Google CEO: Vast Web changes coming within 5 years

Oct 21, 2009

(AP) -- A Web where Chinese is the dominant language, and connections are so fast that distinctions between audio, video and text are blurred is perhaps just five years away, the head of Google said Wednesday.

Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Google Inc., spoke to about 5,000 chief officers and information technology executives in Orlando for a technology conference.

"All of these distinctions will completely go away," he said. "We're not trying to design the future. We're trying to invent it along the way ... This is about inventing the future, and we score ourselves based on whether our customers like it."

Teens today consume information much differently on the and are able to juggle various forms of information seamlessly, he said. Streams of information will increase as connections grow faster, and if Web surfers feel as though they are drowning in information, it is because a fundamental shift is occurring to user-generated content. The success of sites such as and are examples of this shift, he said.

"You will tend to listen to other people," he said.

The problem, of course, is how to organize all the information, he said. It is the fundamental problem facing Google, a company offering many products but built on a Web search engine that trolls for information, gathers it and ranks it for users. Schmidt asked rhetorically how, for instance, might be able to rank a user's individual tweets.

Schmidt spoke at the Gartner Symposium/Itxpo at the Walt Disney World Dolphin and Swan Hotel. The four-day conference ends Thursday.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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User comments : 11

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2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 21, 2009
Yeah sure, chinese will be the dominant language... English is not going anywhere soon.
5 / 5 (2) Oct 21, 2009
He doesn't mean that English is going anywhere, he means that a whole bunch of people in China will have internet access.
5 / 5 (1) Oct 21, 2009
As it is today there are more people online in China than the entire population of the US. The amount of people online in China is projected to double in the next 5 years.

After that it just keeps going up. So there is the Chinese dominance.
1 / 5 (2) Oct 21, 2009
Did he consider the practical limits to his statement? Even if you give a computer to every household in China, you need a communication system that can handle it. The current telephone infrastructure in China in rural (and urban?) can't handle that kind of stress in addition to voice.

Infrastructure of say fiber-optic lines would need to be built up and reach more telephone sub stations. Or maybe put up more communication satellites to cover more people. Both will take more than 5 years!

Besides that, what incentive do most Chinese families have now to spend that much money on an internet enabled device?

Of course it will happen but not within 5 years. The number of sites created for Chinese users will increase but the user base won't increase that much in that time frame.
3 / 5 (2) Oct 22, 2009
Most Chinese live in cities, especially in the eastern part of China, so the infrastructure is already there or easy to build.
1 / 5 (4) Oct 22, 2009
Most chinese will just have to learn english like the rest of the world. There is no reason to segregate the human population all over again.
1.8 / 5 (4) Oct 22, 2009
Most Chinese will be just as lazy as most English native speakers.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 22, 2009
"connections are so fast that distinctions between audio, video and text are blurred"

Not if Time Warner Cable has any say in the matter. Remember, nobody is demanding anything fast so there is no reason to provide fast.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 22, 2009
Demand is being generated by the fact that most of us watch videos online. That is sucking up alot of bandwidth that originaly wasnt being used before. Why do you think the ISP's are thinking about putting limits on people perticular bandwidth. The sad thing is any company that does soo will have almost no customers and any company without the limits will have the new capitol to invest to provide the consumer what they want. I love the market system let your $$ be the decideing vote on which company succedes or fails.
3 / 5 (2) Oct 22, 2009
Most educated Chinese already know English. China has so many native languages that it's easier to teach everyone English than try to learn enough languages to get by, and for those who don't speak traditional Chinese, it's easier to learn English than Chinese. The one advantage they do have is that all of the languages use the same written language, but even that's much harder to learn than an alphabetic language. Chinese isn't going to go away, but the rest of the world is unlikely to adopt it, either.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 25, 2009
Unlike in the Western world, most Chinese cities are densely packed. You wouldn't need to route a cable to every household, you'd need one cable per a tall 40-story concrete building that is home to 2000-4000 people. And computers aren't a luxury to anyone anymore.;aqi=

The infrastructure is already there.

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