Google CEO On Owning ‘Best’ AI, 1,000 New Cloud Products And Workspace Security

Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s bold remarks during Google’s earnings report include touting Workspace as the leader in cybersecurity, Google Cloud and YouTube having a combined $100 billion run rate by the end of the year, and why a ‘strong partner program’ is needed to drive AI.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai (pictured) said Google “owns the best infrastructure for the AI era,” that Google Workspace is “now widely seen as the leader in cybersecurity,” and predicted Google Cloud and YouTube will have a combined $100 billion annual run rate by the end of 2024.

Pichai’s bullish statements about Google and Google Cloud’s future revolved around the $322 billion tech giant’s relentless pursuit of becoming a world leader in artificial intelligence and generative AI.

“It took Google more than 15 years to reach $100 billion in annual revenue,” said Pichai during Google’s earnings report on its first-quarter 2024 financial results Thursday. “We expect YouTube overall and [Google] Cloud to exit 2024 at a combined annual run rate of over $100 billion.”

[Related: Google Cloud ‘Applying AI To Our Whole Partner Incentive Portfolio’]

Google Cloud generated revenue of $9.6 billion in the first quarter, up 28 percent year over year, which reflected growth in the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) with increasing contribution from AI and strong Google Workspace growth, primarily driven by increases in average revenue per seat, Google said.

YouTube ads generated $8.1 billion in first-quarter 2024, up from $6.7 billion in first-quarter 2023. This means Pichai is predicting that Google Cloud’s growth rate will continue at a similar rate this year.

AI is a once-in-a-generation kind of opportunity,” said Google’s CEO. “We’ve definitely been gearing up for this for a long time. For the first time, we can work on AI in a horizontal way and it impacts the entire breadth of the company—be it Search, be it YouTube, be it Cloud, be it Waymo and so on. And we see a rapid pace of innovation in that underlying.”

Here are the seven boldest statements made by Google CEO Pichai Thursday about the tech giant’s strategy and future in AI.

On Managing ‘Head Count Growth’ And Re-Engineering Google’s ‘Cost Base’

We’ve been really focused on simplifying our structures to help us move faster.

In addition to bringing together our model building teams under Google DeepMind, we recently unified our ML [machine learning] infrastructure and ML developer teams to enable faster decisions, smarter compute allocation and a better customer experience.

Earlier this year, we brought our Search teams together under one leader. And last week, we took another step, bringing together our platforms and devices teams. The new combined team will focus on delivering high-quality products and experiences, bolstering the Android and Chrome ecosystems, and bringing our best innovations to partners faster.

We remain focused on long-term efforts to durably re-engineer our cost base.

You can see the impact of this work reflected in our operating market. We continue to manage our head count growth and align teams with our highest-priority areas. This speeds up decision-making, reduces layers and enables us to invest in the right areas.

Workspace ‘Is Now Widely Seen As The Leader In Cybersecurity’

In Workspace, we announced that organizations like Uber, Pepperdine University and Penny Mac are using Gemini in Google Workspace, our AI-powered agent that’s built right into Gmail, Docs, Sheets and more.

We also announced Google Vids, a new application to create stories in short video format. And we introduced Gemini for meetings and messaging and Gemini security for Workspace.

Customers are choosing Workspace because they have deep trust in our powerful security and privacy features. Our cloud business is now widely seen as the leader in cybersecurity.

I saw this firsthand when I went to the Munich Security Conference in February. Cybersecurity analysts are using Gemini to help spot threats, summarize intelligence, and take action against attacks, helping companies like American Family Insurance aggregate and analyze security data in seconds, instead of days.

Click through to read the five other boldest remarks by Pichai.

‘More Than 1,000 New Products And Features’ Launched In Eight Months; Over 1 Million Developers Using Gen AI Tools

In cloud, we have announced more than 1,000 new products and features over the past eight months.

Our differentiation in Google Cloud begins with our AI Hypercomputer, which provides efficient and cost-effective infrastructure to train and serve models. Today, more than 60 percent of funded GenAI startups and nearly 90 percent of GenAI unicorns are Google Cloud customers.

Customers like PayPal and Kakao Brain are choosing our infrastructure. We offer an industry-leading portfolio of Nvidia GPUs along with our TPUs. This includes TPU v5p, which is now generally available, and Nvidia’s latest generation of Blackwell GPUs.

We also announced Axion, our new Google design and ARM-based CPU.

In benchmark testing, it has performed up to 50 percent better than compatible x86-based systems. On top of our infrastructure, we offer more than 130 models, including our own models, open-source models and third-party models.

We made Gemini 1.5 Pro available to customers, as well as Imagine 2.0. More than 1 million developers are now using our generative AI across tools, including AI Studio and Vertex AI.

Focusing On A ‘Strong Partner Program’ To Drive AI Deals

On the cloud side, it’s definitely a point of inflection overall. The AI transformation is making everyone think about their whole stack and [become] engaged in a number of conversations.

In AI infrastructure, people are really looking to Vertex AI, given our depth and breadth of model choice, or using Workspace to transform productivity in your workplace, etc.

The opportunities there are all related to that, both all the work we have built up and AI being a point of inflection in terms of driving conversations. You will see us do it both organically and with a strong partner program as well. So we’ll do it with a combination.

The challenges here always are that they’re switching costs to cloud and the challenges we see is how do we make it easier for people.

There’s a lot of interest, but there’s definitely barriers in terms of people switching. And so that’s an area where we are constantly investing to make it easier for our customers.

‘We Have The Best Infrastructure For The AI Era’

We have the best infrastructure for the AI era. Building world-leading infrastructure is in our DNA, starting in our earliest days when we had to design purpose-built hardware to power search.

Our data centers are some of the most high-performing, secure, reliable and efficient in the world. They’ve been purpose-built for training cutting-edge AI models and designed to achieve unprecedented improvements in efficiency.

We have developed new AI models and algorithms that are more than 100 times more efficient than they were 18 months ago. Our custom TPUs, now in their fifth generation, are powering the next generation of ambitious AI projects. Gemini was trained on and is served using TPUs.

We are committed to making the investments required to keep us at the leading edge in technical infrastructure. You can see that from the increases in our capital expenditures. This will fuel growth in cloud, help us push the frontiers of AI models, and enable innovation across our services.

Pichai Expects Over $100 Billion Run Rate For YouTube, Google Cloud

It took Google more than 15 years to reach $100 billion in annual revenue. In just the last six years, we’ve gone from $100 billion to more than $300 billion in annual revenue.

Of course, Search continues to power that, as you see in our Q1 results. But in addition, we expect YouTube overall and [Google] Cloud to exit 2024 at a combined annual run rate of over $100 billion.

This shows our track record of investing in and building successful new growing businesses.

Billions Of Google Users Brings Huge GenAI Opportunities

We have six products with more than 2 billion monthly users, including 3 billion Android devices.

Fifteen products have 0.5 billion users, and we operate across 100-plus countries. … We have already served billions of queries with our generative AI features.

This gives us a lot of opportunities to bring helpful Gen AI features and multimodal capabilities to people everywhere and improve their experiences. We have brought many new AI features to Pixel, Photos, Chrome, Messages and more. We are also pleased with the progress we are seeing with Gemini and Gemini Advanced through the Gemini app on Android and the Google app on iOS.