Sunder Pichai recently said he is a "bit jealous of Jeff Bezos", who will make his first trip to space next week, after Virgin boss Richard Branson did a couple of days back. The Google CEO said that he too would like to "see Earth from space".
Bezos' maiden space trip will happen on July 20, aboard the New Shepard spacecraft, along with his brother Mark Bezos, 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk and an anonymous winner, who won a ticket via a bidding contest.
The New Shepard will be the second spacecraft to take a billionaire into space after Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo took Branson and a few crew members.
In an interview with BBC, Indian-American business executive Pichai spoke about a range of topics including his thoughts on AI technology, internet freedom and his personal life.
The Google CEO said he views artificial intelligence as the most profound technology that humanity will ever develop and work on. "If you think about fire or electricity or the internet, it's like that," he said.
Commenting on quantum computing, Pichai said it will not work for everything but for a few things it will open up an entirely new range of solutions.
When asked about the last time he cried, the Google CEO said the pandemic situation in India during the second wave of COVID-19 made him emotional. He said, "Seeing the morgue trucks parked around the world through COVID and seeing what’s happened in India, made him cry".
As he touched on the subject of internet freedom during the interview, without naming any country, Pichai said, "Free and open internet is under attack in countries around the world and flow of information is being restricted."
When asked about the Chinese model of the internet, he said, "None of our major products and services are available in China."
In a separate rapid-fire round, Pichai also revealed that he doesn't eat meat, drives a Tesla car, wishes he had met Stephen Hawking and admires mathematician Alan Turing.
When asked if he thinks of himself as an Indian or American, the Google CEO, "I am an American citizen but India is deep within me. So, it's a big part of who I am."
During the interview, Pichai also underlined that Google is one of the world's biggest taxpayers and complies with tax laws in every country in which it operates. He added that he is "encouraged by the conversations around a corporate global minimum tax".
When questioned about children using technology, he said, technology will be a big part of the lives of the next generation and therefore, they should be allowed to leverage it. He, however, added that kids should develop personal boundaries regarding the amount of time they want to devote to apps, sites, and other tech platforms.
(Edited by : Kanishka Sarkar)