Google CEO Larry Page talked about his vision of the future and how the world's third-largest company can help realize a future replete with benevolent technology.
At the TED ideas conference during an interview with TV newsman Charlie Rose, Page outlined a unique vision of a future populated by ubiquitous artificial intelligence; self-driving cars and high-altitude balloons that bring the internet to the far corners of the world.
Page said this will all start with search, which is Google's unique expertise. But the experience has first to be improved.
He admitted that using computers remains a "clunky" experience and that "computing is kind of a mess."
"Your computer doesn't know where you are. It doesn't know what you're doing. It doesn't know what you know," he said.
His solution: we need better search.
Google is doing precisely this with tools like Google Now that try to anticipate what you need to know before you ask. But at the core of fixing search is Google's relentless pursuit of artificial intelligence. Page said Google had let machine-learning algorithms loose on YouTube's massive video library and watched as the computer "learned."
Astounding was Page's revelation of Google's ambition to create a "Worldwide Mesh" of internet connectivity by using huge balloons as wireless hot spots. Page was also elated about Google's self-driving cars project, which he hopes will someday transform the world's cities.
He believes that systematizing transportation will make it possible to use urban real estate for better things than parking lots and roads. "It's just crazy that that's what we use our space for," he said.
Page still believes that business is the best way to build his version of a better future. He believes today's companies have to change for the better, however.
"Companies are doing the same incremental thing that they did 50 years ago, 20 years ago. That's not really what we need. Especially in technology, we need revolutionary change, not incremental change."