Eric Schmidt may have stepped down as Google CEO in 2011, but he hasn't been any less vocal in his current role as executive chairman. Schmidt is known for his outspoken views and often provocative statements on just about everything in the technology world — follow this StoryStream to keep track of them all.
Oct 21, 2020
The Verge used to have a fine tradition of cataloging all of the times when Eric Schmidt stuck his foot in his mouth, and today’s feels like a worthy addition: the former Google CEO and executive chairman has decided that social networks are “amplifiers for idiots.”Read Article >
The fuller quote, according to Bloomberg: “The context of social networks serving as amplifiers for idiots and crazy people is not what we intended.”
May 25, 2016
For a man who makes more than his fair share of verbal gaffes, Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt can still come up with the odd zinger when he needs to. Schmidt was speaking to a packed house at Startup Fest in Amsterdam when the audience were asked to raise their hands if they used an iPhone. The majority did, and Schmidt responded: "So much for the Android monopoly in Europe." He went on to admit that he himself used both an iPhone 6S and a Galaxy S7, before making the case for the latter's superiority.Read Article >
"The Samsung S7 is better: it has a better battery and a better camera," said Schmidt with a smile, telling the laughing audience. "And those of you who are iPhone users? I'm right."
Jan 12, 2016
Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt thinks artificial intelligence has the potential to solve the "hard problems" that the world faces today, including climate change, education, and population growth — and he wants his own "Not-Eric" AI assistant, as well. As reported by Bloomberg, Schmidt made the comments at a conference in New York this week, where he called for more collaboration on the kinds of AI technology that Google and Facebook have begun developing.Read Article >
"Every single advance has occurred because smart people got in a room and eventually they standardized approaches," Schmidt said. "The promise of this is so profound that we — Alphabet, Google, whatever our name is at the moment — are working incredibly hard to advance these platforms."
Dec 7, 2015
Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman and former CEO, says that work needs to be done toward stopping the spread of hate and harassment online. In an opinion piece published in The New York Times this afternoon, Schmidt writes that it's necessary for governments, tech companies, and individuals — basically everyone — to make sure that the internet is used for improving the lives of others worldwide, rather than for oppression or recruitment into terrorist groups.Read Article >
"We should make it ever easier to see the news from another country’s point of view, and understand the global consciousness free from filter or bias," Schmidt writes. "We should build tools to help de-escalate tensions on social media — sort of like spell-checkers, but for hate and harassment. We should target social accounts for terrorist groups like the Islamic State, and remove videos before they spread, or help those countering terrorist messages to find their voice."
Mar 23, 2015
After Google stopped selling its wearable Glass device in January this year, many people speculated that the controversial gadget was on its way out for good. However, Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt has said that the technology behind Glass is too important to throw away, and that the program has been put under the control of Nest's Tony Fadell to "make it ready for users" in the future.Read Article >
"We ended the Explorer program and the press conflated this into us canceling the whole project, which isn’t true," Schmidt told The Wall Street Journal. "Google is about taking risks and there’s nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we’re ending it." Schmidt added that Glass remains a "big and very fundamental platform for Google," and that just like the company's self-driving cars, the wearable device is a work in progress that will take years to come to fruition. "[It's] like saying the self-driving car is a disappointment because it’s not driving me around now," said Schmidt.
Mar 16, 2015
Between high-stakes discrimination suits and the dubious behavior of so-called allies, there's a tempest of awful gender relations right now in Silicon Valley. But the loudest storms that make headlines are only a small part of tech's sexism problem. It's not just bad weather, it's bad climate — lots of small patterns that add up to a persistent mess. And as Eric Schmidt demonstrated today at SXSW, even top executives are capable of fueling the storm.Read Article >
In a panel today, The Wall Street Journal reports, Schmidt had lots of thoughts about gender diversity in the technology industry — and often interrupted co-panelist Megan Smith, the US's chief technologist and Schmidt's former colleague, to share them with the audience. At one point, WSJ reports, Schmidt "opined on which of two questions Smith should respond to," and interrupted Smith as she was speaking to talk about the Raspberry Pi.
Sep 23, 2014
Google is to stop funding a major conservative group over its stance on climate change. Speaking in a radio interview with NPR's Diane Rehm, Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt said that Google would not be renewing its membership to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), because the group was "literally lying" by opposing efforts to reduce global warming. The right-leaning ALEC, which has received donations from fossil fuel companies such as Exxon Mobil, has fought against the US government's efforts to pursue renewable energy sources, battled against regulations for coal power plants, tried to get ecological activists classified as terrorists, and questioned climate change research.Read Article >
Mar 7, 2014
Speaking today at a panel at the SXSW conference, Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt emphasized that Google is "very, very worried" about the class tensions that underlie recent protests in the Bay Area, where high-salaried tech employees have drastically driven up rents.Read Article >
Gentrification has been going on for 40 years, but it's accelerated recently and we clearly need to do something to "ameliorate" the issue, he told Wired's Steven Levy.
Jan 24, 2014
Eric Schmidt thinks encryption is the answer to many of the internet's problems. Google's executive chairman said last November that "encrypting everything" could "end government censorship in a decade." Now Schmidt says that in that same decade, encryption could "open up countries with strict censorship laws," giving their people "a voice."Read Article >
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Schmidt said that Google was attempting to strengthen its encryption so the world's governments "won't be able to penetrate it" and obtain private data. Those efforts, Schmidt said, would create particular problems for "governments like China's," which he thought responsible for "80 to 85 percent of the world's industrial espionage." The Google chairman also said he saw the eventual relaxation of Chinese censorship over time as the number of people using social media in the country continued to grow.
Nov 24, 2013
Thinking about making the switch from iPhone to Android? "Many" of Eric Schmidt's friends are, he says — and so he wrote them a 900-word guide to walk them through the process. Google's executive chairman took to Google+ today to share tips and best practices for abandoning Apple's ecosystem in favor of Google's. "Many of my iPhone friends are converting to Android," Schmidt writes. "The latest high-end phones from Samsung (Galaxy S4), Motorola (Verizon Droid Ultra) and the Nexus 5 (for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile) have better screens, are faster, and have a much more intuitive interface. They are a great Christmas present to an iPhone user!"Read Article >
Schmidt's guide tells Android newcomers how to add a Google account to their devices, find apps, import their contacts, sync their music, and swap their SIM card out of the iPhone and into an Android phone. At the end of the post, the former member of Apple's board of directors also offers his thoughts on web browsers: "Be sure to use Chrome, not Safari; it's safer and better in so many ways. And it's free."
Nov 21, 2013
Since revelations of the NSA's widespread data collection and monitoring earlier this year, Google has staunchly denied working with the government agency and has taken it to task on a number of occasions. After calling the NSA surveillance "outrageous" earlier this month, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has come out against the agency again in an interview with Bloomberg News. "The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything," Schmidt said in a speech at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. "We can end government censorship in a decade."Read Article >
Given the rather long timeframe Schmidt used in his example, it seems clear he doesn't think this will be an easy process. "It's always a cat-and-mouse game," he said. "In that race, I think the censors will lose and I think the people will be empowered." And while Schmidt does think that blocking governement intrusions won't happen right away, he did note that Google's been hard at work doing just that since the revelations earlier this year. "We have strengthened our systems remarkably as a result of the most recent events," Schmidt said. "It's reasonable to expect that the industry as a whole will continue to strengthen these systems."
Nov 4, 2013
After leaked documents apparently revealed that the NSA has been collecting Google and Yahoo user information as it travels between servers, Google executive Eric Schmidt says the American surveillance program is violating everyone's privacy for the sake of catching a few suspicious messages. "It's really outrageous that the National Security Agency was looking between the Google data centers, if that's true," he told The Wall Street Journal's Deborah Kan. "The steps that the organization was willing to do without good judgment to pursue its mission and potentially violate people's privacy, it's not okay. It's just not okay."Read Article >
Oct 8, 2013
Google's Eric Schmidt has a reputation for raising eyebrows with his public proclamations, so this latest episode should come as little surprise — the company chairman declared during the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo that Android has a security advantage over Apple's iPhone. In comments reported by ZDNet, Schmidt responded to a question from Gartner analyst David Willis as such:Read Article >
The answer reportedly drew laughs from the audience in attendance. Although Schmidt apparently did not give a direct explanation, he pointed to Android's billion-plus device activations and stringent security testing.
Sep 13, 2013Read Article >
The extent of Google's participation in the NSA's PRISM data-mining program has been the subject of much speculation, and Schmidt did little to clear it up, continuing the company's denials of bulk data collection but otherwise assuming the Snowden documents to be "roughly accurate." His largest concern was that concerns over NSA surveillance would lead to a more nationalized, country-specific web. According to Schmidt, "It would really break the way the internet works, and I think that's what I worry about."
Jun 6, 2013
While Google leverages its phones and web services in the mundane service of advertising, executive chairman Eric Schmidt gives an almost mythological vision of the company's place in history. To Schmidt, Google's projects aren't merely new economic opportunities — they're solving the greatest problems mankind faces today, from acid attacks in Pakistan to medical care in Kenya. And in a short speech at Google's "How green is the internet?" summit, Schmidt offered a utopian take on technological progress and free speech, which he posits as the tools that will help us overcome the climate changes humans have wrought.Read Article >
May 13, 2013
Former Google CEO and current chairman Eric Schmidt is known for both a sense of broad techno-utopianism and a willingness to speak out on privacy hot-button issues. While he's spoken about things like the need for an internet "delete button" or laws to regulate drone surveillance, he also helps lead a company that has access to vast amounts of personal data, something that often doesn't sit well with Google users. In a casual, often jokey interview with NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, Schmidt stated once and for all that he could read all our email — but he'd never do it. "I would lose my job, be fired, and be sued to death," he told host Peter Sagal. Whether or not he tried to hide the snooping, "Someone would find out, trust me."Read Article >
Amidst anecdotes about trapping rogue boa constrictors or the perks of working in Google's offices, Schmidt talked about the company's culture, including the famous "Don't Be Evil" slogan instituted by co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. "The idea was that we don't quite know what evil is, but if we have a rule that says don't be evil, then employees can say, I think that's evil," Schmidt said. "Now, when I showed up, I thought this was the stupidest rule ever, because there's no book about evil except maybe, you know, the Bible or something." In the end, though, he believes it has worked, by giving employees a way to point out things they find unethical.
May 6, 2013
Eric Schmidt is known for singing the internet's praises, but it turns out Google's chairman also thinks there should be a "delete" button for the web — some effective way of permanently erasing data once and for all. "The lack of a delete button on the internet is a significant issue," Schmidt said during an NYU appearance with Jared Cohen, the co-author of his recent book. "There is a time when erasure is a right thing," he said, according to CNET.Read Article >
Without context, it sounds like Schmidt is calling for the creation of some sort of secretive censorship tool. But the executive's reasoning is a bit simpler than that. Schmidt uses the example of a young person — convicted of a crime later cleared from his or her record — that could face difficulties finding a job thanks to records of that wrongdoing on the internet. In the eyes of Schmidt, the web can make it nearly impossible to turn over a new leaf. "In America, there's a sense of fairness that's culturally true for all of us," he said.
Apr 25, 2013
As Google’s Glass device trickles out to developers and early adopters, debates about its use in public continue to simmer online. And if you think it’s weird to speak commands to a computer that you’re wearing on your face, or that there are places where wearing Glass is inappropriate, you should know that Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt feels the same way.Read Article >
Speaking at an event at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Schmidt said that controlling Glass with voice recognition is "the weirdest thing," reports the Wall Street Journal. He went on to say that "there are obviously places" where Google Glass would be considered inappropriate, but ultimately felt that society would adapt and invent new etiquette and rules around the use of Glass, according to one attendee.
Apr 22, 2013
Google has never committed fully to a launch date for a consumer version of Glass, though the headset may not be available as soon as was first thought. Google executive chairman said that a Glass for consumers is "probably a year-ish away" in an interview for BBC Radio 4's "World at One" today. The interview covers a range of topics include Schmidt's new book, Google's UK tax policy, privacy, and more, though interviewer Martha Kearney did briefly ask him about Glass. Schmidt added that thousands of developers will be using Glass in the next few months and that Google will monitor feedback from them and make changes before releasing a consumer model.Read Article >
The first developers have already received the "Explorer Edition" of Glass that was put on sale at last year's Google I/O conference. Back in February, Google informed us that it was aiming to release a "fully-polished" version of Glass by the end of this year for under $1,500. It's worth noting that Google may very well still be on track for that timeframe — Schmidt isn't directly involved with Glass, and he is known for sometimes speaking off-the-cuff. Schmidt's comments about Glass begin at the 32:30 mark in the radio program, while the interview itself begins at 27:45.
Apr 19, 2013
Google chairman Eric Schmidt and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange secretly met in 2011 and held a lengthy interview, according to a transcript published on the whistleblowing site. The leak is surprisingly timely — Schmidt was apparently conducting research with Jared Cohen for the pair's book The New Digital Age, which is set to be released on Tuesday. Assange was under house arrest in England at the time the five-hour conversation took place.Read Article >
The conversation is a fascinating look into the minds of the two men, both of whom have had immeasurable impact on issues surrounding technology over recent years. Topics move from the fairly light-hearted, such as Assange explaining the concept of Bitcoin, Schmidt's bad experiences with Delta Air Lines, and Assange's endless stream of "crazed" female visitors, to the heavier — Schmidt asks Assange to answer criticism that WikiLeaks has caused damage with its releases, while saying that "we are obviously sympathetic to" his side of the story. Assange later compares WikiLeaks' flow of unfiltered information to YouTube, where Google is unable to review every submission made to the site before publishing.
Apr 16, 2013Read Article >
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt believes Facebook Home is a testament to the company's open approach to mobile. Speaking at AllThingsD's Dive into Mobile conference, Schmidt responded to an attendee asking a question regarding Microsoft Windows Phone chief Terry Myerson's recent statements on Facebook Home. Myerson said he would be "very surprised" if Google wasn't attempting to block Facebook's replacement Android launcher. Schmidt, fired up, asked "why are you listening to Microsoft's statements about Google?" He then asked for the question to be rephrased into a question about Google before calling Facebook Home a "tremendous endorsement" of Google's Play Store strategy.
Apr 16, 2013
While a number of rumors have focused on a flagship Google "X Phone," Google's Eric Schmidt says he's seen the future of Motorola's new "phenomenal" set of products. Images of an unidentified Motorola handset appeared in March, showing a potential Google design influence, but the company has not yet officially revealed any new devices. Speaking at AllThingsD's Dive into Mobile conference today, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt described Motorola's next products as "very impressive," without offering up any details on what's planned.Read Article >
When pressed on whether the products are tablets or just phones, Schdmit said to "think of them as phones-plus," in a mysterious tease. Schdmit didn't discuss any Google "X Phone" or "X Tablet" rumors, but If recent leaks are accurate then Motorola appears to be readying a separate stock Android handset with a smooth non-removable back panel. With Google assisting Motorola on its future direction, the future devices could provide the best look at a true Google-inspired Android experience that goes deeper than the company's Nexus efforts.
Apr 13, 2013
Google may be one of the world's largest collectors of information, but Eric Schmidt thinks people would be uncomfortable with drone surveillance by their neighbors — and that this discomfort will spur tighter regulation. In an interview with The Guardian (available for subscribers only), Schmidt predicts that private drone operation will become a bigger issue in the coming years, for both weaponized and non-weaponized models. "If you look at the miniaturisation of drones, there will be restrictions on them," he says. "I'm not going to pass judgment on whether armies should exist, but I would prefer to not spread and democratise the ability to fight war to every single human being."Read Article >
Schmidt gave a potential future scenario. "You're having a dispute with your neighbour. How would you feel if your neighbour went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their back yard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?" The question becomes odder when you consider that Google has faced lawsuits and criticism over its own Street View cars, which have collected not only photographs (from which faces are generally brushed out) but also data sent over Wi-Fi connections.
Apr 1, 2013
Google chairman Eric Schmidt is worried about the future of internet openness in Burma (also called Myanmar), one of the least-connected countries in the world. In a post on his Google+ page published Sunday, Schmidt describes some of his initial impressions after visiting the country last month, when Google launched new services there. While some of Schmidt's takeaways are optimistic, he's concerned that local, long-simmering religious conflicts will spill out onto the internet and could lead to a new era of repression in Burma, just as the country attempts to emerge from military rule that ended in 2011.Read Article >
"What will happen when the Internet arrives in Myanmar?" Schmidt writes in his post, continuing: