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One of my favourite things is artificial intelligence but it has gotten a very bad rap...but my prediction is that when AI happens it's going to be a lot of computation and not so much clever algorithms but just a lot of computation. My theory is that if you look at your programming, your DNA, it's about 600 megabytes compressed, so it's smaller than any modern operating system, smaller than Linux or Windows or anything like that, your whole operating system, that includes booting up your brain, by definition. So your program algorithms probably aren't that complicated, it's probably more about the overall computation, but that's my guess.
We have some people at Google who are really trying to build artificial intelligence and to do it on a large scale and so on, and in fact, to make search better, to do the perfect job of search you could ask any query and it would give you the perfect answer and that would be artificial intelligence based on everything being on the web, which is a pretty close approximation. We're lucky enough to be working incrementally closer to that, but again, very, very few people are working on this, and I don't think it's as far off as people think.
I'll give you another quick example; Google Books. We actually wanted to digitise Stanford's library and there's actually a digital library project there and we tried to convince people and they just didn't think it was really possible or made sense, and actually we spent probably five years trying to convince people that it was possible and a good idea. Once we convinced maybe two or three crazy people, it's basically happening. We just made a one million...we're going to digitise another million books in Princeton and it's sort of routine now which is a great thing, but it shows you how hard it is to get people going on things that they think maybe aren't that possible.