Alphabet co-founder: Big Tech needs to be humble
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Alphabet co-founder: Big Tech needs to be humble

Google’s shareholder letter is known for being amongst the more lighthearted and quirky – a rarity in big business, but reflective of the company’s founding ethos. This year, in the wake of a tech backlash that has driven FANG stocks apart, performance-wise, that is not the case. Sergei Brin, president of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., and a founder along with Larry Page, has written a more somber missive that details how Big Tech needs to integrate itself with wider society.

FANG stocks have not stayed together so far this year

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SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Brin wrote: "Technology companies have historically been wide-eyed and idealistic about the opportunities that their innovations create. While I am optimistic about the potential to bring technology to bear on the greatest problems in the world, we are on a path that we must tread with deep responsibility, care, and humility."

The tone of the letter is an interesting departure from previous years, but underscores Alphabet’s understanding of the backlash confronting Big Tech at the moment. With the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica scandal plaguing Facebook, and GDPR taking effect in Europe over the next few days, the public is eager for a deeper understanding of how everything works. Brin, at least, seems honest in his desire to be part of a wider conversation – and that, broadly speaking, is a good thing for Google.

Despite the serious tone, Brin was far from pessimistic. He opened by mentioning the company’s part in providing an “explosion” in processor power and artificial intelligence capabilities – areas he expects Alphabet to continue to dominate. He wrote: "I expect machine learning technology to continue to evolve rapidly and for Alphabet to continue to be a leader — in both the technological and ethical evolution of the field."

Disclosure

Dominion holds Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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