A new Time magazine cover story ask a really cool question: “Can Google Solve Death?” The answer: No. Google can’t solve death. But they’re trying.
The story has very little information about Calico, which is the name of the anti-death project Google’s developing in one of their super-secret labs that built the self-driving car and mini-computer you wear on your face. Instead it’s a profile of the mega-company, their philosophy regarding huge challenges (like death), and a rare interview with co-founder Larry Page.
A few interesting excerpts if you don’t have time to read it:
Page on Health Care
“In some industries it takes 10 or 20 years to go from an idea to something being real. Health care is certainly one of those areas. We should shoot for the things that are really, really important, so 10 or 20 years from now we have those things done.”
Remember Google Health?
This story cites example of Google cutting their losses when a project isn’t working out, like Google Health, which was a personal-medical-records service. It was a bold initiative that we had completely forgotten about.
Page’s Analytical Take On Cancer
“One of the things I thought was amazing is that if you solve cancer, you’d add about three years to people’s average life expectancy. We think of solving cancer as this huge thing that’ll totally change the world. But when you really take a step back and look at it, yeah, there are many, many tragic cases of cancer, and it’s very, very sad, but in the aggregate, it’s not as big an advance as you might think.”
Here’s a question to think about: Is death a problem we need to solve?