Eric Schmidt January 11

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Speaking at a conference in New York today, Google chairman Eric Schmidt discussed how he believes artificial intelligence could one day help the world solve its “hard problems,” including issues like population growth, climate change, human development, and education. Schmidt explained that because of the fast pace at which AI technology is being developed, it can help scientists determine the relationship between the cause and effects of such issues by quickly analyzing large amounts of data (via Bloomberg).

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Eric Schmidt October 14, 2015

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Eric Schmidt October 7, 2015

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Lobbying group Citizens for Tax Justice has called out Google, Apple and Microsoft and others for what it described as “accounting tricks” in which companies “pretend” to be based overseas for tax purposes. The claims were made in a report entitled Offshore Shell Games 2015.

Many multinational corporations use accounting tricks to pretend for tax purposes that a substantial portion of their profits are generated in offshore tax havens, countries with minimal or no taxes where a company’s presence may be as little as a mailbox. Multinational corporations’ use of tax havens allows them to avoid an estimated $90 billion in federal income taxes each year.

Google’s overseas tax arrangements came under fire in the UK back in 2013 when it was revealed that the company paid just £6M ($9.4M) on a UK turnover of £395M ($620M), claiming that all its advertising sales were made by staff in Ireland (a claim later challenged) …

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9to5mac 

Eric Schmidt September 14, 2015

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Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, has made a thinly-veiled attack on Apple Music in a BBC op-ed on artificial intelligence. He described human-curated music selections as a decade out of data and an elitist approach.

A decade ago, to launch a digital music service, you probably would have enlisted a handful of elite tastemakers to pick the hottest new music.

Today, you’re much better off building a smart system that can learn from the real world – what actual listeners are most likely to like next – and help you predict who and where the next Adele might be … 

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Eric Schmidt May 27, 2015

The long-running dispute between Oracle and Google over whether Java application programming interfaces (APIs) used within Android were protected by copyright has taken another strange turn, with the Justice Dept urging the Supreme Court not to hear Google’s appeal.

The legal battle is over whether small sections of code originally written by Oracle’s predecessor, Sun Microsystems, can be used under the ‘fair use’ exemption to copyright laws. Google argues that it used only small code snippits, did so mostly for consistency and offered to pay royalties; Oracle argues that the code is its intellectual property, and the royalties offered were too low …  expand full story

Eric Schmidt April 1, 2015

atp

ATP head Regina Dugan with some of her 100-strong team

Google’s mobile-focused research group, Advanced Technology and Projects (ATP), gives projects a maximum of two years’ work before they are killed, adopted as official Google products or sold to outside companies, reports the WSJ.

The deadline was created by former DARPA head Regina Dugan in an attempt to counter the normal tendency of companies to grow less nimble and more bureaucratic as they grow in size, said Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Product cycles slow down as a company gets larger. All of us believe we could execute faster […] 

We like this model because it puts pressure on people to perform and do relevant things or stop. I’ve spent an awful lot of time on projects that never end and products that would never ship.

The company is ruthless about killing off projects which don’t deliver notable results, said Dugan, who was hired by Google in 2012, and it doesn’t always let them run as long as two years …  expand full story

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