India-born Sundar Pichai was named CEO of Google parent Alphabet Inc in the year 2019, five years after he became Google CEO. Pichai was named Google head in August 2014. In his 20-plus years career with the company, Pichai has led several of the company’s key businesses including Android, Chrome, Maps, and more. Pichai completed his BTech from IIT Kharagpur, MS from Stanford (MS) and MBA from Wharton.
Google is slowly opening up its AI models for others to use and last week, it provided early access to a small group of companies. The company has often been criticised for being late to the AI party but Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has repeatedly highlighted the company’s cautious approach when bringing AI to the masses. In a recent interview, Pichai talked more about this approach and hailed OpenAI, the company that launched ChatGPT in November, for making a product that’s market fit.
While talking to Wired about AI plans and responsibility, Pichai said that Google “definitely felt that the technology needed to mature a bit more before” they put it in the company’s products. It must be noted that OpenAI’s GPT-4 model is now incorporated in several services and products offered by Microsoft.
“Internally, we had our LLM, LaMDA. Obviously, we were thinking about running large consumer products. But we definitely felt that the technology needed to mature a bit more before we put it in our products,” he said.
“People come to us with a huge sense of trust—they come to Google and type, ‘What Tylenol dosage for a 3-month-old?’ You can imagine the responsibility that comes with getting it right. And so we were definitely a bit more cautious there,” Pichai noted.
‘Credits to OpenAI’
Pichai lauded OpenAI for the launch of ChatGPT. He said that the company “showed a product-market fit and that people are ready to understand and play with the technology.”
“In some ways, it was an exciting moment for me, because we are building that underlying technology and deploying it across our products. But we are still being deliberate where we need to be. The technology arc is long, and I feel very comfortable about where we are,” he added.
When asked if Google had launched something like GPT earlier than OpenAI did, Pichai also stated that in the coming years, it won’t matter who launched an AI product first.
“You can go back and pretty much take another look at everything. It’s not fully clear to me that it might have worked out as well. The fact is, we could do more after people had seen how it works. It really won’t matter in the next five to 10 years,” he said.
Google Gemini launch
Google announced its next-generation foundation model, Gemini, at I/O 2023 and last week, The Information reported that the company has provided the model’s early access to a small group of companies. This suggested that the model could soon be available for businesses and compete with OpenAI’s GPT-4.
Citing three people with direct knowledge of the matter, the publication claimed that the company will sell Gemini models via the company’s cloud unit, called Google Cloud Vertex AI service.
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