Eric Schmidt at Sciences Po


>>Ladies and gentlemen, [INDISTINCT], I would
say only of two words to Eric Schmidt. Welcome to Sciences Po. Thank you to have chosen Sciences
Po. And now as I know that you don’t have so much time, its time for you and to get
the floor. Thank you.>>SCHMIDT: I want to thank your President
Richard, Richie, Richard for inviting us here today. I have a speech I’d like to give, but
since I have this audience, I’d actually like to take a minute and make a very important
announcement about Google and one that we just made a few minutes ago in public. And
I’m sure that in the Press Conference this follows there’ll be lots of questions about
this. We believe that the French people are very sophisticated in their use of culture.
We believe the French people are very use–very sophisticated in the use of the Internet and
technology and we have already decided to increase our business investment in France
because of the economic success of France, the many, many good things that, that you
all have done. So, we have made up a set of decisions which we’re announcing today, literally
right here, which are very important. And so many people have asked about for a very
long time. The first is that we’ve decided–and I think that in a university like this you’ll
understand why–we’ve decided to set up a very significant engineering center here in
Paris. And we will get started by hiring–we like people fresh out of the top universities
in France and we will get started here very, very soon, literally in the next week, to
get started building this center. And this would be a center that will not just build
products for France, but will build products for the world. We believe very, very strongly
in looking at the quality of the graduates and the quality of the technical talent, the
business talent, the public policy talent that we can now get through the major universities,
major businesses, key leadership positions; I’m very, very proud to say that this has
been in discussion for a very long time and it’s clearly the right thing to do. The second
announcement that we had just made, and I’m pleased to say here publicly for the first
time, is we’ve looked at, in Europe, the importance of culture and the importance of European
culture, European creativity, non-English languages, the Arts and Sciences, and the
things that you all do so well, and I think you know what I’m talking about. So we’ve
deicide to put our Cultural Institute, literally create one here in Paris that will be for
all of Europe and we’ll take all of the digital resources that we have, all of the scanning,
all of the images, all of the investment, and run it through Paris. We’re also having–all
right, okay, we are also, we are also having an outside advisory board of leading creative
people, academics and so forth, to help us make sure that we’re working on the things
of greatest value to the citizens of Europe. I can think of no better place, because of
the commitment to culture and the commitment to the talent that I see before me, to do
this in Paris. The third thing we’re announcing, and you can see there’s actually just few
of these, there’s four; students like to know the list, right. So there’s four. The third
is that we have made a decision to go ahead and increase our investment in science universities
in France by many millions of dollars in the form of grants. And this is because we have
looked at the quality of the research and the quality of the output in Computer Science,
in Mathematics, in the Sciences in general, and it is superb. This is not a surprise to
you, that’s why you’re here. So, I’m very excited about that. And then the final thing
that we’re announcing today is a very large program around getting small and medium-sized
businesses to come to, to come to Google and to use Google to build their businesses. That’s
obviously good for Goggle, but we think it’s particularly good for the businesses and therefore
good for the economic choices in France. So, why are we doing this? Why are we making these
announcements today? It’s the right thing to do for Google’s business. It’s the right
thing to do for France. It’s the right thing to do for Europe. If you look, the economic
recovery has been led by Germany and France; I think you all should be congratulated for,
for all of that. And we have every reason to believe that the adoption of the Internet
and technology, which I’m going to talk about in a few minutes, will give us a tremendous
business advantage for doing this. Another reason that we’re doing this is that we’ve
received incredibly positive support from President Sarkozy and the entire Elysee Palace,
and their whole team has said, “We want to make sure that your business is working well,
that you create jobs, create investment in France.” And they have been–they have offered
their support and help to make sure that any barriers we might have in getting through
any regulations and so forth would be addressed. I want to thank the–your President and his
entire team for helping make this possible. So with that, what I’d like to do–and, again,
I’m very excited about this. This is a very big deal for Google. We do this relatively
rarely. And so from my perspective, this is a historic moment. So, thank you all for that.
And so, what I’d like to do for a few minutes is talk about technology and computers and
where information is going to go. And with an audience as sophisticated as this, I would
hope you would tell me things that I don’t know about how you use computer and information
and technology, and so we’ll have questions as well. I have become very interested in
the question of how will people change their patterns, how will they use computers and
information in new ways. And I’ve become convinced that we’re on the dawn of a new age, an age
of augmented humanity. By augmented humanity, what I mean is that we as humans get better
because of our use of computers and that’s what I want to talk about today. And I have
a strong belief that computers should work for us and not the other way around. In other
words, they should do what we want when we want it, and get us the systems and answers
that we need right then and there, not the other way around. And in fact, that these
computers will entertain and inform and educate us, but most importantly, they can make the
world a better place for us, and we are the customer, we humans. So it’s interesting that
when you think about it–when you think about the technology that you all use today, you
take for granted the presence of this broad Internet. When you have a game console, what
good is your game console if it won’t go online? What good is your disconnected music player?
Because as you walk down the streets here in beautiful Paris, there’s music available
to you where you are and you can get it on the Internet. So, we’re no longer in a situation
where it’s okay to have computers and devices that aren’t connected to this wonderful Internet.
So from my perspective, if computers are here to serve humans and not the other way around,
what’s the goal? The goal is to make us happier. Literally, to make us have more fun. All right.
And how do we have fun? With people, enjoying ourselves, learning, asking questions, becoming
better at what we do. That’s their goal. That’s the goal that we have for our computers. So
what’s happening, if you think of this as a happiness theorem–we’re in a university,
we use the word theorem–there’s a set of things that we can do. The first is we could
take a look at the explosion of Smartphones. Everybody here has a mobile phone? I suspect
all of you have a Smartphone. Some of you have iPhones. Some of you have Android phones.
Some of you have Nokia phones. Some of you have Blackberries. It doesn’t matter. The
important point is that there’s a new generation of technology called Smartphones and it’s
the iconic product of our time. So for example, in a couple of years, Smartphones will surpass
PC sales. Who would have thought? The mobile Web adoption, that is the Web that your mobile
phone uses, is growing eight times faster than the equivalent PC Web at the same time.
So not only is this true, but it’s happening quicker, faster, supporting my point. The
second, of course, part is what we’ll call pervasive connectivity. Have you gone on vacation
and had no connection at all and discovered that you’re depressed? I have. Even if you
have a slow connection, you feel a little bit connected. Here in Paris you have bandwidth
that is phenomenal. All throughout France, you have excellent bandwidth. It’s interesting
that 10 years ago I was very worried that Europe–that France would never catch up.
France was obsessed with the Minitel, if you remember the Minitel, all right, obsessed
with it, some slow, small keyboard and so forth and did not like the Internet. That
was what everybody said. But over the last five years, Internet adoption through broadband
and others has been the fastest in Europe. And now, it’s fair to say that France has
among the top two or three fastest Internets in the globe, with some of the most committed
users of the Internet in France. And it shouldn’t surprise you. The French love information.
They love culture. They love things that are sophisticated. So, it’s great that the French
are now using the Internet so powerfully. And today, of course, with new technology
like LTE which will give you 50 megabits per second;
today, you’re using something called UMTS which is up to, maybe, five megabits per second,
so another factor of 10 and speed for your mobile device, all of a sudden, you could
do even more amazing things. It’s interesting that one count has 35 billion B–that is billion
with a B, devices connected now to the Internet in one form or another. And what’s interesting
about this is that the combination of the phone and the network allows you to build
new platforms. I’ll give you an example of a relatively powerful one. We demonstrated
in Germany–this is in German, but you’ll get the–you’ll see the relevance and will
be true in France as well–two days ago, the following; in an Android phone someone–an
English speaker, speaks in and speaks in English and then the response comes back in German.
What happens, as he speaks in English, the person who is German he’s speaking with, hears
the German, he responds in German, we translate it back, back to English. How is that done?
Now, for me this was historic, because I have talked about this idea for years, but I never
thought it would be possible to do this because it’s so difficult. What happens is you talk
to your phone and the phone digitizes your voice and sends the digitized voice to computers
in Google. These computers might be in France. They might be in Amsterdam. They might be
in the U.S. They are somewhere. It doesn’t matter. Those computers then translate your
voice into text and from the text we then translate it into the other language, in this
case German or French. Text the text, and then we use voice generation to take the text
and send it back out as the other language. We can do this now in real-time. The way it
works is the phone just collects the data and represents it. The real computing power
is out in the data centers. It’s out in the Cloud. This is known as Cloud Computing. So
when you think about your device, your computer, don’t think of it as a computer by itself,
think of it as a computer linked to super computers that are doing this work for you
in real-time. So, one way to think about this is you’re using a super computer in your pocket.
So, in my case, I can ski the downhill in the Vancouver Olympics. I can–using my phone,
I can simulate hiking all the way to the top of Mt. Everest. If I want to come visit Paris
and I’m sitting in my office in California I can look at the pictures of the Eiffel Tower
and so forth and feel the feeling of being here in such a beautiful city. All of that
is possible because the computers in the back are bringing that information to my device
as I do it. What’s interesting is that I can also now, here for example, I can take my
phone and take a picture. And using Google Goggles, Google will tell me what it is, typically
a landmark in French case, and it will tell me the history of it and I love that. So this
form of artificial intelligence is very real now and it’s very possible. Now in November
of 1990, Bill Gates at Comdex, this is 20 years ago, said, “You’ll have information
at your fingertips. All the information that someone might be interested in, including
information they can’t even get today.” So I’m pleased to say that we’re pretty much
there; hearing, speaking, sight, even thinking. So by getting this here, we should be able
to save time, to have the computers remember the things we’re no good at remembering and
have the computers make suggestions to us of things that we should do and in return
we have the time to spend on the things that we all care about. So in Google’s case, and
again you all use–know Google as a search engine, I like to think of this as a new definition
of Google’s ultimate goal, that we want to help humans think and understand and we wanted
to do it fast. Now never underestimate the power of fast. Speed is everything, boom,
boom, boom, over and over and over again. The faster we make Search, the more people
search. The faster the networks are, the more usage we see of online services. This is all
very good. So the closer we can get to the speed of the brain, the closer we can get
there, the more we can help you achieve whatever ultimate goal you have. What we want people
to do is to use Google to help us with their thinking and their questioning process. It’s
interesting that, that we’re here in a university and a quote that I like is from an American
chemist, Linus Pauling, “Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of
happiness in life.” And so, universities and education are fundamentally about asking questions
in a deep way and Google can help there in some very, very, real way and we want you
to do more and more and more. And we make hundreds of improvements to Search every year.
Yesterday, we introduced something called Instant Google. For those of you who are logged
in, do people see that or not? It is weird. Unbelievable. You sit there and go, “Oh, my
God.” Because as you type, it does all the queries, right, and I looked at it and I thought,
“Oh, this is so incredible,” but it’s so much faster, boom, boom, boom, boom. And I’m very
proud to say that the people who are using it, love it. Now, this happened yesterday
in a worldwide launch and Google spent literally hundreds of millions of dollars of extra hardware
to be able to do that. So again, when you think of Google, think of that speed, the
speed. It’s now to the point where we answer the question as you’re typing the question.
That’s what so interesting about Instant Search. So where do we–where does Search go? Well,
with your permission, and I need to say that right upfront, you’ll probably want to give
us permission to index your email, other things about you, personal email or personal network
of people the–and your relationship to them, and if you give us permission to do that,
we can produce higher quality answers. And not only can we produce the answers as you
type them, but we can also produce them even if you don’t ask. Here I am. I happen to like
history. Here we are in Paris, a beautiful city with tremendous history. As I travel
down the roads, what I want is I want Google to constantly be telling me something that
I don’t know about this amazing city and its history in place. And because we know where
you are, we could do that. Now again, I have to choose this. It’s something I’m interested
in, and you can imagine others would not be. But I suspect many of you would be. We’re
also thinking about, “How do the questions go?” So, for example, today you could say,
“What is today’s weather?” And what you’re really asking is, “Do I need to take a raincoat
or an umbrella to school?” Right? That’s the real question you’re asking. Or you could
be saying, “Should I water the plants?” In other words, are the plants going to be watered
by the rain or whatever. It’s very hard to know what you meant, but we can get better.
We can begin to anticipate that maybe you really care a lot about whether you should
wear an umbrella or not–not wear an umbrella–use an umbrella or not. We’re also thinking about
how we can make commerce and travel of the same kind even stronger. What’s interesting
about the mobile phones is that one out of three mobile phones now are queries about
immediately around you. So, as Google–I think is probably the largest of the search engines,
we see this phenomena of mobility and local information and this query so profoundly.
It’s interesting in mobile–our mobile business, of course, is going very quickly. Our search
traffic grew 50% in the last half year. It’s more than doubled in the last year, and our
strategy should be mobile first. So when you leave here, and when you go to your career
and so forth, think about building software and services that start with the mobile phone.
Don’t start on the PC. Start on the mobile phone. Because that’s where the growth will
ultimately be, and indeed we Google, do that as well. And Android, which you know is the
free operating system that Google is providing to many carriers, now has more than 200,000
Android devices and six–sorry, 200,000 devices sold per day and 60 devices from 21 hardware
partners across 59 carriers and 49 countries. So, I don’t know what the math is, but you
can imagine how very large this–this phenomena is going to be. It’s interesting that search
traffic in Android phones tripled in the fist half. So we benefit, obviously, by the adoption
of Android. There’s a new browser called Chrome. Have you all seen this? Have you used this
very much? People know what I’m talking about? The historic browsers were not really articulate–were
not built for this new mobile and platform world that the Internet provides. So we built
a browser that’s very, very virus-secure, very safe, very fast. In fact, the one that
we released most recently is four times faster than the one we did two years ago. We have
70 million users, and growing very quickly, of Chrome. This is very, very strategic for
Google. And because Chrome is more powerful, we can have deeper integration with the browser.
So if you know what browsers do, it’s possible within the browser to now run programs that
help you make your life even that much interesting. Same thing about monetizing content; it’s
very important. And we talked about our investment in French culture and French digital information,
that it’s important that we improve the quality of the content on the Web. I’m concerned that
a lot of the quality on the Web is not any good. So, an example would be YouTube, a positive
example, there are 24 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, which is an astounding
number. And even of more astounding to me is there are two billion, that’s billion with
a B, views per day. So, imagine how much time we are wasting, of all of these people around
the world, and of course we want them to do even more of those. The business of course
is doing very well. We have a couple billion monetized view per week and–and so forth
and so on. So, we also have a business which is around display, where we show picture ads
and those picture ads are also growing very, very quickly. We have more than 300 million
visitors everyday using this network. So, to try to put this in perspective, I want
to talk a little bit about Google in the world and then I want to talk about the future and
then we’ll go to your questions. We make investments–we make investments, we understand that the Internet
is very disruptive. And for you, this is, I think, mostly positive. But for many industries,
they are worried about this and they’re worried with this for–for good reasons. There’s an
economist named Joseph Schumpeter who said that, “Capitalism inevitably leads to a perennial
gale of creative destruction.” And you know this from economics, you know this from management
science that this constant, constant destruction and reinvention is painful but it is in fact
the best way to–to move society and economics forward. So, the Internet has replaced the
economics of scarcity. It used to be that it was very difficult to make things and now
with the Internet, you have essentially infinitely low-cost distribution and infinite number
of copies. So, that has completely changed the number of industries and all of a sudden
those industries are under great pressure to change their business models and I am very
sympathetic to their challenges. Any business built on controlling the–the flow of information
is having such a problem and this is all both very exciting and terrifying at the same time.
Exciting because of all the new changes and the scale, right? You could do something.
You, sitting here, could do something that could have a million viewers in a day or in
an hour, right? That was never possible even 10 years ago. It’s completely new. But it’s
also terrifying because this all has to do with information and information is what people
care about more than anything else. So, I think it’s reasonable to expect that there
will be a lot of controversy for a very long time about information and disruption in the
Internet. And from my perspective, the debate is healthy. I would tell you that the changes
that are going on in society, the use of information, the use of social networks and so forth and
so on are very profound. And I’m not sure society has quite figured out what to do with
all of these changes. But what I do know is that customers love this stuff. They spend
hours and hours and hours on this, and on and on and on. So, when I think about the
future, and I want to give you some examples of what the future could look like, I would
say that I would begin by saying that we’re just at the beginning of a set of golden age
of breakthroughs in the Internet. That we have enough money now, enough companies, enough
good technical judgment, a good–enough good business models, that you’ll see just the
beginning now of a much broader set of things over the next 10 to 20 years. Who knows after
that? And that in many ways, the power of computer science, and I’m a computer scientist,
that’s my–my professional training, will help drive progress in virtually every space.
We can help solve big problems, Global Warming for example. Google Earth is heavily used
as a platform to monitor and understand the changes that we are making to our planet and
those changes are almost all bad and we need to address this and the people who deny them
have their heads in the sand. It’s very, very important that we pay attention to the science
about this and Google can make an important role in allowing people to visualize the changes
that are occurring around them and in places they’ve never visited. In terrorism, we can
help understand the flow of terror–terroristic–terrorism and their behavior and people can monitor
that better. In financial transparency, you can publish more information and let people
know what you’re doing. France was particularly good at regulating that, but other countries
were not. And those other countries had huge personal cost for the mistakes that they’ve
made. Thank goodness you all did not have to go through this. But these are fundamental
information problems and we can help address that. We can also help problems–solve problems
that people face everyday. So, imagine a near future where, to start with, you never forget
anything. I don’t know about you, I forget stuff all the time but computers are very
good at remembering things. They really are. In fact, they never forget unless you told
them to. And then sometimes you have to tell them twice or three times. The important point
is that they’re very good at making lists and remembering things and keeping memories
of what they do; remembering your pictures and those sorts of things. Another example
is, you’re never lost. I used to get lost in Europe all the time. I don’t speak the
languages, right, “Where am I? Oh my God.” Now, we’re using Google Maps, I know exactly
where I am. And I also have people who are around me who tell me where I am nowadays.
But the fact of the matter is that as a student you can wander around by yourself and never
be lost. Pretty interesting. In fact, we know your position down to the meter, in most cases.
So all of a sudden, a new set of applications that are fun; gaming applications. In America
there are a couple, they’re very interesting. One is called Foursquare, another one is called
Gowalla, where you basically are gaming–there are gaming systems around your location and
where you’re going and where your friends are. I think this is an important new area
of entertainment and information that people will really use. And, of course, your friends
also know where you are and so it’s important that you will decide who you want to give
that information to and who is not your friend. Another example is your car should drive itself.
I’m sure the computer can drive the car better than you can. Furthermore, the computer can
talk to the other cars and they can negotiate who’s going to go faster and who’s going to
pass the other. I know this sounds fantastic, but don’t you think it’d be better to have
computers driving cars than the average person driving a car? It’s just a matter of getting
the computers to the point where they have that level of accuracy. So not only are you
not not lost but the car will take you where you need to go. And hopefully you’ll be there
to pay attention to what–in case the car has a bug in it. But people–as an example,
people who love the Earth can love it more, because we have all of this information about
what–what’s really going on. We know where the streets are. We know where the stores
are. We know where people are. You truly do have all the world’s information at your fingertips,
as Bill Gates spoke 20 years ago, because you have it in any language. Now Americans
forget that most people don’t speak English. You all, because you work here and you’re
part of this, are very good English speakers. But most of the world actually likes the language
that they choose and not English. And so this notion that somehow the Internet can become
truly global is very important. We today, have options in our browser where everything
gets translated into your own language, up to 100 different languages. This is phenomenal.
And indeed, a statistic is that there are more than 160 million translations everyday
so far and they’re growing very, very quickly. We can also help you try to figure out what
to pay attention to. One of the things that’s happening is that there’s so much information
coming, I can’t figure out what to do. I get overwhelmed. Do I look at Twitter? Do I look
at Facebook? Do I look at my email? Do I answer the phone? Do I look on the Web for something?
How do I know how to spend my time? Well again, Google and technologies like Google, because,
again, I have to give it permission and so forth, but if I give it permission can actually
help me search and monitor that information and help me decide what things are the most
important. You’re never lonely. Your friends are always one click away. There’s always
somebody to talk to, there’s always somebody to chat with, there’s–they’re all online,
right? It’s true for all of you. There’s always somebody to speak with and to post about.
And so, your friends make Google and the Web, your searches, your suggestions, and your
entertainment that much more interesting. Another example is you’re never bored. When
I used to come here, because of the time change, I would wake up at two or three in the morning
and I’d turn on the French television, and I don’t speak French, so I’d look at that
for a while, and then there was nothing to do, so eventually I would fall back to sleep.
Well now I wake up at three in the morning, and there’s the Internet. Do all of that for
hours, and then I go back to sleep. I’m not sure this is good, but it’s very different.
It’s very, very different from a societal perspective. So, instead of wasting time watching
television, now I just waste time online, right? No problem. And we can suggest what
games, movies, and videos for you to watch. And perhaps, more importantly, you’re never
out of ideas. We can make suggestions for things for you to learn, to watch, and to
entertain. And I would argue for you that this is a future that’s not just for the elites.
It’s–as I was growing up and when I was a student, the things that we are talking about
now were only available to that very top part of society; the educated, the rich and so
forth. But now, this technology is available through Smartphones and other Internet access
to more than a billion people. And in my lifetime, I strongly hope that it will get to five billion
people, six billion people. And the impact that that will have on people in terms of
hearing their voices, their creativity, art and culture is uncountably fast, simply because
of the number of people involved. So our goal, and I’ll finish up by saying, our goal is
to make the world a better place. It is a future to give people time to do what matters;
thought, ideas, intuitions, solutions, and doing what people love. A quote that I like
from last week from William Gibson, who’s a great famous writer, “Google is made of
us, a sort of coral reef of human minds and their products.” So, I would say to you that
the opportunity is before all of us. You, as you work here diligently, as you graduate,
as you go off and make your mark in society here in France and abroad of course, it’s
our opportunity together to use all of these technology and all of these information to
really make the world a much better place. So with that, thank you very much.

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