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Larry Page talks privacy, medical records, and machines mastering 8-bit video games

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Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page today said he was "disappointed" by the US government's role in recently-revealed security programs. In an interview with Charlie Rose on stage at the annual TED conference, which is taking place in Vancouver, Canada this week, Page said that the US government had done itself "a tremendous disservice" by keeping certain programs a secret from Google and other technology companies. "I don't think we can have a democracy if we have to protect you and our users from stuff that we've never had a conversation about," Page said, adding that he wished there has been more transparency about what kinds of security the government is doing, and why.

Some things should be less secret

However, Page touted the importance of making some things less private. Citing the time he outed his own medical condition, which involved losing his voice, Page said there could be "tremendous good" in providing more medical record information to doctors. "Wouldn't it be amazing if everyone's medical records were available anonymously to research doctors?" Page asked.

Along with privacy, Page also briefly addressed Deep Mind, an AI company Google acquired in January. Page kept the company's future plans close to his chest, short of noting that the system had learned to play old 8-bit video games with superhuman performance, and without supervision. "We haven't really been able to do things like that before," Page remarked. "For me, this is one of the most exciting things I've seen in a long time."