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Sundar Pichai talks Nexus, AI, Google Home, and EU legal issues

Today Google CEO Sundar Pichai sat down to talk with Re/code about a variety of topics including the challenges facing the company over the next years.

Published onJune 1, 2016

On that last note, Pichar commented that the search giant was expecting to be “more opinionated about the design of the phones,” which many are interpreting to mean that Google will be wanting to design Nexus devices so as to best showcase developing technologies. This does not mean that Google will be making the phones themselves; they’re still planning on working with OEMs for the process. Google seems like they’re just going to be a bit more aggressive about the kinds of features they would like to see hit the market on the Nexus line.

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Pichar was quick to dispel any narrative casting Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple as enemies in the realm of AI development. “[They all] are phenomenal companies. It’s not like Game of Thrones. It’s more like the NBA championship or something like that. … I think of it more like we’re all bringing electricity to Westeros. We’re not trying to kill each other.” Nevertheless, he did point out that Google has been in the AI game for a lot longer than these other companies, and that nobody is throwing the same degree of computational power at AI research. There’s still a long way to go for everybody in this field though. “It’s still early days for all of us,” he said.

google home 4-Google IO 2016

Regarding Google Home, Pichar said that their product will be able to outshine Amazon Echo thanks to their ongoing research in conversational understanding. He believes this technology is still in its nascent stage, however, and it will take the next 5 to 10 years before we start seeing true conversational interaction with our devices.

When it came to the company’s recent legal scandals in the EU, the CEO downplayed their significance. “It plays out sensationally in the press,” he said, emphasizing that they are actively engaging authorities and fielding their questions thoughtfully.

Check out the whole conversation in the video above, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

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