Idea of ‘device’ almost outdated, says Google CEO

By Barry Eitel

SAN FRANCISCO (AA) – The chief executive of Google claimed Thursday that the concept of a “device” will soon no longer be relevant for the future of computing, which will be fueled by artificial intelligence.

The statements came in Sundar Pichai’s annual Founder’s Letter to shareholders that explains where the company, now under the auspices of parent conglomerate Alphabet, is headed.

While this generation may have been defined by mobile devices, computing in the near future will reach ubiquity.

“Just a decade ago, computing was still synonymous with big computers that sat on our desks,” Pichai wrote. “Then, over just a few years, the keys to powerful computing — processors and sensors — became so small and cheap that they allowed for the proliferation of supercomputers that fit into our pockets: mobile phones. Android has helped drive this scale: it has more than 1.4 billion 30-day-active devices — and growing.”

Google has spent huge quantities of time and money into A.I., or artificial intelligence, with the end goal of creating virtual assistants that can provide users with whatever they want and interact seamlessly through different devices.

DeepMind, a firm owned by Google, recently celebrated a major victory in March. Its AlphaGo computer became the first computer to beat a professional player in Go, an ancient Chinese game considered the most complex ever created.

Mastering A.I., Google believes, will help people instantaneously pinpoint data ranging from health information to local school schedules to photographs of loved ones to millions of other pieces of information.

“Looking to the future, the next big step will be for the very concept of the ‘device’ to fade away,” Pichai said. “Over time, the computer itself — whatever its form factor — will be an intelligent assistant helping you through your day. We will move from mobile first to an AI first world.”