On Sept. 4, 1998, Stanford University grad students Larry Page and Sergey Brin launched a business with a grandiose mission: to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Twenty-five years later, that business—Google—has achieved their goal to a stunning degree.
In a letter to mark the anniversary, which the company will officially celebrate later this month, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and parent Alphabet, writes that “Google today is more than a search box. We have 15 Google products that each serve more than half a billion people and businesses, and six that serve more than 2 billion users each.”
At the same time, he notes, “search is still at the core of our mission, and it’s still our biggest moonshot with so much more to do. … With AI, we have the opportunity to do things that matter on an even larger scale.”
Others wonder, however, if Google is positioned to lead in the AI era. In a leaked memo posted in May, a Google engineer wrote: "We have no secret sauce (for AI). Our best hope is to learn from and collaborate with what others are doing outside Google."
But as the BBC reports, most tech experts have a different message: Don’t count Google out.
Online gig work is growing around the globe, creating an important source of employment for women and young people in poorer countries where jobs are scarce, according to a World Bank report released today, AP reports. Demand for gig work increased 41 percent between 2016 and the first quarter of 2023. The report also outlines how social insurance coverage is low among gig workers globally.
Google parent Alphabet has reached a tentative settlement with a coalition of states to resolve antitrust litigation, the Wall Street Journal reports. States filed suit against the tech giant in July 2021, alleging that Google’s app store practices were blocking competition, chiefly with a requirement that apps distributed through the store use a Google payment system that collects a 15 percent to 30 percent service fee on sales.
Slack last month started rolling out what is arguably its biggest redesign ever—and the reaction online suggests a lot of users don't like it. But Inc. magazine columnist Jason Aten writes that "Slack isn't just redesigning the interface, it's reimagining the way you use the product." He believes the redesign solves Slack's biggest problem: an accumulation of features that made it harder to sift through what's actually important.
"An essential truth of innovation is that the moment you push the boundary of a technology, it soon goes from extraordinary to ordinary. That’s why Google has never taken our success for granted."
—Sundar Pichai, Google and Alphabet CEO