Google, Not the Government, Is Building the Future

Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 18/05/2017 14:00

One persistent criticism of Silicon Valley is that it no longer works on big, world-changing ideas. Every few months, a dumb start-up will make the news — most recently the one selling a $700 juicer — and folks outside the tech industry will begin singing I-told-you-sos.

But don’t be fooled by expensive juice. The idea that Silicon Valley no longer funds big things isn’t just wrong, but also obtuse and fairly dangerous. Look at the cars, the rockets, the internet-beaming balloons and gliders, the voice assistants, drones, augmented and virtual reality devices, and every permutation of artificial intelligence you’ve ever encountered in sci-fi. Technology companies aren’t just funding big things — they are funding the biggest, most world-changing things. They are spending on ideas that, years from now, we may come to see as having altered life for much of the planet.
Then there are the other members of the Frightful Five — Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft — which are also spending heavily on the intelligent future. Collectively, the five are among the biggest investors in research and development on the planet. According to their earnings reports, they are on track to spend more than $60 billion this year on research and development. By comparison, in 2015, the United States federal government spent about $67 billion on all nondefense-related scientific research.

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Google’s focus on AI means it will get even deeper into our lives
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Chief executive Sundar Pichai said that improving artificial intelligence is Google's top strategy in its continuing goal to organize the world's information.

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