HALF MOON BAY, Calif. — Marissa Mayer vanished from the Silicon Valley panorama two years in the past when she resigned from Yahoo Inc. shortly after it was bought to Verizon Communications Inc. for $4.48 billion.
Her tumultuous 5-year reign on the eponymous tech media firm, on the heels of a historic run at Alphabet Inc.’s
Google within the search division, made her one of many business’s most recognizable faces — to her skilled profit and private dismay.
On Monday, on the Techonomy convention right here, she resurfaced with a brand new startup and a few pointed feedback on the valley. Mayer was interviewed on stage for about 20 minutes by Techonomy founder and journalist David Kirkpatrick.
Like Twitter Inc.
Chief Government Jack Dorsey, Mayer opposes automated advertisements from politicians, calling them “very harmful.” Fb Inc.
has taken the opposite view: It’ll permit politicians to run any advertisements, true or not, on its platform as a result of they fall underneath the dictum of free expression.
See additionally: Why the Fb political-ads debate might be a windfall for legacy media
She’s additionally involved about some “very outstanding points equivalent to interference in elections (by way of Fb) and Theranos,” Mayer mentioned, earlier than swiftly including that they’re remoted situations in tech.
Her focus, for now, is on Lumi Labs, the secretive firm she co-founded with Enrique Munoz Torres, former senior vp of search and promoting at Yahoo.
Mayer has been tight-lipped concerning the enterprise, which is targeted on constructing A.I. purposes for customers. Lumi (“snow” in Finnish) relies in the identical workplace in Palo Alto, Calif., the place Mayer started her profession at Google.
What she did share Monday was that Lumi Labs will handle the morass of digital contacts and group formations that clog the gadgets of customers (“it’s embarrassing,” she mentioned). And it’ll accomplish that by A.I. Its first merchandise can be launched within the subsequent few months, she added.
“The overriding focus is on the grand challenges of A.I. equivalent to self-driving vehicles and international facial recognition,” Mayer mentioned. “However there are smaller purposes that may be simply as helpful to profit individuals each day.”
She in contrast the impact to the 1969 moon touchdown, one other grand problem, that led to smaller — albeit traditionally vital — innovations like the pc microchip.
“I’m all the time optimistic about know-how and what it might do to enhance the standard in individuals’s lives,” Mayer mentioned.