Google CEO talks about taxation, extremist content and AI at World Economic Forum

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai spoke about the company’s position on taxation, extremist content and artificial intelligence (AI), at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, in a conversation with WEF founder Klaus Schwab. Responding to current criticism about Google’s alleged tax evasion practices, Pichai said that the company is ‘happy to pay more tax’, although the question remains where Google should pay it. He added that Google is hiring more engineers from around the world, which may equalise the distribution of its tax payments across countries. On the topic of extremism, and in particular Germany’s recent measure to fine tech firms when they refuse to timely delete illegal content, Pichai warned that Internet companies should not become ‘de facto arbiters’ and urged governments to be clearer in defining what is allowed online and what is not. Talking about AI, Pichai pleaded for an agreement between countries not to use AI for military purposes, but also argued that concerns about AI should not make us lose sight of its potential benefits.