Google CEO Larry Page is one of the smartest, most powerful people in the world. As CEO of Google, his job is to imagine the future. This month, Page gave a talk at TED to discuss how Google plans to change the world. It’s a great insight into where Google is going.
This is Larry Page. He wants to organise the world’s information and make it easy to access. In order to do that, the entire world needs Internet access.
Page spoke at TED about about how Google plans to connect the world by building a “worldwide mesh” of balloons.
The goal is to use these balloons to provide Internet access to the two thirds of the world living without it.
“It sounds totally crazy,” Page told Rose on stage.
Google had been thinking about doing this for about five years, Page said. The main issue Google faced was how it could get Internet access points up high, and cheaply. That’s when Google decided on balloons versus satellites.
Balloons are at the mercy of the wind, Page said, but since Google can control the altitude of balloons, it can control roughly where they go.
But, does the Internet really help save lives? Yes! Says Page, and he showed a video of a farmer Zack Matere in Soy, Kenya. Matere used the Internet and search to figure out why his potato crop kept failing. Now, Matere shares information with his neighbours who live without Internet access.
In developed nations like the U.S., Page thinks we could be doing much more radical stuff. He wants everyone to publicly, but anonymously share their health records. “We could save 100,000 lives this year if we did that,” Page says.
Speaking of saving lives, that’s why Page also has his eyes set on driverless cars. 20 million people or more are injured every year due to automobile incidents. It’s the leading cause of death for people under 34 in the US. To date, Google has driven over 100,000 miles totally automated.
Google also wants more people to ride bikes. But in order for this to be safe, Google is exploring ways to cost-effectively separate bikes from traffic. In researching solutions, Page says, he came across this aerial bikeway.
“It looks totally crazy,” Page said. Google isn’t working on that particular thing, Page said, “but it gets your imagination going.”
Page went on to say that Google likes to work on things that no one else is working on. If run well, Page sees corporations as being an agent of change.
Page pointed to Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who has a “worthy goal” of going to Mars. That’s why Page would rather give life savings to Musk instead of a charity when he dies.
“For me,” Page said, “I try to focus on [the future] and think about what kind of future that is actually going to be.”
Be sure to watch the full TED talk below.