The vice president of Google X – the somewhat secretive arm of Google that conducts technology research near the company headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. – is taking up a position at the White House.
According to a White House blog, President Obama has named Megan Smith U.S. chief technology officer (CTO) and assistant to the president. Before she was vice president at Google X, Smith was vice president of new business development for Google.
Google X recently revealed that for the past two years, it has been discreetly creating and testing a system for deliveries by drone. With an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) prototype, it successfully delivered items such as dog treats and candy bars to farmers in Australia.
Obama said in a statement, “Megan has spent her career leading talented teams and taking cutting-edge technology and innovation initiatives from concept to design to deployment.”
Although the blog does not mention the drone-delivery initiative – dubbed “Project X” – it is notable that the vice president of a company that appears to be contributing much to the burgeoning world of UAVs is now working for the president of the country.
Astro Teller, the captain of Moonshots for Google X, remarked in a YouTube video for the project that in the past, “there have been a series of innovations that have each taken a huge chunk out of the friction of moving things around.” He believes that “Project Wing aspires to take another big chunk of the remaining friction out of moving things around in the world.”
And, according to the White House blog, the president’s intention when he created the country’s CTO position – currently occupied by Todd Park – was to help “unleash the power of technology, data and innovation.”
The full post can be found here.