google

Where the sun doesn’t shine

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ML is short for machine learning, referring to computer algorithms that can learn to perform particular tasks on their own by analyzing data. AutoML, in turn, is a machine-learning algorithm that learns to build other machine-learning algorithms.

With it, Google may soon find a way to create A.I. technology that can partly take the humans out of building the A.I. systems that many believe are the future of the technology industry. […]

The tech industry is promising everything from smartphone apps that can recognize faces to cars that can drive on their own. But by some estimates, only 10,000 people worldwide have the education, experience and talent needed to build the complex and sometimes mysterious mathematical algorithms that will drive this new breed of artificial intelligence.

The world’s largest tech businesses, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft, sometimes pay millions of dollars a year to A.I. experts, effectively cornering the market for this hard-to-find talent. The shortage isn’t going away anytime soon, just because mastering these skills takes years of work. […]

Eventually, the Google project will help companies build systems with artificial intelligence even if they don’t have extensive expertise.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

art { Ellsworth Kelly, Concorde I (state), 1981-82 }

‘To him who looks upon the world rationally, the world in its turn presents a rational aspect.’ –Hegel

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Google started testing their cars on public roads back in 2009, long before any regulations were even dreamed of. An examination of the California Vehicle Code indicated there was nothing in there prohibiting testing.

For testing purposes, Google has a trained safety driver sitting behind the wheel, ready to take it at any moment. Any attempt to take the wheel or use the pedals disables the automatic systems and the safety driver is in control. The safety drivers took special driving safety courses and were instructed to take control if they have any doubt about safe operation. For example, if a vehicle is not braking as expected when approaching a cross walk, take the controls immediately, do not wait to see if it will detect the pedestrians and stop.

The safety drivers are accompanied by a second person in the passenger seat. Known as the software operator, this person monitors diagnostic screens showing what the system is perceiving and planning, and tells the safety driver if something appeared to be going wrong. The software operator is also an extra set of eyes on the road from time to time.

Many other developers have taken this approach, and some of the regulations written have coded something similar to it into law.

This style of testing makes sense if you consider how we train teen-agers to drive. We allow them to get behind the wheel with almost no skill at all, and a driving instructor sits in the passenger seat. While not required, professional driving instructors tend to have their own brake pedal, and know how and when to grab the wheel if need be. They let the student learn and make minor mistakes, and correct the major ones.

The law doesn’t require that, of course. After taking a simple written test, a teen is allowed to drive with a learner’s permit as long as almost any licenced adult is in the car with them. While it varies from country to country, we let these young drivers get full solo licences after only a fairly simple written test and a short road test which covers only a tiny fraction of situations we will encounter on the road. They then get their paperwork and become the most dangerous drivers on the road.

In contrast, robocar testing procedures have been much more strict, with more oversight by highly trained supervisors. With regulations, there have been requirements for high insurance bonds and special permits to go even further. Both software systems and teens will make mistakes, but the reality is the teens are more dangerous.

{ Brad Templeton | Continue reading }

related { Will You Need a New License to Operate a Self-Driving Car? }

‘Will you ever forget bis goggle eye?’ –James Joyce

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The highest European Union court decided on Tuesday that Google must, in some cases, grant users a so-called right to be forgotten that includes the removal of links to embarrassing legal records.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

related { Research in India suggests Google search results can influence an election | Biased search rankings alter the voting preferences of undecided voters }

images { 1 | 2. Gregory Reid }

1/2 litro di rosso per il Conte Dracula

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Designed for Google’s forthcoming Glass headset, it recognises people by the clothes they are wearing. Their name is then overlaid on the headset’s video.

{ NewScientist | Continue reading }

related { A technological singularity is defined as ‘the creation, by technology, of greater-than-human intelligence.’ Is it plausible? }

images { 1 | 2 }

Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver

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Google Glass comes with yet another, even more important feature: lifebits, the ability to record video of the people, places, and events around you, at all times. […]

“I’m recorded by security cameras all day, it doesn’t bother me, what’s the difference?” […] It’s a Google project. And Google has the capacity to combine Glass with other technologies it owns.

{ Creative Good | Continue reading }

On the South Circular road in the company of Elsa Potter, followed by an individual of sinister aspect, she went half way down Stamer street and turned abruptly back

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Google Chairman Eric Schmidt says Apple should have continued to use Google’s mapping application in iOS 6 instead of swapping it out for its poorly received home-brewed replacement, and given the sour reception Apple’s Maps app has been given, he may have been right.

But multiple sources familiar with Apple’s thinking say the company felt it had no choice but to replace Google Maps with its own, because of a disagreement over a key feature: Voice-guided turn-by-turn driving directions.

{ All Things D | Continue reading }

related { Ecce Homo }

Something has gone terribly wrong in the relationship between media companies and their customers

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Google+ is functioning exactly as intended. […]

Google Plus is no longer attempting to be a social networking site as its primary focus.

Nobody uses it anywhere near the magnitude of Facebook, and Google is very aware of that. I’m told by people familiar with the situation that even internally the employees laugh at it as a social networking site, and almost everyone has a profile that they never even use past the first two days of experimentation.

But eventually, as indicated by the Google Plus links everywhere, Google Plus will be everything. Every YouTube account is really the video section of Google Plus. Search is just querying the Internet via Google Plus. GMail accounts are Google Plus recipients, and so on.

{ Silicon News | Continue reading }

I think fast, I talk fast, and I need you guys to act fast

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Microsoft tops the list of companies making the most requests to Google to takedown copyrighted material.

Google’s Transparency Report previously tracked the number of requests from governments and released data on copyright requests to the Chilling Effects website. Now, it has decided to start publishing more details after a jump in the number of copyright-related notices, largely under the US DMCA, which requires Google to stop linking to sites if it receives a complaint.

“These days it’s not unusual for us to receive more than 250,000 requests each week, which is more than what copyright owners asked us to remove in all of 2009.”

{ PC Pro | Continue reading }

painting { Franz Kline, Suspended, 1953 }

‘Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.’ –Mike Tyson

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It’s famously tough getting through the Google interview process. But now we can reveal just how strenuous are the mental acrobatics demanded from prospective employees. Job-seekers can expect to face open-ended riddles, seemingly impossible mathematical challenges and mind-boggling estimation puzzles. (…)

1. You are shrunk to the height of a 2p coin and thrown into a blender. Your mass is reduced so that your density is the same as usual. The blades start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do? (…)

3. Design an evacuation plan for San Francisco. (…)

5. Imagine a country where all the parents want to have a boy. Every family keeps having children until they have a boy; then they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in this country? (…)

6. Use a programming language to describe a chicken. (…)

7. What is the most beautiful equation you have ever seen? (…) Most would agree this is a lame answer:
E = MC2
It’s like a politician saying his favorite movie is Titanic.
You want Einstein? A better reply is:
G = 8πT (…)

8. You want to make sure that Bob has your phone number. You can’t ask him directly. Instead you have to write a message to him on a card and hand it to Eve, who will act as a go-between. Eve will give the card to Bob and he will hand his message to Eve, who will hand it to you. You don’t want Eve to learn your phone number. What do you ask Bob? (…)

11. How much would you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle? (…)

14. Can you swim faster through water or syrup?

{ Wired | Continue reading }

images, clockwise from top left { 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 }

quote { thanks Tim }

When love absorbs. War! War! The tympanum.

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“Whatever you post online, expect it to be used by companies to sell advertising,” says Rick Dakin.

{ 5 Ways Google Earns Money Off You | SmartMoney | full story }

images { 1. Marija Mandic | 2. Dan Christofferson }

I want you to keep that dime as a souvenir of Big Joe

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Whereas Android generates $1.70/device/year and thus an Android device with a two year life generates about $3.5 to Google over its life, Apple obtained $576.3 for each iOS device it sold in 2011.

{ ASYMCO | Continue reading }

related { iPhone Outselling All Other Smartphones Combined at Sprint and AT&T. }

I remember this one time on Facebook someone ‘poked me’ and I stabbed him

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One quick story: I was a venture capitalist in 2001. A company, Oingo, which later became Applied Semantics, had a technique for how search engines could make money by having people bid for ads. My partner at the firm said, “we can probably pick up half this company for cheap. They are running out of money.” It was during the Internet bust.

“Are you kidding me, “ I said. “they are in the search engine business. That’s totally dead.” And I went back to playing the Defender machine that was in my office. That I would play all day long even while companies waited in the conference room.

A year later they were bought by Google for 1% of Google. Our half would’ve now been worth hundreds of millions if we had invested. I was the worst venture capitalist ever. They had changed their name from Oingo to Applied Semantics to what became within Google…AdWords and AdSense, which has been 97% of Google’s revenues since 2001. 97%. $67 billion dollars. (…)

Ken Lang buys his patents back from Lycos for almost nothing. He starts a company: I/P Engine. Two weeks ago he announced he was merging his company with a public company, Vringo (Nasdaq: VRNG). Because it’s Ken, I buy the stock although will buy more after this article is out and readers read this.

The company sues Google for a big percentage of those $67 billion in revenues plus future revenues. The claim: Google has willfully infringed on Vringo – I/P’s patents for sorting ads based on click-throughs.

{ James Altucher/TechCrunch | Continue reading }