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Gopi Kallayil: “Innovation is about solving problems”

As Chief Evangelist at Google, this electronics engineer from India knows a thing or two about the importance of innovation. For him, Google’s future will be based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, and Riyadh will certainly be a global focal hub for startups.

What if the internet became humanity’s invisible central nervous system? As explained in his latest book “The Internet to the Inner-net”, Gopi Kallayil focuses his attention on the role of technology in the society. “More people today have access to mobile phones than have access to clean drinking water. Yet the most important technology is still the one within us: our brain, body, and consciousness”.

His experience in technology and yoga allow this engineer to have a lucid vision of the society.

What’s the role of technology in society today?

Gopi Kallayil: Technology has many many roles in today’s world. But the three most important I’d like to talk about are: one, it’s becoming this vehicle of connecting people with each other, two, it’s becoming a vehicle by which to access all of the world’s information, it’s a vehicle by which we can address big problems that exist in humanity today, but that have not been solved. And using technology we can solve these problems at scale.

What is your definition of “innovation”?

Gopi Kallayil: My definition of innovation is human beings looking at some big problems that have not been solved and using their ideation: coming up with a solution that doesn’t exist today, but can solve the problem.

What is the biggest problem to solve on Earth?

Gopi Kallayil: There would be several, so I’ll give you my own version. Among all the problems, I hope that we will live in a future where human beings can live in peace with each other and think of ourselves as one collective species. And in cooperation, solve all the big problems.

How will Riyadh look in ten years?

Gopi Kallayil: I would say that Riyadh will be very dynamic in terms of integration with the world economy and there will be a lot more technology-based companies and interesting things happening around that: diversified, away from the current economy.

How will Google look in ten years?

Gopi Kallayil: At least one thing I know would be that technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning will be a very deep part of so many things that Google offers in the future.

Published on 24 December 2017

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