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A young Sundar Pichai. Photo: Google

Google CEO Sundar Pichai got personal in his address Sunday to the class of 2020, sharing his own story of coming late to the PC revolution, while also encouraging this year's graduates to take on the problems they see in modern society.

Why it matters: Pichai, also CEO of Google parent company Alphabet, remains fairly unknown outside tech circles. And his earnestness and origin story could prove to be an asset as the company faces increased regulatory scrutiny.

Details: Pichai, who grew up in India, told graduates he was 10 when his family got its first telephone, his family's TV — when they finally got one — only had one channel, and he didn't have regular access to a computer until he came to America for graduate school.

And he pushed graduates to challenge the things they find wrong with the industry.

  • "There are probably things about technology that frustrate you and make you impatient," he said.
  • "Don't lose that impatience. It will create the next technology revolution and enable you to build things my generation could never dream of."

Pichai's talk was delivered Sunday on YouTube, but recorded before the killing of George Floyd.

The big picture: Pichai encouraged students to raise questions in other important areas, too. "You may be just as frustrated by my generation's approach to climate change, or education," he said. "Be impatient. It will create the progress the world needs."

Go deeper: College students' future jobs take a big hit

Go deeper

Updated Jul 29, 2020 - Technology

Tech's major powers face heat during House antitrust hearing

Screenshot: CSPAN

Wednesday's House antitrust hearing with the CEOs of Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple went down some politically fraught rabbit holes, but also saw tech's most powerful figures face sharper questions than they've seen before from Washington.

What's happening: Republicans slammed the companies for alleged anti-conservative bias, but Democrats largely narrowed their focus to possible competitive abuses, putting the CEOs on their back feet and producing some surprising admissions.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.