Google's We Solve for X event and Website are designed to enable some of the world's top thinkers to propose and collaborate on using technology to solve worldwide problems.
(NASDAQ:GOOG), whose co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have discussed
building an elevator to space, is no stranger to thinking about and tackling
Feb. 6 moved to aggregate so-called "moonshot technology" projects
intended to help solve worldwide problems, such as tackling water scarcity and
efficient drug delivery.
The Website, wesolveforx.com
, stemmed from Solve for
X, an exclusive event Google hosted for entrepreneurs, innovators and
scientists last week.
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," Googlers
Astro Teller and Megan Smith, who co-hosted the Solve for X event, explained in
a blog post
. "Moonshots live in the gray area between audacious
projects and pure science fiction; they are 10x improvement, not 10 percent.
Thats partly what makes them so exciting."
of the moonshots experts discussed at Solve for X included the notion that
major science and technological advances will come from individual
Treuille, a professor of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon University,
who posited the theory, pointed to scientific discovery games where individual
gamers are lapping the best computer programs in DNA folding and RNA
idea is more of a return to the past than a leap to the future. Albert
Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell and several other renowned inventors worked
mostly solo when they made their scientific breakthroughs.
McGinnis, co-founder of Oasys, argued that fresh water could be produced
everywhere in the world at less than one-tenth the energy input or cost to the
environment of what's possible today through advancements in desalination.
Solve for X
was originally thought to be a Website dedicated to Google's X labs, which
would move that Brin-led research unit out of its clandestine closet and into
the public eye.
now seems clear that while X labs and Solve for X share some commonality in
high-minded concepts and challenges, X labs is currently working on some
slightly more practical, down-to-earth solutions as well.
it is believed Google's X labs have built
that serve as newfangled smartphone form factors,
complete with voice input and output, GPS and WiFi.
While not a
moonshot approach by any stretch, computerized glasses are a radical form
factor, compared with today's world of mobile phones and tablet computers.
The X lab is
also the birth place of Google's
, which could be super-useful in the future to curb drunk
driving. Conversely, Google said Solve for X isn't about developing a new
business line or building an investment portfolio.