At Sundar Pichai’s Google, AI Is Everything—And Everywhere


Whether we like it or not, today Google determines many aspects of our lives everyday. So, it makes sense to know what Sundar Pichai has been up to in the last 1 year and his vision for future of Google.

From early in Pichai’s days at Google, he was known as a low-key manager who tackled projects of ever-increasing scale with quiet persistence. “He was always given the toughest problems,” says Fox, who points to Pichai’s spearheading of the Chrome web browser as a career-defining success. When Google started work on Chrome in 2006, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer had more than 80% of the market. The simpler, speedier Chrome went on to become the world’s most-used browser; even Microsoft eventually gave up on IE, ditching it for the decidedly Chrome-like Edge.

That unlikely victory helps explain the fearlessness with which Google is now taking on entrenched products: Google Home vs. Echo, Google Assistant vs. Siri, Allo vs. Facebook Messenger. “Sundar didn’t ask, ‘How can you compete with Internet Explorer?’ ” says Fox. “He said, ‘We think we can build a better web browser. Let’s go do that.’ ”

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Harry McCracken — FC

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