Sebastian Thrun is one of the few Germans who made it in Silicon Valley. He grew up in Germany, and the artificial intelligence expert made his career in the United States. As the head of a mysterious Google research laboratory, the 52-year-old has become the star of the technology scene.
WORLD: Above all, to get as far as you need an independent mind. How do you train yourself?
Sebastian Thrun: Before there was Google, there were of course libraries, magazines, newspapers. The flow of information was positive – but not as positive as it is today. And Larry Page and Sergey Brin logically wondered if we couldn’t provide all the information for free. Maybe they didn’t quite make it. But the impact Google has had on the world through logical thinking is huge. I also talk to Larry about the flying car that I develop with my company Kitty Hawk. The logical question at the beginning was whether it was the best idea for us to move on the floor. Or would it be better if we moved through the air? That is a logical question. Analog thinkers wouldn’t ask that way because we have known our cars for ages.