We all know that Google is more than just a search engine. Android is the leading smartphone platform, Gmail is the best email client and Google Photos is the best photo service available on the web. Then you’ve got Google Maps, Google Play Music, and the list goes on. In Google’s annual Founder’s Letter, Sundar Pichai shared that the company will continue to push in different directions, emphasizing enterprise cloud solutions and artificial intelligence.
Google has been in the cloud computing game for some time, but the company is finally ready to offer enterprise-level solutions which would compete with Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure cloud platforms. While the company doesn’t currently make a lot of money in this market segment, Pichai believes its enterprise business could grow larger than its search business by the time 2020 rolls around. Needless to say, Google’s ready to tap into the billions of dollars that are being tossed around in the corporate cloud computing arena.
Even with Google’s new enterprise growth objectives, the company is still working hard to ensure that consumers have the information they need, exactly at the right time. Initially, Google delivered on that promise by building the world’s best search engine, but Sundar Pichai believes that artificial intelligence is where Google can really distinguish itself from the competition. “We’ve been investing in machine learning and AI for years, but I think we’re at an exceptionally interesting tipping point where these technologies are really taking off. That is very, very applicable to businesses as well. So thoughtfully doing that externally we view as a big differentiator we have over others.”
For the past few years, Google’s big push has been to get Android-powered devices into as many hands as possible. Google’s been dabbling in AI for the past few year with Google Now, image recognition, search and video recommendations, but the company seems poised to give AI a leading role in more of its services.
That’s just the start, though… Google’s CEO expects AI to supplant mobile in technological importance:
“Looking to the future, the next big step will be for the very concept of the ‘device’ to fade away,” Pichai wrote. “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.”
It would have been nice if Sundar Pichai’s bold statement had been used to announce a new AI-driven service, but there’s a good chance that we’ll see some exciting AI developers at Google I/O next month. How do you think Google’s push into AI will change Android, Google’s services and the way we interact with our connected devices?
Watch the entire Q1 2016 Earnings Call below: