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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)

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)

Next Story

Tech Giant Google Cracks Whip on Political Debates at Workplace

Before his firing, Damore had filed a complaint with the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that charged Google with “misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints”

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privacy, google
FILE -Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the keynote address of the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif., May 7, 2019. VOA

Google has cracked down on its employees who encourage political speech and internal debates at workplace, restricting the company’s historically open work culture.

In an email sent to employees, Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained the company’s revised community guidelines.

“While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not.

“Our primary responsibility is to do the work we’ve each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics,” the new guidelines read.

The new rules come as Google faces increasing scrutiny from politicians, the public, and its employees on a number of issues, reports Vox.

“Don’t troll, name call, or engage in ad hominem attacks — about anyone. Be respectful in your comments about (and to) your fellow Googlers,” the guidelines read.

“Working at Google comes with tremendous responsibility. It’s critical that we honour that trust and uphold the integrity of our products and services. The guidelines are official policy and apply when employees are communicating in the workplace,” Google said in a statement given to The Verge.

google, online tracking
A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Google has been hit by a couple of walkouts and sit-ins in the past over workplace policies.

In November, nearly 20,000 Google employees across the world walked out following the company’s mishandling of sexual harassment allegations.

Six months after they staged a walkout against workplace harassment, Google employees on May 1 staged sit-in protest at the IT major’s offices across the world. The group “Google Walkout For Real Change” organised the sit-in protest.

The search engine giant in 2017 fired the author of a controversial memo on gender diversity that went viral inside the company.

Also Read: Facebook Downplayed Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal

Authored by James Damore, the memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” claims that when it comes to technology, there is a biological difference between men and women.

Before his firing, Damore had filed a complaint with the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that charged Google with “misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints”. (IANS)