Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, has admitted he feels a little "jealous" of fellow tech titan Jeff Bezos' much-anticipated space flight.
Jeff Bezos and his brother, Mark Bezos, plan to fly on the New Shepard spaceship, which was constructed by Jeff's space exploration company, Blue Origin. With nearly 6,000 bidders from 143 countries, the bidding for one of the ship's six seats reached nearly $30 million.
The 11-minute trip will take the crew 62 miles above the Earth's surface, making it the company's first scheduled space-tourism flight. Blue Origin was founded by Bezos in 2000, and he described it as his "most important work" in a 2018 interview.
Separately, Virgin Galactic launched its first full crew to the edge of space on Sunday, including founder Richard Branson.
Google's CEO said he envy Bezos' aspirations in a sit-down interview with BBC journalist Amol Rajan.
"Well, I'm a little envious," he said. "I'd like to see the Earth from space."
Pichai made the remark during a wide-ranging discussion with Rajan, during which he called artificial intelligence as ""Think about fire, electricity, or the internet," he continues, "this is the most significant technology that humanity will ever build and work on." But I believe it is considerably more profound."
When asked when he last sobbed, Pichai, who grew up in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, said: "During COVID, seeing the morgue trucks parked all over the world. Also, have a look at what's transpired in India in the last month." Last week, India's coronavirus death toll surpassed 400,000, and the country's inability to control the virus garnered international headlines throughout April and May.
Pichai also expressed concern about risks to online freedom, revealed that he now drives a Tesla, and expressed regret for not having met Stephen Hawking before his death.
When asked how often he communicates with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, one of his main opponents, Pichai said: "You're aware, as and when... There's no rhyme or reason behind it. When and if necessary."
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