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Google co-founder Sergey Brin: I didn’t see AI coming

Sergey Brin,

the co-founder of Google and one of the most successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, says he did not foresee the revolution that has transformed the tech industry.

“I didn’t pay attention to it at all, to be perfectly honest,” he said in a session at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.

“Having been trained as a computer scientist in the 90s, everybody knew that didn’t work. People tried it, they tried neural nets and none of it worked.”

Fast-forward a few years and Google Brain, the company’s research project, has advanced so much that it now, as Brin put it, “touches every single one of our main projects, ranging from search to photos to ads … everything we do.

“The revolution in deep nets has been very profound, it definitely surprised me, even though I was sitting right there.”

Google co-founder Sergey Brin: I didn’t see AI comingWhere will take us?

Now that is here to stay, its future and potential uses have become even more difficult to predict.

“What can these things do? We don’t really know the limits,” said Brin. “It has incredible possibilities. I think it’s impossible to forecast accurately.”

In Davos for the first time in eight years, Brin also said that he’s shocked by the level of ambition surrounding the possibilities of where machine could take us. “I feel like the Luddite in the room,” he said.

is the natural continuation of the industrialization of the past 200 years, Brin added, but what does this mean for education, skills and employment?

This is also difficult to predict. “I would hope that, as some of the more mundane tasks are alleviated through technology, that people will find more and more creative and meaningful ways to spend their time,” Brin said.  […]

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