“India is deep within me”, says Sundar Pichai


India American CEO of Alphabet Inc was recently interviewed with the BBC at the Google headquarters at Silicon Valley in California.

The interview covered a wide range of topics, including the threat to free and open internet and also narrowed down two developments that he feels will further revolutionize the world over the next quarter of a century as artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing.

Sundar Pichai, who was born in Tamil Nadu and grew up in Chennai, in his own words said that India is deeply rooted in him and a big part of who he is.

“I’m an American citizen but India is deep within me. So it’s a big part of who I am,” Pichai, 49, said, when asked about his roots.

Pichai’s love for India is known widely. In an interview with The Guardian in 2017, Pichai had said that one day he wants to come back to India and wants to “give back”.

“I see artificial intelligence as the most profound technology that humanity will ever develop and work on. You know, if you think about fire or electricity or the internet, it’s like that. But I think even more profound,” said Pichai.

When asked about whether the Chinese model of the internet based on surveillance is in the ascendant, Pichai said the free and open internet “is being attacked”. While he didn’t refer to China directly, he said: “None of our major products and services are available in China.”

On the controversial issue of tax, he said: “We are one of the world’s largest taxpayers, if you look at on an average over the last decade, we have paid over 20 percent in taxes.

“We do pay the majority of our share of taxes in the US, where we originate and where our products are developed. I think there are good conversations and we support the global OECD conversations figuring out what is the right way to allocate taxes, this is beyond a single company to solve,” he said.