CEO Pichai Says Google Takes Cautious Approach to AI

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the artificial intelligence (AI) race is a marathon, not a sprint.

“We’ve been cautious,” Pichai said in an interview with Bloomberg Monday (June 12). “There are areas where we’ve chosen not to be the first to put a product out. We’ve set up good structures around responsible AI. You will continue to see us take our time.”

Still, he acknowledged the significance of the recent explosion in AI’s popularity, with both his company and Microsoft devoting significant resources to the technology.

“It’s rare to find things which hit consumers and enterprises and all the way to countries,” said Pichai in the report. “The pace, the public excitement — it’s definitely a seminal moment.”

He told Bloomberg that Google’s AI products will be part of the “mainstream search experience,” stressing the need to get this project right.

“People come to us and type queries like, ‘What’s the Tylenol dosage for my 3-year-old?’” he said, per the report. “There’s no room to get that wrong.”

Pichai has made this argument before, including in an op-ed last month for the Financial Times.

“At Google, we’ve been bringing AI into our products and services for over a decade and making them available to our users,” he wrote. “We care deeply about this. Yet, what matters even more is the race to build AI responsibly and make sure that as a society we get it right.”

At the time, Microsoft had just announced plans to launch AI integrations across its entire Windows 11 platform, including the company’s most important software offerings. The move makes Windows 11 the first PC platform to provide centralized AI assistance for its consumer and enterprise software products.

PYMNTS reported at the time that Microsoft seemed to be trying to shrink what industry observers believe may be a perceived gap around its capabilities relative to Google’s.

In the Bloomberg interview, Pichai was asked about a comment from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who said his company’s AI-powered search efforts had prompted Google to “dance,” i.e. take steps to remain nimble.

“I think he said it so that you would ask me this question,” Pichai replied in the report. “It’s all part of the game.”