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課程來源:TED
     

 

Larry Page 談Google下一步將何去何從?

Larry Page: Where’s Google going next?

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Larry Page

2014年3月攝於TED2014

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恒

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後制:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

影片請按此下載

MAC及手持裝置版本請按此下載

閱讀中文字幕純文字版本

 

關於這場演講

在TED2014講臺上,Charlie Rose採訪Google執行長Larry Page,詢問他對這家公司未來的願景。其中包括空中自行車道、網際網路氣球…隨著Page講述公司最近收購的Deep Mind-可學習令人驚訝事物的人工智慧系統-內容變得更加有趣。

 

關於Larry Page

Larry Page是Google執行長兼創始人之一,這使他成為網路主導力量之一。

 

為什麼要聽他演講

Larry Page與Sergey Brin於90年代中期相識於史丹佛研究所,1996年開始研究搜尋技術,基於一個新想法:來自上下文的關聯性結果。他們的技術可分析特定網站與其他網站連結的次數-假設連結越多、關聯性越大-並藉此進行排名。1998年,Google於Menlo Park一間車庫辦公室開張。1999年,他們的軟體完成測試,逐步成為網路主導力量。

 

這家公司的產品除了無所不在的搜尋技術,還包括AdSense/AdWords、Google地圖、Google地球及強大的Gmail。2011年,Page回歸原本行政總裁的角色。目前他以遠大目標及開闊思維領導Google,並找時間投入自己的計畫,例如Google X,一間執行新奇構想的實驗室,使Google不斷超越極限。

 

Larry Page的英語網上資料

google.com

 

[TED科技‧娛樂‧設計]

已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。

 

Larry Page 談Google下一步將何去何從?

 

Charlie Rose:嗯,Larry發了封電郵給我,基本上他的意思是,呃-我們得確保我們看起來不像兩個乏味的中年人。我的回覆是,這令我受寵若驚-(笑聲)因為我稍微年長些,而他的淨資產比我多一點。

 

Larry Page:呃,謝謝。

 

CR:我們將談談網際網路。我們也會談談Google、搜尋、隱私、還有你的哲學,以及你將這一切串聯起來的概念,以及這段多年前開始的旅程擁有何種令人期待的前景。我們討論的重點是未來發展。因此我第一個問題是:Google目前定位為何,將如何發展?

 

LP:好,這是我們思考過很多的問題。很早以前我們訂定的使命是:整合全世界資訊,使全世界的人都能獲取及使用。人們總是問:你們仍在做這些事嗎?我經常思考這個問題,但不是很確定。但事實上,當我思考搜尋時-如何真正瞭解你想要什麼、瞭解這個世界的資訊,這對所有人來說都是深刻的問題。我們仍處於起步階段,這十分荒謬。我們已在這個領域打拼了十五年,但仍未達成目標。

 

CR:當你們達成目標時,會是什麼情形?

 

LP:嗯,我想,考慮我們前進的方向-你知道,為何尚未完成?很大程度是因為現在的電腦可說是一團亂。你知道,你的電腦不知道你在哪裡、不知道你在做什麼、不知道你知道什麼。最近我們致力嘗試的目標只是讓你的設備發揮作用,使它瞭解你的意圖。Google Now(智慧型個人助理軟體)知道你在哪裡、知道你可能需要什麼。因此真正讓電腦發揮作用,瞭解你、瞭解這些資訊,我們確實尚未達成目標;這項技術仍十分粗陋。

 

CR:談一下當你觀察Google的運作情形,DeepMind處於什麼位置?

 

LP:好,DeepMind是我們最近收購的公司,它在英國。呃-我先說明一下這個過程。當我們關注搜尋領域,試圖真正瞭解一切,使電腦不那麼笨拙、真正瞭解你-例如聲音非常重要,因此目前語音辨識技術的水準如何?不是很好,它無法真正瞭解你。因此我們展開機器學習研究來改進它,成效十分顯著。然後我們開始著眼於YouTube之類的東西。我們能瞭解YouTube嗎?但我們確實在YouTube上進行機器學習,它找到了貓,完全靠自己。好,這是一個重要的概念,我們意識到其中必有深義。如果我們能學習什麼是貓,那一定相當重要。因此我認為DeepMind真正神奇之處,在於它確實可以-它們可在無人監督的情況下學習。它們從電子遊戲開始,確實只是-也許我可以展示一下影片-只是玩電子遊戲,學習如何自主運作。

 

CR:我們來看一下遊戲影片,看看機器如何開始有能力做一些驚人的事。

 

LP:其中的驚人之處在於-我是指,這顯然是老遊戲,但系統所見與你所見相同。例如像素,它能控制、得分,用同一個程式玩所有的遊戲。它學會這所有的遊戲,表現相當突出,我們以前無法使電腦做到這一點。我簡單說明一下,這是拳擊遊戲,它知道如何擊敗對手。電腦在左邊,它的分數不斷增加。因此想像一下,如果這種智慧可應用在你的行程表中,你知道,或應用於你的資訊需求之類的。我們確實僅處於起步階段,這令我十分振奮。

 

CR:當你目睹DeepMind和拳擊遊戲達成的一切,以及部分與人工智慧有關的進展,你從中看見我們處於何種階段?

 

LP:嗯,我認為對我來說,這是長久以來目睹最令人振奮的進展之一。創立這家公司的Demis擁有神經科學及電腦科學背景。他重返校園,攻讀大腦相關領域博士學位。因此我認為我們正目睹許多令人振奮的進展出現在電腦科學與神經科學跨領域,確實瞭解如何製造出智慧型裝置,進行一些非常有趣的應用。

 

CR:但我們現在處於什麼階段?你認為我們進展的速度如何?

 

LP:嗯,目前最先進的發展是辨識出Youtube上的貓之類的,改善語音辨識技術。我們大量使用機器學習,逐步改善各種問題。但我個人認為,這個例子令人振奮不已。因為僅僅一個程式,卻可進行許多不同應用。

 

CR:我不知道是否可行,但這裡有一張貓的圖片,可明確說明這一點。這是機器眼中的貓,以及它們對此的理解。我們能看一下圖片嗎?

 

LP:好的。

 

CR:就是這個,你們看得出貓的影像嗎?由機器設計、機器眼中的影像。

 

LP:是的。因此這僅藉由觀看YouTube學習,沒有任何關於貓的訓練及概念。但-這個關於貓的概念是你們已知的重要訊息,現在機器也有一定程度的理解。也許這算是完成了搜尋部分,你知道,它從搜尋開始,真正瞭解人類的意圖及相關資訊。我帶來一段影片,我想迅速展示一下我們的發現。

 

(影片)(肯亞Soy)

 

Zack Matere:不久前,我種了一片馬鈴薯。突然間,它們開始一株接一株地死亡。我查閱書本,但沒找到多少資訊,因此我上網搜尋馬鈴薯疾病。其中一個網站告訴我,問題可能是螞蟻。它寫著:在作物上撒一些木灰。幾天後,螞蟻消失無蹤。網際網路令我振奮不已。我有個朋友,他很想拓展事業,因此我陪他去網咖。我們查閱了一些網站,當我再次見到他時,他正打算為當地學校建造風車。我感到十分自豪,因為原本不存在的東西突然間出現了。我意識到並非每個人都能擁有我獲得的資訊,我想我需要一個我祖母也能使用的網際網路。因此我想建一個佈告欄,一個簡單的木製佈告欄。當我從手機上獲得資訊時,我可將這個資訊張貼在佈告欄上,因此它基本上類似電腦。我用網際網路來幫助別人,我認為我搜尋的是更美好的生活,為我和我的鄰居,因此許多人都能獲得資訊。但沒有後續發展。我認為後續發展是我們的知識。當人們擁有知識,就能找出解決之道,不需他人協助。資訊相當強大,但定義我們的是如何使用它。

 

(掌聲)

 

LP:好,這段影片的精彩之處在於,事實上我們先從新聞得知這件事。我們找到這位先生,製作這段短片。

 

CR:當我和人們談起你,那些很瞭解你的人對我說:Larry想改變世界,他認為科技能指引方向,這意味著連上網路的機會以及語言能力,這也意味著人們如何連上網路、進行能影響他所屬族群的事。這是一個例子。

 

LP:是的。我認為對我來說,我一直著眼於更廣泛的網路連接。如果以未來而言,我們最近推出了Loon Project計畫,藉由氣球進行。聽起來相當瘋狂,我們可以放一下影片。事實上,目前世上有三分之二人口無法便利地獲得網路連接,我們確實認為這個計畫能幫助人們獲得廉價網路連線。

 

CR:這是氣球。

 

LP:是的,可連接網際網路。

 

CR:為何這個氣球可提供網路連接?因為你必須想出使氣球得以運作的特殊方法,不需以線路連接氣球。

 

LP:是的,這是關於創新的好例子。例如,在我們著手進行之前,已思考了五年以上,但問題在於如何在高空建立廉價的網路接點?通常必須使用人造衛星,但得花很長時間發射。但你看見,使一個氣球升空多麼簡單。事實上,這再次展現了網際網路的力量。我搜尋了相關資料,發現三、四十年前有人曾經讓一個氣球升空,它繞地球轉了好幾圈。於是我想,為何現在不能這麼做?這就是這個計劃的起源。

 

CR:但這會受到風力影響嗎?

 

LP:是的,但事實上我們進行了一些氣象模擬,或許之前不曾做過。如果你想控制氣球高度,可藉由充氣或其他方法,確實能大致控制氣球方向。因此我認為我們能建立一個以氣球為接點的世界性網路。

 

CR:在談論未來和運輸之前-你對此癡迷了好一陣子-在談論你對運輸、自動駕駛車及自行車的癡迷之前,我先談一下之前與愛德華.史諾登討論的話題,關於安全與隱私。你肯定一直思考這個問題。

 

LP:是的,當然,我昨天看見Sergey與愛德華.史諾登的照片,在座某些人或許也看過。但就個人而言,我認為隱私與安全是相當重要的東西。我們思考過這兩個問題。我認為沒有安全就沒有隱私,因此我先談談安全,因為你提及關於史諾登的事,然後稍微談一些關於隱私的話題。我認為對我來說,政府在未告知大眾的情況下暗中進行的一切令人相當失望。我不認為我們擁有所謂的民主,如果我們必須保護你和我們的用戶免於遭受政府那些不曾公開討論過的作為。我不是指我們必須知道他們所擔心並防備的恐怖攻擊為何,但我們確實需要知道其中的標準為何,政府打算進行什麼程度的監控,以及如何進行,及這麼做的理由。我認為我們並未展開這樣的討論,因此我認為政府秘密進行的那些事確實對自己造成很大的傷害。

 

CR:永遠別要求Google提供任何資訊。

 

LP:問題不在於Google,而是大眾。我認為我們需要展開相關辯論,否則無法擁有正常運作的民主制度,這是不可能的。因此我認為Google扮演保護你和我們的用戶不受政府暗中監督的角色,簡直荒謬透頂。

 

CR:是的,還有隱私的部分。

 

LP:是的,隱私的部分。我認為-世界瞬息萬變。你攜帶手機,它知道你在哪裡,其中有太多關於你的資訊,那是相當重要的事,人們有所質疑十分合理。我們花了很多時間思考這個問題以及問題所在。我有點-我認為我們需要做的主要是給予人們選擇權,讓他們瞭解被收集的是什麼資料-你知道,搜尋歷史、位置資訊。Chrome的匿名模式令我們深受鼓舞,並將其應用到更多領域,給予人們更多選擇,使他們更瞭解情況,我也認為這是相當簡單的事。我擔心的是,我們是否不分好壞、全面禁止。事實上,我在你的節目上看見我似乎失聲了。我尚未復原,我希望和你聊聊有所幫助。

 

CR:如果有所幫助,當然義不容辭。

 

LP:好吧,拿出你的巫毒娃娃,看需要做些什麼。但我認為-知道嗎?我將病況公開,得到所有相關資訊。從擁有相同症狀的人們那裡,我們得到關於醫療情況的資訊。我看著那些醫療記錄,心想,如果每個人的醫療記錄都可匿名提供給做研究的醫生,不是很棒嗎?當有人查閱你的醫療記錄,一位做研究的醫生,他們可觀看醫療紀錄,你可看見哪位醫生進行查閱及這麼做的原因,也許你可藉此瞭解自己的情況。我認為如果我們這麼做,每年可拯救十萬條生命。

 

CR:當然,讓我-(掌聲)

 

LP:因此我想我擔心的是,以網際網路隱私而言,我們採取如同保護醫療記錄的做法,不分好壞、全面禁止。我們不曾真正思考與正確的人以正確方式分享資訊帶來的巨大好處。

 

CR:必要條件是,人們得相信他們的資訊不會被濫用。

 

LP:是的,我對我聲音的情況也有同樣問題。我害怕分享,Sergey鼓勵我這麼做,這麼做相當棒。

 

CR:回應相當踴躍。

 

LP:是的,人們相當積極。我們得知數以千計的人擁有類似症狀,但目前沒有相關資料。因此這是相當棒的事。

 

CR:就未來而言,你對運輸系統有何看法?

 

LP:是的,我想我就讀密西根大學時對這一點感到相當沮喪。我必須坐公車、等公車。當時很冷,而且下雪。我對營運成本做了些研究,然後有點迷上了運輸系統。

 

CR:這啟發了自動駕駛車的想法。

 

LP:是的,大約18年前,我得知有人致力於研究自動駕駛車,我深受吸引。啟動這些計畫花了不少時間,但-改變世界的可能性令我振奮不已。每年有兩千多萬人因車禍受傷,這是美國34歲以下人口主要死因。

 

CR:因此你著眼於拯救生命。

 

LP:是的,還有節省空間及使生活更美好。停車場和道路佔據洛杉磯一半面積,事實上大部分城市也差不多。我們利用空間的方式實在太瘋狂了。

 

CR:我們何時能達成這個目標?

 

LP:我認為很快就能實現。目前自動駕駛總距離已超過十萬英哩,我十分期待能早日實現這個目標。

 

CR:但你的目標不僅在於自動駕駛車,你也有關於自行車的想法。

 

LP:好,在Google,我們的想法是,我們應該提供每個人免費自行車。在大部分旅程中它相當好用。你知道,自行車可前往任何地方,屬於消耗品,24小時都能使用。

 

CR:但你還想讓它們行駛於街道上空。

 

LP:嗯,我思索,如何才能讓人們多使用自行車?

 

CR:好像有一段相關影片。

 

LP:是的,我們看一下影片,這令我十分興奮。

 

(音樂)事實上,這就是以最低成本使自行車與汽車分道的方式。總之,這看起來相當瘋狂,但事實上我思索校園的情況,將它運用在城市中只是試著增加自行車使用量。我思考如何才能以符合成本效益的方式使自行車脫離交通流量?我進行搜尋,這就是我找到的結果。我們尚未實際著手進行這個項目,但這給予你想像空間。

 

CR:我們先結束這個話題,描述一下你本身的哲學:你打造Google X實驗室的想法。我是指,你想要的不僅是踏入某些小型、可衡量的進步舞臺。

 

LP:是的,我認為我們剛剛討論過的許多項目就像那樣,它們確實-我幾乎用上了經濟學的增益概念。這意味著你所做的是如果不做就不會發生的事。我認為你做越多那樣的事,影響力就越大。這意味著做人們或許認為不可能的事。我驚訝地發現,越是深入學習科技、越能意識到所知的不足。那是因為這種科技視野,你能看出下一步該做什麼。你越是深入學習科技、越瞭解什麼是可能的。你瞭解氣球計畫是可能的,因為有一些材料可使它運作。

 

CR:但對我來說,你另一個令人感興趣之處在於,許多人思考過未來。他們觀察了一下,然後返回,但不曾看見他們著手實行。我想起某個你知道、也聽過的公司-特斯拉。你對它的原則有何看法?

 

LP:好,我認為發明並不足夠。如果你發明某樣東西-特斯拉發明了我們使用的電力系統,但很難使它普及,那得交由別人完成,花費很長時間。我認為如果能將兩者結合,擁有創新精神及發明焦點,加上能力-可真正使產品商業化的公司以有益世界的方式普及大眾,帶給人們希望。你知道,Loon Project計劃令我驚艷,如同人們對它的期待,因為它為目前世上三分之二無法使用網路的人帶來希望。

 

CR:這是與公司有關的第二件事。你是相信如果公司運作良好,可作為改革媒介的人士之一。

 

LP:是的,我驚訝地發現,大多數人認為公司基本上是邪惡的,它的評價不是很好。我認為某種程度來說是正確的。我是指,公司循序漸進地發展,如同50年前或20年前,那並非我們真正的需要。我們需要-尤其在科技方面,我們需要革命性改變,而非循序漸進的改變。

 

CR:事實上你曾說過-希望我的理解是正確的,你可能考慮-如果某天因某種原因離開公司,與其將資產捐給公司,你傾向於提供資金給伊隆.馬斯克(特斯拉汽車公司執行長),因為你相信他能改變未來,因此你會-

 

LP:是的,如果你想去火星,他則是想藉由去火星來幫助人類,這是一個有價值的目標。但這是一家公司,一個慈善事業,因此我認為我們打算做類似的事。我想你提過,Google有許多員工變得非常富有,人們藉由科技賺了不少錢,在座很多人都相當富有。你努力工作,因為你想改變世界,使它變得更好。為何你任職的公司不僅值得你投入時間,也投入資金?我是指,我們對此並無概念,重點不在於我們對公司的看法。我認為這令人感傷,因為公司是我們付出最多努力的地方,它是人們付出最多時間、金錢的地方。因此我認為,我寧可藉由我們的力量幫助更多人。

 

CR:當我結束與許多人的訪談時,我總是提出這個問題:什麼心態、什麼特質對你幫助最大?例如魯柏.梅鐸(媒體大亨)的答案是好奇,其他媒體界人士也這麼說。比爾.蓋茲和華倫.巴菲特的答案是專注。在與觀眾道別之際,什麼樣的特質使你能在思考未來的同時改變現在?

 

LP:你知道,我認為最重要的事-我觀察過很多公司,思考為何它們無法獲得長久成功。公司的更新週期越來越迅速,我思考它們錯誤的根源為何?這些公司共同的錯誤是什麼?通常僅在於它們忽略了未來。因此我認為,對我來說,我只是嘗試著眼於未來,並思考未來將朝哪個方向進行,我們如何創造它,如何才能讓我們的組織著眼於這個方向,並迅速執行?因此這在於好奇心,著眼於人們或許不曾想過的東西,研究不曾有人研究過的東西,因為那正是增益的真正所在。樂於實行、勇於冒險。看看Android。進行Android的研發令我有罪惡感。當它剛起步時、我們收購它時,它只是一間小型新創公司,並非我們當時真正研究的目標,花時間研究它令我有罪惡感。那相當愚蠢,那曾經是未來,對嗎?那曾經是相當值得研究的東西。

 

CR:很高興與你見面,很高興聆聽你的分享。十分榮幸與你並肩而坐,謝謝,Larry。

 

LP:謝謝。(掌聲)

 

CR:Larry Page。(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this Talk

Onstage at TED2014, Charlie Rose interviews Google CEO Larry Page about his far-off vision for the company. It includes aerial bikeways and internet balloons … and then it gets even more interesting, as Page talks through the company’s recent acquisition of Deep Mind, an AI that is learning some surprising things.

About the Speaker

Larry Page is the CEO and cofounder of Google, making him one of the ruling minds of the web. Full bio

Transcript

Charlie Rose: So Larry sent me an email and he basically said, we've got to make sure that we don't seem like we're a couple of middle-aged boring men. I said, I'm flattered by that -- (Laughter) — because I'm a bit older, and he has a bit more net worth than I do.

Larry Page: Well, thank you.

CR: So we'll have a conversation about the Internet, and we'll have a conversation Google, and we'll have a conversation about search and privacy, and also about your philosophy and a sense of how you've connected the dots and how this journey that began some time ago has such interesting prospects. Mainly we want to talk about the future. So my first question: Where is Google and where is it going? LP: Well, this is something we think about a lot, and our mission we defined a long time ago is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. And people always say, is that really what you guys are still doing? And I always kind of think about that myself, and I'm not quite sure. But actually, when I think about search, it's such a deep thing for all of us, to really understand what you want, to understand the world's information, and we're still very much in the early stages of that, which is totally crazy. We've been at it for 15 years already, but it's not at all done.

CR: When it's done, how will it be?

LP: Well, I guess, in thinking about where we're going -- you know, why is it not done? -- a lot of it is just computing's kind of a mess. You know, your computer doesn't know where you are, it doesn't know what you're doing, it doesn't know what you know, and a lot we've been trying to do recently is just make your devices work, make them understand your context. Google Now, you know, knows where you are, knows what you may need. So really having computing work and understand you and understand that information, we really haven't done that yet. It's still very, very clunky.

CR: Tell me, when you look at what Google is doing, where does Deep Mind fit?

LP: Yeah, so Deep Mind is a company we just acquired recently. It's in the U.K. First, let me tell you the way we got there, which was looking at search and really understanding, trying to understand everything, and also make the computers not clunky and really understand you -- like, voice was really important. So what's the state of the art on speech recognition? It's not very good. It doesn't really understand you. So we started doing machine learning research to improve that. That helped a lot. And we started just looking at things like YouTube. Can we understand YouTube? But we actually ran machine learning on YouTube and it discovered cats, just by itself. Now, that's an important concept. And we realized there's really something here. If we can learn what cats are, that must be really important. So I think Deep Mind, what's really amazing about Deep Mind is that it can actually -- they're learning things in this unsupervised way. They started with video games, and really just, maybe I can show the video, just playing video games, and learning how to do that automatically.

CR: Take a look at the video games and how machines are coming to be able to do some remarkable things.

LP: The amazing thing about this is this is, I mean, obviously, these are old games, but the system just sees what you see, the pixels, and it has the controls and it has the score, and it's learned to play all of these games, same program. It's learned to play all of these games with superhuman performance. We've not been able to do things like this with computers before. And maybe I'll just narrate this one quickly. This is boxing, and it figures out it can sort of pin the opponent down. The computer's on the left, and it's just racking up points. So imagine if this kind of intelligence were thrown at your schedule, or your information needs, or things like that. We're really just at the beginning of that, and that's what I'm really excited about.

CR: When you look at all that's taken place with Deep Mind and the boxing, also a part of where we're going is artificial intelligence. Where are we, when you look at that?

LP: Well, I think for me, this is kind of one of the most exciting things I've seen in a long time. The guy who started this company, Demis, has a neuroscience and a computer science background. He went back to school to get his Ph.D. to study the brain. And so I think we're seeing a lot of exciting work going on that sort of crosses computer science and neuroscience in terms of really understanding what it takes to make something smart and do really interesting things.

CR: But where's the level of it now? And how fast do you think we are moving?

LP: Well, this is the state of the art right now, understanding cats on YouTube and things like that, improving voice recognition. We used a lot of machine learning to improve things incrementally, but I think for me, this example's really exciting, because it's one program that can do a lot of different things.

CR: I don't know if we can do this, but we've got the image of the cat. It would be wonderful to see this. This is how machines looked at cats and what they came up with. Can we see that image?

LP: Yeah. CR: There it is. Can you see the cat? Designed by machines, seen by machines.

LP: That's right. So this is learned from just watching YouTube. And there's no training, no notion of a cat, but this concept of a cat is something important that you would understand, and now that the machines can kind of understand. Maybe just finishing also on the search part, it started with search, really understanding people's context and their information. I did have a video I wanted to show quickly on that that we actually found.

(Video) ["Soy, Kenya"]

Zack Matere: Not long ago, I planted a crop of potatoes. Then suddenly they started dying one after the other. I checked out the books and they didn't tell me much. So, I went and I did a search. ["Zack Matere, Farmer"] Potato diseases. One of the websites told me that ants could be the problem. It said, sprinkle wood ash over the plants. Then after a few days the ants disappeared. I got excited about the Internet. I have this friend who really would like to expand his business. So I went with him to the cyber cafe and we checked out several sites. When I met him next, he was going to put a windmill at the local school. I felt proud because something that wasn't there before was suddenly there. I realized that not everybody can be able to access what I was able to access. I thought that I need to have an Internet that my grandmother can use. So I thought about a notice board. A simple wooden notice board. When I get information on my phone, I'm able to post the information on the notice board. So it's basically like a computer. I use the Internet to help people. I think I am searching for a better life for me and my neighbors. So many people have access to information, but there's no follow-up to that. I think the follow-up to that is our knowledge. When people have the knowledge, they can find solutions without having to helped out. Information is powerful, but it is how we use it that will define us.

(Applause)

LP: Now, the amazing thing about that video, actually, was we just read about it in the news, and we found this gentlemen, and made that little clip.

CR: When I talk to people about you, they say to me, people who know you well, say, Larry wants to change the world, and he believes technology can show the way. And that means access to the Internet. It has to do with languages. It also means how people can get access and do things that will affect their community, and this is an example. LP: Yeah, that's right, and I think for me, I have been focusing on access more, if we're talking about the future. We recently released this Loon Project which is using balloons to do it. It sounds totally crazy. We can show the video here. Actually, two out of three people in the world don't have good Internet access now. We actually think this can really help people sort of cost-efficiently.

CR: It's a balloon. LP: Yeah, get access to the Internet.

CR: And why does this balloon give you access to the Internet? Because there was some interesting things you had to do to figure out how to make balloons possible, they didn't have to be tethered.

LP: Yeah, and this is a good example of innovation. Like, we've been thinking about this idea for five years or more before we started working on it, but it was just really, how do we get access points up high, cheaply? You normally have to use satellites and it takes a long time to launch them. But you saw there how easy it is to launch a balloon and get it up, and actually again, it's the power of the Internet, I did a search on it, and I found, 30, 40 years ago, someone had put up a balloon and it had gone around the Earth multiple times. And I thought, why can't we do that today? And that's how this project got going.

CR: But are you at the mercy of the wind?

LP: Yeah, but it turns out, we did some weather simulations which probably hadn't really been done before, and if you control the altitude of the balloons, which you can do by pumping air into them and other ways, you can actually control roughly where they go, and so I think we can build a worldwide mesh of these balloons that can cover the whole planet.

CR: Before I talk about the future and transportation, where you've been a nerd for a while, and this fascination you have with transportation and automated cars and bicycles, let me talk a bit about what's been the subject here earlier with Edward Snowden. It is security and privacy. You have to have been thinking about that.

LP: Yeah, absolutely. I saw the picture of Sergey with Edward Snowden yesterday. Some of you may have seen it. But I think, for me, I guess, privacy and security are a really important thing. We think about it in terms of both things, and I think you can't have privacy without security, so let me just talk about security first, because you asked about Snowden and all of that, and then I'll say a little bit about privacy. I think for me, it's tremendously disappointing that the government secretly did all this stuff and didn't tell us. I don't think we can have a democracy if we're having to protect you and our users from the government for stuff that we've never had a conversation about. And I don't mean we have to know what the particular terrorist attack is they're worried about protecting us from, but we do need to know what the parameters of it is, what kind of surveillance the government's going to do and how and why, and I think we haven't had that conversation. So I think the government's actually done itself a tremendous disservice by doing all that in secret.

CR: Never coming to Google to ask for anything.

LP: Not Google, but the public. I think we need to have a debate about that, or we can't have a functioning democracy. It's just not possible. So I'm sad that Google's in the position of protecting you and our users from the government doing secret thing that nobody knows about. It doesn't make any sense.

CR: Yeah. And then there's a privacy side of it.

LP: Yes. The privacy side, I think it's -- the world is changing. You carry a phone. It knows where you are. There's so much more information about you, and that's an important thing, and it makes sense why people are asking difficult questions. We spend a lot of time thinking about this and what the issues are. I'm a little bit -- I think the main thing that we need to do is just provide people choice, show them what data's being collected -- search history, location data. We're excited about incognito mode in Chrome, and doing that in more ways, just giving people more choice and more awareness of what's going on. I also think it's very easy. What I'm worried is that we throw out the baby with the bathwater. And I look at, on your show, actually, I kind of lost my voice, and I haven't gotten it back. I'm hoping that by talking to you I'm going to get it back.

CR: If I could do anything, I would do that.

LP: All right. So get out your voodoo doll and whatever you need to do. But I think, you know what, I look at that, I made that public, and I got all this information. We got a survey done on medical conditions with people who have similar issues, and I look at medical records, and I say, wouldn't it be amazing if everyone's medical records were available anonymously to research doctors? And when someone accesses your medical record, a research doctor, they could see, you could see which doctor accessed it and why, and you could maybe learn about what conditions you have. I think if we just did that, we'd save 100,000 lives this year.

CR: Absolutely. Let me go — (Applause)

LP: So I guess I'm just very worried that with Internet privacy, we're doing the same thing we're doing with medical records, is we're throwing out the baby with the bathwater, and we're not really thinking about the tremendous good that can come from people sharing information with the right people in the right ways.

CR: And the necessary condition that people have to have confidence that their information will not be abused.

LP: Yeah, and I had this problem with my voice stuff. I was scared to share it. Sergey encouraged me to do that, and it was a great thing to do.

CR: And the response has been overwhelming.

LP: Yeah, and people are super positive. We got thousands and thousands of people with similar conditions, which there's no data on today. So it was a really good thing.

CR: So talking about the future, what is it about you and transportation systems?

LP: Yeah. I guess I was just frustrated with this when I was at college in Michigan. I had to get on the bus and take it and wait for it. And it was cold and snowing. I did some research on how much it cost, and I just became a bit obsessed with transportation systems.

CR: And that began the idea of an automated car.

LP: Yeah, about 18 years ago I learned about people working on automated cars, and I became fascinated by that, and it takes a while to get these projects going, but I'm super excited about the possibilities of that improving the world. There's 20 million people or more injured per year. It's the leading cause of death for people under 34 in the U.S.

CR: So you're talking about saving lives.

LP: Yeah, and also saving space and making life better. Los Angeles is half parking lots and roads, half of the area, and most cities are not far behind, actually. It's just crazy that that's what we use our space for.

CR: And how soon will we be there?

LP: I think we can be there very, very soon. We've driven well over 100,000 miles now totally automated. I'm super excited about getting that out quickly.

CR: But it's not only you're talking about automated cars. You also have this idea for bicycles.

LP: Well at Google, we got this idea that we should just provide free bikes to everyone, and that's been amazing, most of the trips. You see bikes going everywhere, and the bikes wear out. They're getting used 24 hours a day.

CR: But you want to put them above the street, too.

LP: Well I said, how do we get people using bikes more?

CR: We may have a video here.

LP: Yeah, let's show the video. I just got excited about this.

(Music) So this is actually how you might separate bikes from cars with minimal cost. Anyway, it looks totally crazy, but I was actually thinking about our campus, working with the cities and stuff, and just trying to get a lot more bike usage, and I was thinking about, how do you cost-effectively separate the bikes from traffic? And I went and searched, and this is what I found. And we're not actually working on this, that particular thing, but it gets your imagination going.

CR: Let me close with this. Give me a sense of the philosophy of your own mind. You have this idea of [Google X]. You don't simply want to go in some small, measurable arena of progress.

LP: Yeah, I think many of the things we just talked about are like that, where they're really -- I almost use the economic concept of additionality, which means that you're doing something that wouldn't happen unless you were actually doing it. And I think the more you can do things like that, the bigger impact you have, and that's about doing things that people might not think are possible. And I've been amazed, the more I learn about technology, the more I realize I don't know, and that's because this technological horizon, the thing that you can see to do next, the more you learn about technology, the more you learn what's possible. You learn that the balloons are possible because there's some material that will work for them.

CR: What's interesting about you too, though, for me, is that, we have lots of people who are thinking about the future, and they are going and looking and they're coming back, but we never see the implementation. I think of somebody you knew and read about, Tesla. The principle of that for you is what?

LP: Well, I think invention is not enough. If you invent something, Tesla invented electric power that we use, but he struggled to get it out to people. That had to be done by other people. It took a long time. And I think if we can actually combine both things, where we have an innovation and invention focus, plus the ability to really -- a company that can really commercialize things and get them to people in a way that's positive for the world and to give people hope. You know, I'm amazed with the Loon Project just how excited people were about that, because it gave them hope for the two thirds of the world that doesn't have Internet right now that's any good.

CR: Which is a second thing about corporations. You are one of those people who believe that corporations are an agent of change if they are run well.

LP: Yeah. I'm really dismayed most people think companies are basically evil. They get a bad rap. And I think that's somewhat correct. Companies are doing the same incremental thing that they did 50 years ago or 20 years ago. That's not really what we need. We need, especially in technology, we need revolutionary change, not incremental change.

CR: You once said, actually, as I think I've got this about right, that you might consider, rather than giving your money, if you were leaving it to some cause, just simply giving it to Elon Musk, because you had confidence that he would change the future, and that you would therefore —

LP: Yeah, if you want to go Mars, he wants to go to Mars, to back up humanity, that's a worthy goal, but it's a company, and it's philanthropical. So I think we aim to do kind of similar things. And I think, you ask, we have a lot of employees at Google who have become pretty wealthy. People make a lot of money in technology. A lot of people in the room are pretty wealthy. You're working because you want to change the world. You want to make it better. Why isn't the company that you work for worthy not just of your time but your money as well? I mean, but we don't have a concept of that. That's not how we think about companies, and I think it's sad, because companies are most of our effort. They're where most of people's time is, where a lot of the money is, and so I think I'd like for us to help out more than we are.

CR: When I close conversations with lots of people, I always ask this question: What state of mind, what quality of mind is it that has served you best? People like Rupert Murdoch have said curiosity, and other people in the media have said that. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have said focus. What quality of mind, as I leave this audience, has enabled you to think about the future and at the same time change the present?

LP: You know, I think the most important thing -- I looked at lots of companies and why I thought they don't succeed over time. We've had a more rapid turnover of companies. And I said, what did they fundamentally do wrong? What did those companies all do wrong? And usually it's just that they missed the future. And so I think, for me, I just try to focus on that and say, what is that future really going to be and how do we create it, and how do we cause our organization, to really focus on that and drive that at a really high rate? And so that's been curiosity, it's been looking at things people might not think about, working on things that no one else is working on, because that's where the additionality really is, and be willing to do that, to take that risk. Look at Android. I felt guilty about working on Android when it was starting. It was a little startup we bought. It wasn't really what we were really working on. And I felt guilty about spending time on that. That was stupid. That was the future, right? That was a good thing to be working on.

CR: It is great to see you here. It's great to hear from you, and a pleasure to sit at this table with you. Thanks, Larry.

LP: Thank you.

(Applause)

CR: Larry Page.


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