CEO of Google
In a wide-ranging interview at the WSJ Tech Live conference that touched on topics like the future of remote work, A.I. innovation, employee activism, and even misinformation on YouTube, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai also shared his thoughts on the state of tech innovation in the U.S. and the need for new regulations. Specifically, Pichai argued for the creation of a federal privacy standard in the U.S., similar to the GDPR in Europe. He also suggested it was important for the U.S. to stay ahead in areas like A.I., quantum computing, and cybersecurity, particularly as China’s tech ecosystem further separates itself from Western markets.
In recent months, China has been undergoing a tech crackdown which has included a number of new regulations designed to combat tech monopolies, limit customer data collection, and create new rules around data security, among other things. Although many major U.S. tech companies, Google included, don’t provide their core services in China, some who did are now exiting — like Microsoft, which just this month announced its plan to pull LinkedIn from the Chinese market.
Pichai said this sort of decoupling of Western tech from China may become more common.
He also said it would be important to stay ahead in areas where the U.S. and China compete, like A.I., quantum computing, and cybersecurity, noting that Google’s investments in these areas come at a time when governments were slightly pulling back on “basic R&D funding.”
The government has limited resources and it needs to focus. but all of us are benefiting from foundational investments from 20 to 30 years ago — which is what a lot of the modern tech innovation is based on, and we take it for granted a bit, … So when I look at beat semiconductor supply chain [and] quantum…the government can play a key role, both in terms of policies and allowing us to bring in the best talent from anywhere in the world, or participating with universities and creating some of the longer-term research areas,Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai
In the wake of increased cyberattacks across borders, Pichai said that the time had come for a sort of “Geneva Convention equivalent” for the cyber world, adding that governments should put security and regulation higher on their agendas.
CEO of Google