Google: “people with no data aren’t worth listening to”

Google’s chief technology advocate has offered a passionate defence of the search giant’s activities, as the company faces increasing criticism of its projects.


In recent years Google’s been attacked by privacy advocates for introducing Street View and its Buzz social network, and faces increasing suspicion as its pushes into new markets including smartphones and GPS.

Michael Jones, Google’s chief technology advocate and the man who invented Google Earth has admitted the company has made mistakes, but defended the company’s scattergun approach to innovation.

These things may not work, but we’ll be the first to know. And if they do work, we’ll be the first to tell people

“Google does things and people say things, but we’re just a few thousand engineers trying to put as much information in the hands of as many people as possible,” he told CeBIT delegates.

He admitted that this mission occasionally led Google into trouble, but claimed that the mistakes were part of the process. “Thermal power is expensive and there are several different projects trying to find ways of making it cheaper. So, we’ve invested in all of them to see which one works.

“These things may not work, but we’ll be the first to know. And if they do work, we’ll be the first to tell people… People with no data aren’t worth listening to.

“You don’t know which of the ten paths before you is the good path, but getting there may involve finding the nine bad paths. Failing is a part of innovation, being brave enough to try new things is part of getting better things.”

Quizzed over Google’s stance on privacy Jones said “privacy laws need to be respected, but I hope they don’t get in the way of innovation.”

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