Google’s next trillion would come from search and AI, CEO Pichai says

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang for the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, said that he sees Google’s future in its oldest offering: internet search.

Earlier this month, Alphabet briefly crossed $2 trillion in market value thanks to sales and profit growth during the pandemic.

When asked where the next trillion would come from, Pichai pointed to his company’s core service.

Consumers will ask computers more questions with voice and “multimodal experiences,” he predicted. “Being able to adapt to all that and evolve search will continue to be the biggest opportunity,” the CEO said.

Since taking over Google in 2015, Pichai has pushed the company deeper into cloud computing and artificial intelligence, while facing an increase in regulatory scrutiny.

In the interview, Pichai ticked off Google’s key growth businesses — cloud, the YouTube video service and its app store — and said AI investments were “underlying” each of them.

The India-born executive also said he expects that more of Google’s products will be developed and tested in Asia first, before spreading across the globe. Not in China, though.

Some of Google’s largest peers, such as Microsoft Corp. and Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc., have pitched their futures around the virtual worlds of the metaverse.

Google has taken several approaches at virtual and augmented reality products, with limited success. Years ago, its first attempt, the Google Glass headgear, famously flopped. Google recently placed these efforts in a new division reporting to Pichai, although he didn’t provide specifics about the strategy.

Sundar Pichai