Google CEO says regulating tech could have 'unintended consequences'

Key Points
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai says he's worried about the "unintended consequences" of tech regulation.
  • Google is reportedly facing an antitrust probe from the Justice Department.
  • He says big companies are well-positioned to invest for the future, though they still deserve scrutiny.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, December 11, 2018.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, whose company reportedly faces an antitrust probe from the Justice Department, is  concerned about tech regulation.

"I worry that if you regulate for the sake of regulating it, it has a lot of unintended consequences," Pichai said in an interview on CNN.. "You know, if you take a technology like artificial intelligence, it will have implications for our national security and ... for, you know, other important areas of society. And so having leadership I think ends up being pretty critical."

Pichai said there are benefits to letting large successful companies thrive. He said big companies can drive "long-term development" and that Google and other large companies are able to invest in futuristic technologies like artificial intelligence, for instance. He added that large companies still deserve scrutiny.

Pichai suggested Silicon Valley "can't take for granted" its success. Other tech executives, including Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, have warned that countries like China could get a leg up if American regulators crack down too hard.

"Now there are many countries around the world which aspire to be the next Silicon Valley," Pichai said. "And they are supporting their companies, too. So we have to balance both. This doesn't mean you don't scrutinize large companies. But you have to balance it with the fact that ... you want big, successful companies as well."

Watch the full interview at CNN.

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