The Interview: Google’s Dave Burke on Android’s beginnings and future AI

19 Nov 2015

Dave Burke. Image via Connor McKenna

On a visit to Ireland to collect an alumni award from his alma mater University College Dublin (UCD), Google’s VP of engineering for Android, Dave Burke, talks about what it was like working on Android in the early days.

If you’ve watched any major Google product launch in recent years, you might have noticed the peculiar Irish twang on the man passionately talking about its products on stage.

That man is none other than Google’s VP of engineering Dave Burke, who actually has a strong American twang on an Irish accent, brought on by years of being at the epicentre of Google and Silicon Valley.

Speaking to prior to the award ceremony in UCD’s O’Reilly Hall, Burke spoke fondly of his memories of the south Dublin university, where he studied electronic and electrical engineering in the 1990s.

Now serving as an adjunct professor at the college, he said it was “really nice to have that connection and hopefully inspire one or two kids who are thinking of their future and going into science, engineering and maths”.

Having been a part of Android since 2007, Burke was a part of the team that turned the Android operating system from an idealistic newcomer into the most widely-used mobile operating system on the planet.

As it turns out, what led him on his journey to Android came from frustrations with a Nokia 7110 WAP phone.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic