That’s a great segue from the previous question. I think it’s been difficult. We had Google Health, but we didn’t make that much progress on it. I think primarily we found that all the issues were regulatory. It’s very hard to get technological leverage there. I was talking about how we’re one percent where we can be. That’s by doing real, amazing technological things. And, you know, we found in the kinds of things we were working on in health care, we weren’t able to move beyond that due to all the constraints that we were under. And so I think we’ll see amazing things in health care, but I think they’ll be things that have technological leverage, like DNA sequencing. We’re all going to have that. It’ll cost a dollar or whatever, you’re all going to have your sequence, and something amazing will happen.
I just disclosed yesterday my voice issues. I got so many great emails from people. And thoughtful advice. And I realized, you know, I kind of had the notion that stuff should be really private, but at least in my case I felt I should have done it sooner. And I’m not sure if that answer’s not true for most people. So I asked, why are people so focused on keeping your medical history private? The answer is probably insurance. You’re very worried that you’re going to be denied insurance. That makes no sense! So we should change the rules around insurance, so they have to insure people. The whole point of insurance is that it insures everyone.
So again, maybe we have a safe place where people can go and live in a world like that, where they make those kind of changes. We can see if they work, and then the world can learn from that and move on, but not everybody has to participate in it. Because I’m worried we’re not making some of the fundamental changes we need to make fast enough.
John Sarriugarte with Form and Reform: Women and the development community. What can we do to encourage women to be here?
We’ve been super focused on that forever. I think Sergei and I, when we’re interviewing people, we spend a lot of time interviewing women for that reason. Trying to make sure the company didn’t end up all male, which I think is a really, really bad thing. So I think ultimately, the only answer is we have to start early and make sure we’re getting more young women and girls really excited about technology. And I think if we do that, there’s no question we’ll more than double the rate of progress that we have in the technology world.
So we all need to do that. We’re trying to help with that that in any way we can.
Jeffrey Sica, University of Michigan: Are you going to do anything with DNA sequencing, and also image analysis with things like surgical slides?
I don’t have anything to announce at this time, but we always look at these areas. But I think we have felt it’s a difficult area for us to work in. I think it’s certainly worth doing, though.
Josh Constine, TechCrunch: Discuss Google’s plan for bringing the developing world online? And what are the impacts of democratized access to the Internet?
One of the things I always talk about when I talk to the company is that smartphones are going to basically be amazing in these places. And so, you don’t quite have smartphones, for example, going into India or Africa, because they’re just too expensive. The average cost of a phone in India is very, very cheap. $50 or $100 or less. I think more like $50. We need to make sure the prices of what we all are using quickly make it down to those levels, and I think they will. That’ll be the smartphone you have today, two or three years from now will be in Africa and India, and that’ll be amazing. Because I try to mostly use smartphones now, just to make sure I’m living that future. I find I can get almost everything I need done. Unfortunately, I don’t get to program that much, but I can do most things I need to do to run the company on my phone.
So I think that’s pretty amazing, to think that that can go to three billion, four billion, five billion, six billion, seven billion plus, in not very long period of time. And I think people are probably underestimating how fast that’s going to happen. I think it’s clearly going to happen very, very quickly. And I’m really, really excited about that. We’re trying to help that happen quicker. But I’m very excited about that.
Thank you all so much for spending so much time.
This story, "Hello, Larry! Google's Page on negativity, laws, and competitors" was originally published by TechHive.