Shalom Life | July 02, 2014

Shimon Peres Praises Google During Visit

The Israeli President visited Google's R&D facility in Tel Aviv, is 'proud' of what Google is doing in the education, technology spheres

By: Daniel Koren

Published: August 27th, 2013 in Business » Israel

According to Shimon Peres, Google exemplifies their motto of “Don’t be evil.”

Times of Israel reports that on Monday, Peres visited Google’s R&D center in Tel Aviv, saying "[Google] is good. This is a company that tries to help others, that asks itself what it can do to make the lives of people easier. And the results are great."

Peres went on to say that Google is setting an example for not just the corporate sector, but for life itself. "Throughout history the opposite has been true. Companies and nations thought about what they could get out of others, and here we have a company that asks how it can help others." It's interesting to note that Peres' comments contrast with recent reports that Google may have worked with the National Security Agency of (NSA) of America to gather private data. A claim which they have denied.

Peres visit had a twofold purpose. 1) To see what Google was up to in the Holy Land, and 2) Help launch the ‘Android Code Game Lab,’ a program for the development of games on Android devices. Peres pressed a ceremonial button to commence the program at Google’s Campus Tel Aviv, a centralized location for entrepreneurs and developers that provides facilities, advice, mentors, and opportunities to meet investors.


(Peres on the exercise bike at Tel Aviv's Google HQ/Photo: Ido Green)

That being said, Campus TLV is not necessarily an 'incubator', in that it does not take equity or give money to start ups. Despite this, the project has proven useful in the lives of multiple companies, allowing them to make use of the resources the space provides. Since opening in December, over 20,000 people have passed through the building, attending 300 events.

Peres was told how Campus TLV runs projects for both 'classic' entrepreneurs (mostly young Tel Avivian males), but also ones for specific groups. The program's participants present their ideas to venture capital fund reps, and several participants have moved onto more intensive programs.

Peres was particularly taken by 'UpSense', a project that allows for Israel's visionally impaired community to communicate via a typing system that allows users to create their own clicks and movements to refer to letters, giving them a "type by feel" platform that frees them from a 'normal' keyboard. "This will be a tremendous help to millions of people who until now had no alternative. It’s a brilliant idea," said Peres.


(Peres tries out some gadgets at Google's Tel Aviv HQ/Photo: Ido Green)

Peres also spoke to an entrepenuer that had developed a mini-robot, that he felt would be a good way to get children interested in science, while also praising the many game apps being developed. "Education begins with toys," he said. "We see how toys have become more sophisticated, and they increase interest among kids for getting involved in science. When a kid plays it encourages their imagination. I think it would be a good idea for the Education Ministry to begin recommending toys that help in the development of children."

Afterwards, Peres met with hundreds of employees and again spoke highly of the company: "Google is a global company which affects change in a positive way, with good will, not by forcing people into anything. Geographical boundaries are being erased by science; technology crosses borders and nationalities. I am proud of you for what you are doing."

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