Google exec: technology wave leaving many behind

Jun 19, 2012 by BLAKE SOBCZAK

(AP) — Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt on Tuesday warned that vast numbers of the world's population are missing out on the advantages brought by the Internet.

Schmidt said that about 2 billion people, less than a third of the world's population, have Internet access, and 1 billion have smartphones.

"The World Wide Web has yet to live up to its name," he said. "Technology does not produce miracles, but connectivity, even in modest amounts, changes lives."

Schmidt served as Google's chief executive from 2001 to 2011, leading it through its initial public offering and transforming it into one of the world's largest and most influential companies. He stepped down as CEO last year and has been executive chairman since then. Google turned into a huge company "with its goal of making information accessible to the masses," he said.

Schmidt was in Israel to attend an annual conference sponsored by President Shimon Peres. Despite his concerns, Schmidt delivered an optimistic message, saying that the tremendous growth of smartphones can quickly reduce the gaps between haves and have-nots.

"All of us are blessed with a capacity for innovation_connectivity will help unlock that potential," he said. He pointed to the Internet's ever-widening reach and its educational potential, citing the Khan Academy's 3,000 video lessons on YouTube. The Khan Academy, which receives funding from Google, is a nonprofit organization that offers free online lectures in subjects ranging from physics to American history and algebra.

Schmidt also warned about Internet privacy, saying the "lack of a delete button" online meant incriminating posts could spell disaster for unwary Web users. "If you upload a video of your young friend drunk without their permission, you may be ruining their life."

Israel is a high-tech powerhouse and hosts research operations for many of the world's top technology companies, including Google.

During his visit, Schmidt met with Peres and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and presented the two with digital photos of the Dead Sea Scrolls in commemoration of a project that has preserved portions of the ancient collection online.

Netanyahu's office said the two men also discussed cooperation in medicine, science and defense against cyber-attacks.

Explore further: NBCUniversal settles with unpaid interns for $6.4M

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google sees Android enhancing home appliances

Jan 11, 2012

Google's Android software is best known for powering smartphones, but executive chairman Eric Schmidt sees a future where it could also help devices communicate at home.

Eric Schmidt defends Google, mourns Jobs' death

Nov 08, 2011

(AP) -- Google chairman Eric Schmidt on Tuesday defended his company as a great innovator despite allegations from late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs that the Internet search giant stole ideas from Apple's ...

Google to set up YouTube channel for Korean pop

Nov 07, 2011

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt agreed Monday to set up a YouTube channel exclusively for South Korean pop music, as he began a visit aimed at expanding his company's presence in the country.

Recommended for you

NBCUniversal settles with unpaid interns for $6.4M

3 hours ago

NBCUniversal will pay $6.4 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by unpaid interns who worked on "Saturday Night Live" and other shows who claim they are owed wages, according to court documents.

States ascend into the cloud

4 hours ago

Seven years ago, the state of Delaware started moving computer servers out of closets and from under workers' desks to create a consolidated data center and a virtual computing climate.

Microsoft drops Nokia name from smartphones

6 hours ago

Microsoft said Friday it was dropping the Nokia name from its Lumia smartphones, rebranding following the acquisition earlier this year of the Finnish group's handset division.

Amazon's loss makes holidays a question mark

6 hours ago

Amazon's trademark smile icon is becoming more of a grimace. The world's largest online retailer reported a wider third-quarter loss than analysts expected and gave a disappointing holiday forecast.

Ericsson profit down 10 pct despite higher sales

10 hours ago

Wireless equipment maker Ericsson says its third-quarter earnings slumped 10 percent despite higher sales due to increased operating costs and negative effects from currency hedging.

User comments : 0