Google turns 25, shifts focus to generative AI economy
As Google marks its 25th anniversary, the tech giant is exploring avenues for expansion into the world of artificial intelligence
Tech giant Google, which turns 25 on 4 September, has come a long way from being born as a search engine in the garage of Susan Wojcicki -- the future boss of YouTube -- in a new tech landscape of generative AI, chatbots and social media.
Google was founded on 4 September 1998, by American computer scientists Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were PhD students at Stanford University in California.
The company -- now part of the parent group called Alphabet and run by Indian-origin Sundar Pichai -- has diversified into several tech streams and launched several products.
The company rapidly grew to offer a multitude of products and services beyond Google Search, many of which hold dominant market positions like Gmail, Google Maps, Google Cloud, Chrome, YouTube, Workspace, Android operating system, cloud storage Drive, Google Translate), video chat app Meet, Pixel smartphones, Google Assistant, Bard AI and more
The company went public via an initial public offering (IPO) in 2004.
In June 2013, Google acquired Waze in a $966 million deal. Its social features, such as its crowdsourced location platform, were valuable integrations between Waze and Google Maps, Google's own mapping service.
In 2015, Google was reorganised as a wholly owned subsidiary of Alphabet.
Pichai was appointed as CEO of Google on 24 October 2015, replacing Page, who became the CEO of Alphabet. On 3 December 2019, Pichai also became the CEO of Alphabet.
Google is now part of the generative AI economy with its Bard models, which includes support for over 40 languages, including nine Indian languages.
The tech giant has also expanded Bard's access to more places, including Brazil and across Europe. Bard is now available in over 230 countries and territories.
Google is also launching new features to help users better customise their experience, boost their creativity and get more done, including the ability to add images in Prompts, listen to Bard's responses out loud, and easily adjust Bard's response to be longer, shorter.
In early May, Google announced its plans to build two additional data centres in the US. These centres will power up the company’s tools, including AI technology.