report, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the company’s employees that the China plan was in its “early stages” and “exploratory”.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Wikimedia Commons)

A group of Google employees who were organising internal protests over the censored search system got access to the memo detailing information about the project.

The Google leadership, according to the The Intercept report, were furious when they discovered that the memo was being passed among employees who were not supposed to know about about the Dragonfly project.

Also Read- India Gets Its Sex Offender Registry

The China search engine would link users’ search history to their personal phone numbers, according to the memo.

This means if security agencies were to obtain the search records from Google, individual people could easily be tracked and users seeking out information banned by the government could potentially be at risk of interrogation or detention. (IANS)