DiscoverThe Bob Johnston PodcastThe A.I. (R)Evolution – Google's Barak Turovsky
The A.I. (R)Evolution – Google's Barak Turovsky

The A.I. (R)Evolution – Google's Barak Turovsky

Update: 2021-03-08


Will A.I. eat the world, as Elon Musk and others are predicting? My guest today is Barak Turovsky, Director of Product for Google A.I.. He’s been working on “A.I.” for so long that there was no name for it during his days doing video and audio surveillance in the Israeli Military Intelligence Corps.

The numbers are, indeed, staggering and you can see how A.I. is truly taking over the world ever day…and in every way. Google Translate in and of itself went from a ho-hum product to over a billion users in just 2.5 years. That said, we discuss why Barak believes that adoption across text, speech and other forms is ‘evolutionary’ and not revolutionary.

We also discuss deep neural networks, Barak’s upbringing in Communist Russia – his father was an engineer but also a political activist and imprisoned for his activism. We hit on how his father’s experience shaped Barak’s life and career…his early days in the Intelligence Corps, the roadmap for A.I. moving forward, why less human involvement will enhance a human…and much more.

Barak Bio

Barak Turovsky is responsible for product management and user experience for Natural Language Understanding AI and Google Translate. Barak focuses on applying cutting edge Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies to deliver magical experiences across Google Search, Assistant, Cloud, Chrome, Ads and other products. 

Prior to joining Google in 2011, Barak was Director of Product in Microsoft’s Mobile Advertising group, Head of Mobile Commerce at PayPal and Chief Technical Officer in an Israeli start up. He lived more than 10 years in 3 different countries (Russia, Israel and the US) and fluently speaks three languages. 

Barak earned a Bachelor’s of Laws degree from Tel Aviv University, Israel, and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley. 

My favorite quotes:

“Humans talk in imperfect language,” – On why we have a long way to go for A.I. to speak back to humans 

“Social networks can make extreme views seem like the mainstream ideas.” – His contrarian view about social networks

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The A.I. (R)Evolution – Google's Barak Turovsky

The A.I. (R)Evolution – Google's Barak Turovsky

Bob Johnston