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All-pervasive Internet will disappear in the background: Google's Eric Schmidt

Google boss Eric Schmidt predicted the internet will soon be so pervasive in every facet of our lives that it will effectively 'disappear' into the background.

Schmidt speaking to the political and business elite at the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, said "There will be so many sensors, so many devices, that you won't even sense it, it will be all around you."

On the sort of high-level panel only found among the ski slopes of Davos, a panel bringing together the heads of Microsoft, Google, Vodafone and Facebook sought to allay fears that the rapid pace of technological advance was killing jobs.

However, Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said tech creates jobs not only in the tech space but outside as well. This week, Facebook released a Deloitte study that estimated the site's value to the global economy at more than 200 billion dollars.

Schmidt quoted statistics he said demonstrated that every tech job created between five and seven jobs in a different area of the economy.

The Google boss further added if there were a single digital market in Europe, 400 million new and important new jobs would be created in Europe, which is suffering from high levels of unemployment.

With one of the main topics at this year's WEF being how to share out the fruits of global growth, the tech barons stressed that the greater connectivity offered by their companies ultimately helps reduce inequalities.

Sandberg said the internet in its early forms was "all about anonymity" but now everyone was sharing everything and everyone was visible.

Schmidt, who had recently come back from the reclusive state of North Korea, said he believed that technology forced potentially hermetic and authoritarian governments to open up as their citizens acquired more knowledge about the outside world.

However, Sandberg told the assembled public that even the current pace of change was only the tip of the iceberg. Today, only 40 per cent of people have internet access, she said, adding if we can do all this with 40 per cent, imagine what we can do with 50, 60, 70 per cent.