Advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence have sparked interest from governments that would like to use these tools for predictive policing to deter crime. Early efforts at crime prediction have been controversial, however, because they do not account for systemic biases in police enforcement and its complex relationship with crime and society. Scientists have developed a new algorithm that forecasts crime by learning patterns in time and geographic locations from public data on violent and property crimes. The model can predict future crimes one week in advance with about 90% accuracy.
Protecting people’s privacy on health topics
Protecting our users’ privacy and securing their data is core to Google’s work. That’s why we design products to help people keep their personal information private, safe, and secure — with easy-to-use tools and built-in protections.Privacy matters to people — especially around topics such as their health. Given that these issues apply to healthcare providers, telecommunications companies, banks, tech platforms, and many more, we know privacy protections cannot be solely up to individual companies or states acting individually. That’s why we’ve long advocated for a comprehensive and nationwide U.S. privacy law that guarantees protections for everyone, and we’re pleased to see recent progress in Congress.But we haven’t waited for a law to take action. We understand that people rely on Google to keep their personal data secure. We’ve long been committed to this work, and today we’re sharing additional steps we’re taking to protect user privacy around health issues.Protecting user privacyWe offer a variety of easy-to-use privacy tools and settings that put people in control of their data. This is particularly important to people around health topics, which is why our data policies include a number of restrictions. In addition, we have protections around:Location History: Location History is a Google account setting that is off by default, and for those that turn it on, we provide simple controls like auto-delete so users can easily delete parts, or all, of their data at any time. Some of the places people visit — including medical facilities like counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, weight loss clinics, cosmetic surgery clinics, and others — can be particularly personal. Today, we’re announcing that if our systems identify that someone has visited one of these places, we will delete these entries from Location History soon after they visit. This change will take effect in the coming weeks.User Data on Apps: Google Play has strict protocols to protect user privacy — including policies that prohibit developers from selling personal and sensitive user data and a requirement that they handle that data securely and only for purposes directly related to operating the app. To further promote transparency and control for users, we also recently introduced Play’s new data safety section that developers use to give people more information about how apps collect, share, and secure their data. For Google Fit and Fitbit, we give users settings and tools to easily access and control their personal data, including the option to change and delete personal information, at any time. For example, Fitbit users who have chosen to track their menstrual cycles in the app can currently delete menstruation logs one at a time, and we will be rolling out updates that let users delete multiple logs at once.Law Enforcement Demands for User Data: Google has a long track record of pushing back on overly broad demands from law enforcement, including objecting to some demands entirely. We take into account the privacy and security expectations of people using our products, and we notify people when we comply with government demands, unless we’re prohibited from doing so or lives are at stake — such as in an emergency situation. In fact, we were the first major company to regularly share the number and types of government demands we receive in a Transparency Report. We remain committed to protecting our users against improper government demands for data, and we will continue to oppose demands that are overly broad or otherwise legally objectionable. We also will continue to support bipartisan legislation, such as the NDO Fairness Act recently passed by the House of Representatives, to reduce secrecy and increase transparency around government data demands.We’re committed to delivering robust privacy protections for people who use our products, and we will continue to look for new ways to strengthen and improve these protections. We support Congressional efforts to reach bipartisan agreement on nationwide privacy protections that move the burden of privacy off individuals and establish good data practices across the board. In the meantime, we will continue our focus on securing our products and protecting the privacy of our users around the world.
Helping AI startups grow in Africa
In 2016, Dr. Anicia Peters discovered a problem. Dr. Peters, a researcher with the University of Namibia and chairperson of the Presidential Task Force on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, noticed that machine learning (ML) startups were not able to grow or shift quickly enough. She believed that early career, self-taught techmakers in the field lacked the necessary breadth and design fundamentals to successfully launch their businesses.Dr. Peters saw a need to teach these fundamentals in a way that would be shareable across the region. The University of Namibia needed to develop a course that would address the need for African AI expertise and, therefore, the needs of these startups. However, that would require funding.In 2020, Dr. Peters learned of Google’s new pilot funding program, the Award for Inclusion Research Program (AIR), managed by the University Relations team within Google Research. They had an open call for applications. Dr. Peters believed securing funding and mentorship from Google’s AIR pilot program would help maximize the impact of the AI startups, break down barriers and bridge connections.“You have to start small, so it’s hard to convince funders who are looking for big numbers,” Peters says. “You know, how many people are you going to be impacting? Namibia has few people compared to other countries.” However, Google’s AIR program saw the potential for immediate and long-term impact and selected Dr. Peters for the award.The funding enabled her to hire a staff member to manage the day-to-day operations of the program. This allowed her team to focus their work on social justice, specifically on inclusion, and ethics, increasing the numbers of African developers and ensuring anyone in Africa could access the resources needed to train as a developer. This funding helped secure these resources and meant they could invite experts to virtually teach, share knowledge and collaborate. “That’s part of what Google does through the University Relations program,” Peters adds. “They enable African university research and tech development.”Dr. Peters had big plans to expand this project to other countries across Africa. Thanks to the relationships established through the AIR grant, she secured an additional Google research grant and recruited additional staff members to help with expansion. This expansion allowed the University of Namibia, which has a strong focus on agriculture, to develop AI technologies in partnership with their agricultural department.“At one stage I was saying – Google if you want to come and help us, in Africa, then you have to join hands with those of us on the continent,” Peters says. “And I think that for me, this is one of the main messages: that now we are really walking the path together. That, for me, is very important. It’s the beginning of great things to come.”Google is currently accepting applications for the Award for Inclusion Research Program. Applications close July 13, 2022 at 11:59pm coordinated universal time (UTC-12).
With Chips Scarce, Now is the Time for a Data Management Redo
In this special guest feature, Nathan Wilson, Channel Marketing Manager at Redstor, outlines why the current chip shortage presents a great time to review your data management strategy. There are several key challenges to keep in mind when it comes to hardware-based data management and protection.
Mentoring the next generation of women techmakers
Annalisa Arcella, a scientist based in London, spent her career working in data science, using her technical expertise to work alongside people in different sectors with different backgrounds. But a project in March 2021 led her in a new direction — working with cloud technology and ultimately becoming a Women Techmakers Ambassador.She started working on a project for the Public Sector in London. The goal was to analyze thousands of responses to public policy consultations. She was collaborating with a customer engineer from the Google Cloud Platform team on the project, as it was her first time using the technology. After the two worked together, he suggested she participate in the Women Developers Academy, an intensive program for women in tech to develop their public speaking skills and confidence.Annalisa was accepted to the Women Developers Academy a few months later. “For two months, they taught us how to contribute to the community via technical public speaking and writing blog posts, as well as how to prepare technical video content,” she says. After graduating, Annalisa was inspired to do more for the community of women in tech around her. “Joining the program motivated me to share my experience and inspire like-minded young women who want to pursue careers in tech,” she says. “I worked and lived in different countries between Europe and the U.S. and women are still a minority group in tech, especially in non-European countries.”In December 2021, Annalisa became a Women Techmakers Ambassador, joining a global group of leaders around the world passionate about impacting their communities and building a world where all women can thrive in tech. Additionally, her first experience using Google Cloud Platform sparked her interest in new areas of technology and led her to a new role as machine learning engineering manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers. “I have always worked closely with engineers in high-performance computing environments, on the boundary of science and tech,” she says. “Now, I’m excited to move to machine learning engineering, spending most of my time on the cloud.”Since becoming an Ambassador and getting a new job, Annalisa has kept quite busy. As an Ambassador, she’s been able to share her knowledge about Google Cloud, and is planning learning sessions in MLOps and Tensorflow. “I am meeting really inspiring people from all over the world,” she says. This role has also allowed her to mentor other women who are interested in getting into the tech industry, as well as participating in training sessions to help her grow her own skills.In June — almost a year after she first participated in the Women Developers Academy — she took center stage to give a talk about the advantages of using fully managed Google Cloud services at the DataLift conference in Berlin. “The talk attracted many people, and the room was full,” she says. “I was talking about the challenges of a small team in machine learning operations, which is one of the hottest topics in data science right now.”
Introducing the first 50 recipients of the Latino Founders Fund
Ver abajo versión en españolSince joining Google almost twelve years ago, it’s been a personal mission of mine to seek new ways for Google to provide access and opportunity to the Latino community. Most recently I’ve been focused on how we can provide this to the Latino startup community, where gaining access to funding — the necessary fuel to grow their companies – is a constant struggle. Latino-led businesses are the fastest-growing segment of U.S. small businesses, but as an aggregate they only receive 2% of total U.S. venture capital funding, despite comprising 20% of the U.S. population.This disparity is why we committed $7 million last year to help Latino founders grow their businesses and support the organizations already nurturing communities of Latino-led startups. We allocated $5 million of that funding to our inaugural Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund, and today at the UnidosUS Annual Conference in San Antonio, we revealed the 50 Latino founders who will each receive $100,000 in cash awards. They’ll also receive hands-on support and mentorship from Googlers across the company, $100,000 in Google Cloud credits, and access to therapy sessions to use as needed for any support they may need emotionally and professionally.These Latino Founders Fund recipients have created amazing businesses that are already making a significant impact. They are helping solve some of the country’s biggest problems, from providing accessible, personalized reproductive health support to helping college graduates get out of debt and creating a more equitable legal system for Americans. Meet some of the recipients below, and read the full list of this year’s awardees here.Two women, one wearing a black shirt and one wearing a green shirt, sit side by side facing the camera in front of large green plants.Tanya Menendez and Pamela Martinez, cofounders of Snowball WealthA woman wearing a blue shirt stands next to a man sitting in a chair behind a laptop.Francisco Cornejo and Daniela Vega, cofounders of StorybookA woman with long brown hair and wearing a black turtleneck smiles at the camera in front of a large green plant.Noelle Acosta, founder of Noula HealthA man wearing a gray suit stands with his arms crossed in front of a brick wall.Eric Alvarez, founder of Grapefruit HealthA woman with black hair smiles at the camera, wearing a black shirt.Ariana Abramson, founder of DivySci SoftwareA man wearing a gray shirt with “USMC” in blue letters looks at the camera, in front of a Spanish-style building.Clay Treska, cofounder of Family ProudA woman with black hair sits angled towards the camera, wearing a pink blazer and top and blue jeans.Camille Padilla, founder of VODIUMA man wearing a blue shirt and baseball cap leans against a stone column in a park.Eli Rivera, cofounder of The Way OutA woman with brown hair over her shoulders smiles at camera, wearing a black shirt that says “People Clerk” in white letters.Camilla Lopez, founder of People ClerkA man with dark hair, beard and mustache leans against a wall outside, wearing a light-colored button down shirt.Alejandro Harb, founder of Lena HealthWe know having a robust network of support is critical to Latino founders’ success. That’s why we committed $1 million to supporting organizations that are dedicated to growing the Latino startup community. In the past few months, we connected founders across North and Latin America through our partnership with eMerge Americas. We teamed up with Visible Hands to launch VHLX, a new program to support Latino entrepreneurs at the earliest stages of their process; those founders received $10,000 in cash stipends from Google to help kickstart their ideas. And we recently wrapped our first Latinx Leaders Summit with Inicio Ventures, and will host a series of pitch competitions for aspiring entrepreneurs later this year.We’ve seen firsthand what happens when we support underrepresented founders with funding and community. For example, over the past two years, Google for Startups has provided $10 million in cash awards to 126 Black founders in the U.S. through our global Black Founders Fund. I’ve had the privilege of working directly with these incredible founders, who have collectively gone on to raise over $75 million in follow-on funding. In addition to follow-on funding, many report that the fund allowed them to attract customers and hire new teammates.I hope this funding and support will not only catalyze the growth of these 50 Latino-led startups, but also inspire other Latinos entrepreneurs to dream, create and innovate to showcase the talent of our community and change the course for their families and communities in the process.Presentamos a los primeros 50 beneficiarios del Fondo de Fundadores LatinosDesde que me uní a Google hace casi doce años, mi misión personal ha sido buscar nuevas formas para que Google brinde acceso y oportunidades a la comunidad latina. Más recientemente, me he centrado en cómo podemos proporcionar esto a la comunidad latina de empresas emergentes, donde obtener acceso a la financiación, el combustible necesario para hacer crecer sus empresas, es una lucha constante. Las empresas lideradas por latinos son el segmento de más rápido crecimiento de las pequeñas empresas de Estados Unidos, pero en conjunto solo reciben el 2 % del financiamiento total de capital de riesgo en Estados Unidos, a pesar de que representan el 20 % de la población del país.Esta disparidad es la razón por la cual comprometimos $7 millones el año pasado para ayudar a los fundadores latinos a hacer crecer sus negocios y apoyar a las organizaciones que ya nutren comunidades de empresas emergentes dirigidas por latinos. Asignamos $5 millones de esa financiación a nuestro Fondo inaugural de Fundadores Latinos de Google for Startups y hoy en la Conferencia Anual de UnidosUS en San Antonio, anunciamos los 50 fundadores latinos que recibirán cada uno $100,000 en efectivo. También recibirán apoyo práctico y tutoría de Googlers (empleados de Google) en toda la empresa, $100,000 en créditos de Google Cloud y acceso a sesiones de terapia para usar según sea necesario para cualquier apoyo que puedan necesitar emocional y profesionalmente.Estos beneficiarios del Fondo de Fundadores Latinos han creado negocios increíbles que ya están teniendo un impacto significativo. Están ayudando a resolver algunos de los problemas más grandes del país, desde brindar salud reproductiva accesible y personalizada, ayudar a los graduados universitarios a salir de deudas y crear un sistema legal más equitativo para los estadounidenses. Lee la lista completa de los galardonados de este año aquí.Sabemos que tener una sólida red de apoyo es fundamental para el éxito de los fundadores latinos. Es por eso que comprometimos $1 millón para apoyar a organizaciones que se dedican a hacer crecer la comunidad latina de empresas emergentes. En los últimos meses, conectamos a fundadores de América del Norte y América Latina a través de nuestra asociación con eMerge Americas. Nos asociamos con Visible Hands para lanzar VHLX, un nuevo programa para apoyar a los empresarios latinos en las primeras etapas de su proceso; esos fundadores recibieron $10,000 en estipendios en efectivo de Google para ayudarlos a poner en marcha sus ideas. Y recientemente finalizamos nuestra primera Cumbre de Líderes Latinx con Inicio Ventures, y organizaremos una serie de concursos de lanzamiento para aspirantes a empresarios a finales de este año.Hemos visto de primera mano lo que sucede cuando apoyamos a los fundadores subrepresentados con fondos y comunidad. Por ejemplo, en los últimos dos años, Google for Startups ha otorgado $10 millones en premios en efectivo a 126 fundadores afroamericanos en los Estados Unidos a través de nuestro Black Founders Fund. He tenido el privilegio de trabajar directamente con estos increíbles fundadores, quienes colectivamente recaudaron más de $75 millones en fondos de seguimiento. Además de la financiación de seguimiento, muchos informan que el fondo les permitió atraer clientes y contratar nuevos compañeros de equipo.Espero que este financiamiento y apoyo no solo catalice el crecimiento de estas 50 nuevas empresas lideradas por latinos, sino que también inspire a otros empresarios latinos a soñar, crear e innovar para mostrar el talento de nuestra comunidad y cambiar el rumbo de sus familias y comunidades en el proceso.
Inside Scoop: National Ice Cream Day with Google Maps
What better way to beat the hot summer heat than with ice cream? We’re not the only ones who crave this sweet treat. In fact, of all the dishes searched on Google Maps in the U.S., ice cream is the second most-searched. So with National Ice Cream Day on July 17, we couldn’t resist a sweet opportunity to celebrate!Whether you prefer an elaborate cone, a simple scoop, or chasing the ice cream truck for your favorite popsicle, we have Google Maps ice cream trends that are sure to make you melt.Here are the most popular ice cream chains in each U.S. state in one fell scoop 🍨:We all scream for ice cream! There are tons of waffle-y beloved local ice cream spots across the U.S. According to Google Maps, these are the ten most popular:Sundaes and cones (New York, NY)Soft Swerve Ice Cream (New York, NY)Milk & Cream Cereal Bar (New York, NY)Surreal Creamery (New York, NY)Glazier Rolled Ice Cream & Boba Tea (San Francisco, CA)Cones Artisanal Ice Cream Since 1998 (New York, NY)Little Man Ice Cream (Denver, CO)Toscanini’s Ice Cream (Cambridge, MA)Sweet Alchemy Ice Creamery (Seattle, WA)Shug’s Soda Factory and Ice Cream (Seattle, WA)Just desserts. Ice cream is the top searched dessert on Google Maps in the U.S., but which states love ice cream the most? These are the top 10 states where anything is popsicle, according to Google Maps data:HawaiiRhode IslandColoradoMassachusettsNew YorkVermontFloridaMaineNew HampshireUtahWho says you have to stick to Sundae Funday? Saturday is the most popular day people search for ice cream on Google Maps. So treat yourself this weekend by heading to your favorite spot, or discovering a new one! We even cone-done spoiling your dinner, because you de(soft)serve it!🍦
A guide to common Ad Manager policy questions
Ad Manager program policies help ensure we preserve a healthy digital ecosystem for the benefit of all users, advertisers and publishers. But we know we can do more to help Ad Manager partners better understand our policies. So, to answer some common questions, we’re sharing a new infographic with important information on:The role of advertising policies for Google’s advertising platformsMost frequently faced policy violationsResolving policy issues and navigating through the Ad Manager Policy CenterCheck it out below, and don’t forget to download or bookmark the infographic below.
Cortical.io Semantic Folding Approach Demonstrates a 2,800x Acceleration and 4,300x Increase in Energy Efficiency over BERT
Cortical.io announced its breakthrough prototype for classifying high volumes of unstructured text. Classifying documents or messages constitutes one of the most fundamental Natural Language Understanding (NLU) functions for business artificial intelligence (AI). The benchmark was carried out on two similar system setups using the same, off-the-shelve, dual AMD-Epyc server hardware. The “BERT” system, a transformer-based machine learning technique for natural language processing, was augmented by a NVidia GPU. The “Semantic Folding” approach utilized a cost comparable number of Xilinx Alveo FPGA accelerator cards.
Big Conversational Data Delivers More Helpful and Human Engagements Between Bots, Customers
n this special guest feature, Andrew Hamel, EVP, Technology, Operations and AI, LivePerson, discusses the connection between big data and human engagement, specifically ways big conversational data delivers more authentic, human engagements between bots and customers.