It was discovered that Google quietly hosted an event last week called “Solve For X” where smart people gathered to discuss technology and solutions for real world problems.
One particularly interesting element to the story was that Richard DeVaul, of the “Google X” team was involved. Google X, is Google’s mysterious lab, the existence of which was revealed by the New York Times back in November. The NYT described it as a “top secret lab in an undisclosed Bay Area location where robots run free.”
Google has posted some videos of presentations from the event:
Google has also put up a blog post about the event. Co-hosts Astro Teller & Megan Smith (who co-hosted the event with Eric Schmidt) write, “These are efforts that take on global-scale problems, define radical solutions to those problems, and involve some form of breakthrough technology that could actually make them happen. Moonshots live in the gray area between audacious projects and pure science fiction; they are 10x improvement, not 10%. That’s partly what makes them so exciting.”
“At least a few times a year, we hope that people will take a few hours or a day or two out of their busy schedules to dare to push the boundaries, and to consider moonshot approaches to some of the world’s many unresolved challenges,” they say. “Solve for X isn’t about developing a new business line or building an investment portfolio. Rather, it aims to be a forum where technology-based moonshot thinking is practiced, celebrated and amplified.”
There’s no mention of the Google X lab, but we have to wonder how many of these “moonshot” ideas are being tossed around in there. And how many involve robots?