Wir haben hier die Rede von Noch-Google-CEO Eric Schmidt auf der DLD 2011 dokumentiert. Das Video gibt es auf der offiziellen DLD-Webseite. Mit dieser Rede haben wir uns in dem Artikel “Die Google-Vision des Mr. Schmidt” auseinander gesetzt. Hier ist der Audiomitschnitt und unser Transkript:[audio:/audio/2011/01-dld/20110125ericschmidt.mp3]
I wanted to take a moment to praise Dr. Burda – and I think your whole family I’ve now met – for what you have accomplished with this event and what you have accomplished in Europe and in technology in general. I don’t know of a better done invitation-only event that draws the mixture of talent and IQ from around the globe as the one you have founded. So my congratulations to you.
OK. And your wife and family. OK, thank you. Thank you. I hope you do this for many, many, many years to come. I have a lot of things that I wanted to talk about. I wanted to start by making a – I have a real talk to talk about. But I wanted to make an important announcement about Google. You know, we had a very, very good year and a very strong quarter and so forth. We’ve looked in this year and in particular in our prospects for growth in Europe.
And our businesses globally are doing well, both our core business as well as our adjacent businesses – our hockey stick businesses, as we call them. It’s all very, very good. And as a result, we’ve decided to make some pretty significant investments. And I’m very happy to announce that we’re going to add more than a thousand employees in Europe this year.
We are going to invest in Europe. To give an example, we’re going to invest hundreds of people in Germany. And we have a very large Munich engineering center, which is incredible technology, which we’re also going to be expanding. So, it’s a nice, nice – it’s a good reason to be in Germany, it’s a good reason to be here. I think all of you understand the German miracle and the sort of tremendous success of the country and what they’ve been able to accomplish. And we’re going to continue to invest for all of those good reasons.
What I really would like to do is to talk about the next decade and how technology and the world we live in will change. And I’m very personally excited about my next decade at Google. I think it’s even going to be better than the last decade at Google. So, from my perspective, this is a pretty good plan. Right? And this is what I want to work on. And I have a feeling that all of us are going to be working on this together.
And what’s interesting about this new model is everything is changing again. And I’ve absolutely become convinced that we’re getting to the point where technology is finally going to actually serve us. In my whole career, I felt like I was serving the technology. It was always me who had to fix the computer. Right? Everybody here can relate to that. And I think finally now we’re going to get to the point where the technology does what we want. And that’s what I want to talk about.
And so let me suggest a happiness theorem. That computers will finally make it be possible for us to do the things we actually want to do. Right? So, to be with other people. Right? People you love, people you care about, people you enjoy — to find happiness in general. And to make the world a better place. There are lots of examples of this.
There’s a company called Ushahidi, which is crowd sourcing information around the globe. In fact, they’re here. Raise your hand. Yeah. And what’s interesting about them is they started off in Kenya basically around disasters. But the principle, the underlying architecture of using crowd sourced information is incredibly powerful. Because people know what’s going on in their environment. And we can finally collect that information and use it to figure out what’s really going on, as opposed to what people think is going on. There are lots and lots of examples. Haiti, Russia, cleanups in New York and Boston, the snow, and so forth and so on.
Another example has to do with the use of telemetry in medicine. There are projects now to take essentially real-time monitoring as you would know it and put it on mobile phones. It’s obviously better to have your phone monitor your vital signs if you’re an ill person or even if you’re a person worried about some medical thing than anything else. Because your phone is always on and always with you. Right? Makes perfect sense. This is a material change. It has a huge impact on the cost structure of medicine, quality of care, all those kinds of things. And you could do it with all sorts of ways. You could do it with wireless sensors, you could do it with touch sensors, and so forth. All of those things are in development.
It’s interesting that another developer for Android, a single developer, developed glasses for Android where you basically put them on and it translates what you see in the Android camera into the way that people who are colorblind see color. So, literally looking through the camera, they can see color that they could not before. I didn’t even think this was possible. There’s so many examples when you take computing and you take the perspective that it’s supposed to serve us.
Now, this is accelerating and it seems like it’s accelerating faster, and faster, and faster, and faster. Fundamentally because technology underneath is accelerating, because of all sorts of interesting network effects. And there’s sort of three that I wanted to sort of talk about. In the area of mobile, the smart phone is more than the iconic device of our time. The smart phone is the device of our time. And smart phones in all forms, and I’m including tablets here in way or the other. There are all sorts of examples of this. Everybody has this.
A simple example. If you have a child, your child is asleep or online. There are only two states of children now. Right? Right? I don’t think… And in fact, if they wake up in the middle of the night, what do they do? They’re online. You check. Trust me, it’s true. They’re doing whatever children do online at their appropriate ages, but you get the idea. And it’s interesting that in two years, smart phone sales will surpass PC sales. The growth rates are faster. It’s a larger market. All of that kind of stuff.
And what’s interesting is that we’ve been tracking the mobile web and the mobile web is growing eight times faster than the equivalent PC desktop web at the same point in its history. So, not only is it growing fast, it’s growing faster and it’s coming at us faster. At Google, we see this in our own data. You see it in the sense of excitement, and mobility, and activity, and startups, and the people who came here at the conference.
And one of the things that has this implication is that most people will now find – the majority of humans will get themselves online with a mobile device, not with a PC. And this is beginning to be true, just as it was true 10 years ago that you could see that the average person would not have a land line. They would just have a mobile phone to talk, for the same principle they’re now not going to have PCs. They’re going to have mobile devices of one kind or another that are tethered to that information, using them for all of the obvious reasons.
And if you think you like your mobile phone, imagine a person who’s never had a computer at all and they get a modern smart phone connected to an overloaded local area network. Think about what that does to their ability to – the change, just the binary change of information from the local context of their village to literally all of the world’s information.
So, this mobile revolution, which I call “Mobile First,” right, the simple guideline is whatever you’re doing, do mobile first. And what I’ve noticed is that the top developers, the smartest, young, typically young, stereotypically young firms, they’re doing mobile things first. They start with the presumption of connectivity, location, and locality and interaction in a way that my generation never foresaw. And it turns out pervasive connectivity – another trend I want to highlight – the mobile computing is going hand in hand with this amazing amount of data networking that we have.
And what’s interesting is I would argue that devices that are not connected to the Internet are not interesting anymore. Right? So, you have one of these sort of stored music players. Not very interesting. Take the same stored music player, connect it to a WiFi network to a music server of one kind or another, and all of a sudden it’s incredibly interesting. So, take every single device you know that has some form of a CPU in it and start thinking, “I want it connected to my WiFi network.” And that’s one way to think about the next few years.
And the networks, by the way, the telcos who are spending gobs and gobs of capital are now fundamentally deploying a next generation of network called LTE for Long Term Evolution. It’s rated at 50 megabits. The measured performance is between eight and 10 megabits, and I think that’s a realistic expectation. For those of you that are working on 3G networks, you’ll typically get about a megabit. In Europe you’ll get two and in the US you’ll get one, because the US is always half of Europe – but you get the idea.
It’s on the order of an order of magnitude improvement, and the LTE standard, again, developed here and in Sweden. The combination of two will roll through the rest of the world over the next year or two. And amazingly, the United States is also going to be getting this.
So, for me, I remember thinking, “If I could just have a pervasive one megabit, I would be happy.” Right? I remember spending years thinking, “All I want is one megabit everywhere I go.” And the reason is because I wanted to be able to do my email with some speed and handle all of the attachments people sent me. It makes sense.
Well, now I want my 10 megabits. What could I do with my 10 megabits? Interactive video. Reasonably compressed, reasonably real-time interactive video. And there are technologies in development which will allow, for example, automatic transcoding and all of the other things that are necessary to make that kind of video seamless and so forth and so on. It’s all happening in the next year.
What’s interesting, by the way, is Germany – since we’re here in Germany – is really the leader in LTE deployment here in Europe and will be the first European country to have LTE on the 800 megahertz spectrum, which is indeed one of the sort of core spectrum that everybody uses. And one of the interesting estimates is that there’s about 35 billion devices now connected to the Internet. No one really knows. Because if every device gets connected to the Internet, we’ll stop counting, which is where we’re going.
The third component that I wanted to talk about had to do with cloud computing. Now, I talked about the mobile devices and everybody talks about their mobile devices. But they never give credit to the back end, to the infrastructure guys, to the servers that are doing all of that. But it goes hand in hand. A typical example. So, we’ve just launched a voice translation product that allows you to go to speak into your phone in your language and it comes out of somebody else’s phone in another language. Oh my god! Does this actually work?
So, we test it with our employees who speak multiple languages and it seems to work. And, you know, it’s the old thing of when you see something which is magic, and of course you know it really isn’t magic, you have to say like, “How did this happen?” It really is a wow moment. So how it actually works is when you talk to the phone — of course, there’s a computer inside the phone which digitizes your voice — and it doesn’t do very much. It just sends your voice to some servers. How many servers? Hm, about a thousand, which you didn’t pay for, which is a separate discussion.
It sends it to a thousand servers and what do they do? They vote. Right? They vote in a complex way. And they say, “What do we think this thing is? We think it’s English. We think it’s an English speaker. We think we understand the structure of English. They turn it into text. Then they send it to another set of computers. Those computers say, “Ha, this is English text. We know how to translate from English text to German text.
Then they send it to another set of computers which take German text and they get it ready to send it to the other fellow’s phone. Now how long does that take? Less than the blink of an eye. That’s what’s so amazing. And does it work on every language? It will eventually work on 100 by 100, and it requires relatively little training, and it’s done using statistical machine translation so it scales. And it works against any language because of all the things that we know about language.
To me, we’ve talked it years. I mean, you think about wars that have been started because people couldn’t communicate. Now finally at least we have a shot at miscommunication through digital translation. Right? But at least people will be talking and trying to appreciate the differences in their scenarios.
Another example, here in Munich you take a picture of the famous church. The phone tells you the name of the church and where you are. How does it do that? Well, takes a picture, digitizes the picture, sends it to a set of computers. What do they do? They vote. OK? Is this the picture of an animal, mineral, vegetable? Ah, looks like a building, looks like a landmark, so forth. And then they do essentially an image map to pictures of things and they do a conformal mapping to what the image is and then they tell you what it is. It works remarkably well. It works really well on a lot of things.
So all of a sudden it’s not just the phone but the phone and all those supercomputers together on this pervasive network. And that’s cloud computing in the way that we will all experience it.
So you can do other things, you can take your phone and virtually ski downhill from in Vancouver on the Olympic runs. And it’ll set that up for you so you can have fun. You’re bored. You’re sitting in the airport. I’ll go skiing in Vancouver, whatever. You get the idea. If you want to look at historical imagery of Munich’s in the postwar construction, you can go from satellite photos all the way back from 1943 and watch the city get rebuilt, and expand, and become the great city it is today.
So the point here is this is not just one product. It’s the mobile device, it’s the network, it’s the platform, it’s the software architectures we can talk about if you’re interested; how you actually build all these software architectures and they’re all real now. Now this is not a new term, Bill Gates talked about it in 1990. He called it information at your fingertips. His quote was, “Information at your fingertips, all the information that someone might be interested in including the information they can’t even get today.”
We’ve been talking about this stuff for decades and, finally, now the technology has caught up with the marketing and the vision and so forth and so on. And that’s what you’re seeing. You’re seeing the generational focus on making this real.
So now of course we can digitize everything. So we at Google are busy digitizing dead sea scrolls because we’re worried that some of them are going to literally go away because of atmospherics. And if you think about it, computers can give you digital senses that you did not even have, hearing and speaking, and even understanding. So all of a sudden the computers are not the same as people, but they can really go back to that notion of making our lives easier. Think of them as augmented humanity, making us better. Making us better humans, making us where we want to go.
It’s interesting, these locational ware apps, and everyday there’s a surprise. So the latest one is a locational ware app which when you are walking by the street, it reminds you what errand you need based on the stores that are near you. So, oh, there’s a dry-cleaner to the right. You should be taking your dry-cleaning to this. One idea after another, something useful for everybody everyday.
Now it’s interesting, this has a political component which is quite significant. A political activist and blogger in Tunisia who had been arrested two weeks ago happened to have his phone on. And he let people know where he was, which was, by the way, in prison, using Google Latitude. Obviously not something to joke about. He was in custody inside the government building. As the revolution occurred he was freed. Today, he is a government minister of that country. That’s how fast this stuff changes, and imagine what that did for this gentleman.
We have a project that we just started in Sudan, going back to this crowd-sourcing notion, of trying to crowd source satellite imagery. You publish all the satellite images and you get people to tell you what’s really going on. So something very, very serious of course is the Sudanese Referendum. George Clooney and a team have organized this project and what they’re trying to do is to monitor the claims of the competing sides as to what’s going on with respect to the amassing of soldiers. And you might imagine that the claims being made by the various government sides do not completely conform with reality as recorded on our satellite pictures. Right?
Very, very interesting. Very, very powerful. Who knows what this will do, but transparency helps a lot. So to me what this says is that there’s a new possible definition for Google, coming back to what we do. So what drives us? The simple thing is, we basically want to give you your time back. Right? We want it to basically just speed matters. We want to make search faster. We want to make example after example. We did a thing called Google Instant, so just literally a few seconds shaved off of the searches that you do, we figured out that two to five seconds was like a hundred thousand man years in the world, or something like this.
So again, small changes like that have huge implications in terms of peoples time. Now available, by the way, in 40 countries. We did something called Instant Previews where when you mouse over you’ll see previews of all the pages. This requires huge amounts of computation by the way, which again, fortunately we have. And again, that saves you just that extra half second of trying to figure out what you care about.
So where does it go? Well I think it becomes more personal. And by the way, I need about 100 times, more personal with your permission. Right? It’s very, very important to understand the boundary of anonymity and personal, and the right choice, of course, is to let you decide where that boundary is. So an example would be, with your permission, integrating personal contacts, personal emails, personal network of people and all your relationships to them. Again, with your permission.
So imagine, since now I’ve given permission to Google, permission knows who I am, as I wander the streets of Munich my phone is the perfect walking companion. It knows where I’ve been. It knows what I care about. It suggests things. I happen to like airplanes so it says, did you know that there’s a Hansa jet here at the local museum? You would like that. Talk about personal service, pretty interesting.
And it can also understand what I mean. When I say, “What’s the weather like?” Am I saying, should I wear a raincoat, or am I saying, do I need to water the plants. You can go from syntax to semantic, from words to meaning, if you know more about the person, with their permission, with them signing into it.
And so the sum of that is that search continues to be very important and in the mobile opportunity, is just as large. The Android platform, which you all know about, is selling more than 300,000 activations per day. That number is growing very quickly and the current number is quite a bit higher than that. And the numbers, so you know, are 145 devices, 27 OEM partners, 169 carriers, and 96 countries, so it’s very much a global phenomena. And what’s interesting is that the device searches that we see have grown by a factor of 10 on Android in one year — shows you how powerful this model really is.
Chrome, people know about the Chrome browser, and you may have used that, getting a lot of momentum. It has more than a 120 million active users, up three times in the past year. Again, growth rate faster than everybody else. And the release is also six times faster than the one that we released two years ago. So again, you have a combination of speed and reach which we think is how these platforms get things.
And what’s interesting about the browser, while I’m talking about browser in the context of this revolution, a deeper integration with a browser allows for more autonomy. Historically the browsers, the browsers that you all use, are not full fledged platforms that we would like them to be. But there have been technical breakthroughs in the software architecture, which allow you now to build extremely powerful, dynamic applications that are browser resident. The technical name for this is called HTML5, and there’s a set of libraries and so forth that are now being brought out in the industry. So it’s true for all of the browser uses and all the browsers that adopt HTML5.
A few more things about how this plays out. I’ve talked about technology and people. I haven’t talked about money. The other component, of course, of these is the large markets and the large, in our case, advertising markets that can be aggregated. It’s interesting that YouTube, for example, is taking 35 hours of video uploaded every minute. Think about it. You’ll never watch it, you’ll never watch it all. It’s hard for us to watch it all to make sure it’s appropriate, more than two billion views per day. But our business is also booming. Right? We have something more than two billion monetized views per week in YouTube, and at the scale of YouTube this is a very large audience business.
Now our display business, another aspect of our business, has more than two million publisher partners and is fast on it’s way to being a very, very large business for Google. So my point is that not only do you need to have a computer architecture, a consumer architecture, and a value that you’re offering, but you also need to have a monetization platform. So let me see if I can put this into some context for how this is going to play out.
When you look at innovation and you look at innovation historically, it’s pretty clear that the Internet is probably the greatest disrupter of all time. It’s certainly in the league with some of the key inventions over the last 100 years. The Schumpeter quote is, “Capitalism inevitably leads to a perennial gale of creative destruction.” Right? We all sort of understand this.
The interesting thing about the Internet is it has replaced the economics of scarcity with the economics of abundance. Now the economics of scarcity have to do with the ability to have pricing power — you hold things back, you restrict them, you have subscription, and so forth and so on. The economics of abundance are that you’re everywhere. You’re everywhere all the time and you count it one by one.
Now, why is this true? It’s not some mad plot – it has to do with the technology. Because the marginal cost of distribution on the Internet, because of the compound investment that’s been made is so low. And it’s going through industry after industry after industry, and these are very hard problems. I don’t want to make it any easier. And imagine a situation – I’ll give an example.
The Australians, who are very far away, if we just understand them – and they’re a very large country – have just announced a policy that 93 percent of the citizens of Australia within the next four years will have fiber to their home and office. That fiber technically is capable of running at least a gigabit per second. The 93 percent has to do with the seven percent that are in very rural areas, it’s hard to reach them with fiber. But most countries, including all of the ones we live in, are pretty city centric. And so you could do this in the cities.
What does it mean to have a gigabit per second connection? It means that every distinction that you think of in terms of media distribution goes away. HD television, video conferencing, radio, DVR. All of those can be compressed into this single pipe. And it means that all of those economic models have to be adjusted. They don’t go away. It doesn’t come free or anything. I’m not suggesting that at all. But they have to change. They’re sold differently. They have different economics for the producers, different disintermediation for various of the players.
And to me, I look at this and this is both exciting and terrifying. All right. And it’s exciting because of the scale. It is now possible to reach a billion people worldwide literally every day. And many industries operate where we’re going to have 100,000 viewers or a million viewers. In the Internet you say, “Well, I want 50 million users or 100 million users.” And then at Google, people will come in and say this and I’ll say, “Do you have any idea how many people that is?” I remember when getting a 10,000 person audience, we were like really excited. Right? Shows you the scale of the world.
And one of the great things about being alive today is you can be a truly gullible citizen and understand how pervasive humanity, how incredibly rich and interesting all of us really are. But it’s also terrifying because all of this has to do with information, and information is the most powerful thing of all. And I don’t know exactly how society is going to sort out all the various conflicts that are obvious. And we all know what they are, whether they’re privacy, or incumbency, or regulatory, or so forth.
But I do know that people care a lot about it. And that this will be the subject of a lot of discussion and a lot of both political discussion as well as moral discussion as to the society coming along. Remember what I just said. If your children are awake, they are online, which means you don’t exactly know what they’re doing. I don’t think society has fundamentally figured out what to do about these things. And we’re going to need to as a society.
So, I want to finish by putting this into a context. I believe that we’re not at the end of something, but at the beginning of something much larger because of this platform that I’ve just described. All of us together, we now understand how to build these large audience businesses using very powerful technology. It’s really, really interesting. It’s just beginning based on this platform. It’s not ending, which is why I want you to keep doing this conference for so long. Because this is just literally the beginning of the implication of this in terms of humanity, which is I think what you and the people who put this together really care about.
Now, I’m a computer scientist, so my position is computer science can help us a lot. Such is my bias, I guess. But computer science can solve some pretty big problems; global warming, terrorism, financial transparency. Things that we’re all worried about, because those are information problems at some basic level. All right? And information problems, we can do those at scale, we as computer scientists. So, imagine a future where the following things are true. And by the way, this is a pretty near future. This is not a long time from now.
You don’t forget anything. I forget everything. Right? You’ll forget anything, because computers remember everything. They remember, again, with your permission. I have to add that. Where you’ve been, what you did. They keep your pictures around, so forth and so on. Did I like that hotel? Yeah, I stayed there a little while ago. No, I didn’t like that. I didn’t like the food. I like this food over here. I like that memory. Yeah, yeah, that person was over there when I walked over there. On and on and on. It remembers everything. OK? With your permission.
Another thing is, has anyone been lost recently? I used to love to get lost. You know, wandering around, not having an idea where I was. You know? Eventually you get found. It’s terrible. You cannot get lost anymore. Everyone here carries their mobile phone. Everyone with a mobile phone has Google Maps or one of the competitors. And you know exactly where you are down to the foot. You know your position down to the foot. And by the way, so do your friends. With your permission. Now, what can you do with that? Well, computers can predict whether you’re going to meet your friend or not as you walk. With your permission.
Now, people who love the earth can love it much more. I’ve been surprised at how powerful the Google Earth phenomena is in terms of the things that we now can know about the earth. And I think it’s obvious if you think about it. Everyone here cares about it a great deal. We have the ability now to know exactly what’s happening everywhere, all the time. Whether it’s geologic or people, or so forth and so on. That’s pretty important. So, as we face the very significant threat of climate change, which we know is real and we have to deal with it in some way. Right?
We’ve got a way of having a conversation that’s fact based. You can have all of the information of the world at your fingertips. And the important thing is it’s in your own language, right then and there. It’s never been possible before. So, I didn’t quite understand how powerful that was until you saw the development of what is Wikipedia, which is sort of one of the great inventions of mankind now, and all of the ancillary services that we all use.
By the way, you know what to pay attention to right now because we’ll help you sort it out, knowing what you care about, because there’s so much stuff coming at you. We can help suggest this, suggest that, as you wish. You’re never lonely. Right? When you’re traveling, you’re never lonely, right, because there’s always somebody to talk to online. Your friends travel with you now on your instant messaging and status, Facebook, and what have you. There’s always somebody to speak to and send a picture. And here I am running around at the DLD Conference or whatever and to post about.
And by the way, you’re never bored. Right? So, not only are you never lonely, you’re never bored. Instead of wasting time watching television, you waste your time being online. Right? And time wasting is a well known human activity that we all engage in — games, movies, videos — and, of course, we can help you choose which ones you want. And you’re never out of ideas. In fact, we can suggest based on what you do, and again, what you care about. And with your permission, what you could do next, where you could go, some new ideas for you. Imagine a world’s calender of events all there.
And by the way, what is this about this car thing? It’s amazing to me that they let humans drive cars. These things are very, very dangerous. Don’t you think computers should drive the cars with a human sort of watching the computer? I mean, think about it. And we’ve done is, we took seven Priuses, which we modified without a lot of permission and drove them over 1,000 miles, right, with a person sitting there with a button in case there was a software bug, which there was not. And now in Germany, there’s a problem with our approach, because the software engineers won’t let the car go faster than the speed limit. So, I don’t know how we’re going to do on the Autobahn.
But the fact of the matter is that it makes more sense to have the autopilot in the car via computer that knows the map, sees what in real-time is going on, and let the human sort of monitor it. More people will be alive, which is a pretty important thing in the world. And what I like the most about this, if you sort of saw – you know, never lonely, never bored, all the information at your fingertips, this is not the vision of the elite.
Historically, these kinds of technologies have been available to the elite and not for the common man. And if there was a trickle down, it would be a generation, or a decade, or 100 years. Information has historically been kept to the elite for various reasons. Hard to get at, difficult to understand, and so forth. This is a vision that is accessible to every single person on the planet.
So, to the degree that we’re all a member of a highly educated western elite, we’re going to be amazed at how smart and capable all those people are who did not have access to our standard of living, our universities, and our culture. And when they come, they’re going to teach us things that we didn’t know. And they are coming. And I’m very excited about that. The numbers are that there are on the order of a billion smart phones. And the growth rate outside of our area is faster than in ours. So, they’re coming and they’re coming fast.
And one of the great accomplishments of our generation is the lifting of a couple of billion people from poverty to middle class, mostly in Asia. And we should be very, very proud of that as citizens of the world. This is our next achievement, which is to bring them into this modern world, the world that we all live in, the world that we have built, and that the world that they will change. And I think for a largely very good world.
So, I would argue that the future of all of us, the future of this conference, the future of what we care about, should be organized around a future of trying to do good. That this platform that’s being built, that I’ve articulated I think fairly clearly, it’s pretty clear to me it’s going to happen. You feel it. You see it. Look at the projects that were presented here in the conference in the last two days. This is the future that gives people time back to do what matters – the things that they care about. Ideas, intuition, solutions, and doing what they love. And in many ways, it’s a future of poetry.
This is a quote from “The New York Times” from William Gibson. “Google is made of us a sort of coral reef of human minds and their products.” I’m very, very happy to be part of this. I’m happy they were all part of making this happen. And thank you so much for being part of it. So, thank you.