Monthly:November 2016

Working with the NHS to build lifesaving technology

Were very proud to announce a groundbreaking five year partnership with the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.Doctors and nurses in the NHS do a phenomenal job caring for patients, but theyre being badly let down by technology. Pagers, fax machines and paper records are still standard in most NHS hospitals, and too often top-down IT systems dont meet clinical needs because they are built far away from the frontline of patient care.This slow andoutdated technology means thatimportant changes in apatients condition often dont get brought to the attention of the right clinician in time to prevent further serious illness.When this doesnt happen, the consequences for patients can be severe, and even fatal. At least ten thousand people a year die in UK hospitals through entirely preventable causes, and some 40% of patients could avoid being admitted to intensive care, if the right clinician was able to take the right action sooner.Our partnership aims to change that, by taking a very different approach to building IT for patient care.Together we are creating world-leading technology, in close collaboration withclinicians themselves, to ensure thatthe right patient information gets to the right clinicians at the right time, reducing preventable deaths and illnesses.Read More

Putting Google Wifi to the test

At Google we care deeply about connecting people to the information and services they care about. Better connectivity is at the center of this, and we know that many people wish they had better Wi-Fi coverage in their home. That’s why we created Google Wifi, a new system that replaces your router to provide fast Wi-Fi for every corner of your home, on all your devices.

Google Wifi works differently than a traditional router, using mesh technology. Last week, we wrote about how mesh Wi-Fi is the best way to provide whole home coverage and as mesh is becoming increasingly popular, there are a few other companies offering home mesh solutions.

To see how we stack up, we recently asked Allion USA, a third party testing company, to put Google Wifi head-to-head with other mesh systems: Eero® and Luma®.

Allion connected two units from each system in a 3,000 square foot, two story home and tested Wi-Fi speeds at four different locations. The graphic below shows the speeds (in Mbps)  they measured at each of those locations. Google Wifi came out on top, with the fastest Wi-Fi across the whole home.

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Google Wifi is 75% faster than Eero in the living room, and more than twice as fast as Luma at the same location. When you’re sitting down with your family to stream the latest Hollywood blockbuster in 4K, that speed difference matters!

And when you want to kick back and game in the upstairs bedroom, Google Wifi is 23 Mbps faster than Luma, and five times faster (185 Mbps) than Eero.

Google Wifi is able to outperform other mesh routers because we built it from the ground up to provide fast Wi-Fi in every room. Each Google Wifi point packs high-gain antennas along with powerful amplifiers that make the signal stronger and farther-reaching.

Each point’s quad core network processor, fast packet forwarding engine, and dual gigabit Ethernet ports help the network keep up with all your needs.  Each point delivers AC1200 802.11ac performance in a device that looks nice enough to keep out in the open, where Wi-Fi works its best. Dual-band dual-concurrent radios are compatible with all your Wi-Fi devices, and Google’s Network Assist software takes care of managing complex settings in the background, so you can sit back and enjoy the Wi-Fi.

Simply put, not all Wi-Fi systems are created equal. We’re confident that Google Wifi can deliver better, faster Wi-Fi to your home, no matter what its shape or size. And since we care so much about ensuring you get the best coverage, Allion will continue to test Google Wifi against other mesh products over the coming weeks.

Google Wifi is currently available for pre-order online at retailers like the Google Store. Happy surfing and streaming!


Test performed by Allion USA with an Apple MacBook Air.  Individual results may vary depending on home layout, construction, network client, and interference.  MacBook Air is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Eero is a registered trademark of Eero, Inc. Luma is a registered trademark of Luma, Inc.

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Reinforcement learning with unsupervised auxiliary tasks

Our primary mission at DeepMind is to push the boundaries of AI, developing programs that can learn to solve any complex problem without needing to be taught how. Our reinforcement learning agents have achieved breakthroughs in Atari 2600 games and the game of Go. Such systems, however, can require a lot of data and a long time to learn so we are always looking for ways to improve our generic learning algorithms.Read More

Found in translation: More accurate, fluent sentences in Google Translate

In 10 years, Google Translate has gone from supporting just a few languages to 103, connecting strangers, reaching across language barriers and even helping people find love. At the start, we pioneered large-scale statistical machine translation, which uses statistical models to translate text. Today, we’re introducing the next step in making Google Translate even better: Neural Machine Translation.  

Neural Machine Translation has been generating exciting research results for a few years and in September, our researchers announced Google’s version of this technique. At a high level, the Neural system translates whole sentences at a time, rather than just piece by piece. It uses this broader context to help it figure out the most relevant translation, which it then rearranges and adjusts to be more like a human speaking with proper grammar. Since it’s easier to understand each sentence, translated paragraphs and articles are a lot smoother and easier to read. And this is all possible because of end-to-end learning system built on Neural Machine Translation, which basically means that the system learns over time to create better, more natural translations.

Today we’re putting Neural Machine Translation into action with a total of eight language pairs to and from English and French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Turkish. These represent the native languages of around one-third of the world’s population, covering more than 35% of all Google Translate queries!

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With this update, Google Translate is improving more in a single leap than we’ve seen in the last ten years combined. But this is just the beginning. While we’re starting with eight language pairs within Google Search  the Google Translate app, and website; our goal is to eventually roll Neural Machine Translation out to all 103 languages and surfaces where you can access Google Translate.

And there’s more coming today too — Google Cloud Platform, our public cloud service, offers Machine Learning APIs that make it easy for anyone to use our machine learning technology. Today, Google Cloud Platform is also making the system behind Neural Machine Translation available for all businesses through Google Cloud Translation API. You can learn more about it here.

Today’s step towards Neural Machine Translation is a significant milestone for Google Translate, but there’s always more work to do and we’ll continue to learn over time. We’ll also continue to rely on  Translate Community, where language loving multilingual speakers can help share their language by contributing and reviewing translations. We can’t wait for you to start translating and understanding the world just a little bit better.

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Making a ‘mesh’ of your Wi-Fi

Whether we’re binge watching in the bedroom, gaming in the basement, or taking a video call from the kitchen, we want fast Wi-Fi in every room of our homes. And yet we still put up with Wi-Fi headaches, like spotty connections, dead zones, and blinking lights when something goes wrong.

As we continue to bring the latest and greatest gadgets into our homes, we want to make sure they get the connectivity they need. That’s why we built Google Wifi, to give you fast Wi-Fi in every room, on every device. We’re able to eliminate spotty connections, dead zones and blinking lights using our new mesh Wi-Fi system.

But what is mesh, exactly? We’re glad you asked…

A mesh network is a group of routers that communicate wirelessly to each other to create a single Wi-Fi network that provides a blanket of connectivity. This allows you to have multiple sources of powerful Wi-Fi throughout your home, instead of just a single router.

Think about where the router is located in your home. Probably in a corner, close to where the internet service enters your home. The problem is, that far flung corner is the worst location to place a router if you want fast Wi-Fi throughout the house. The farther you are from the router, the weaker the signal, which leads to dreaded dead zones and buffered videos.

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Google Wifi addresses the problem by allowing you to wirelessly expand your network through mesh.  For the networking experts – that’s IEEE 802.11s mesh, that’s further improved by a few of Google’s own innovations.

Since Wi-Fi is broadcasted from each Wifi point (and not just a single router), Google Wifi is a connected system that provides better coverage over a wider space. The system is flexible and scalable, so if you have a larger home, connect as many points as needed to get better Wi-Fi in every room (our 3-pack covers up to 4,500 sq. ft). Wifi points connect wirelessly, so you don’t need to run Ethernet cables throughout your house.

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Since all the Wifi points are connected to each other, data can take several paths toward its destination — and we use our Network Assist technology to ensure that Google Wifi points always choose the fastest route from your device to the internet. This means that you get faster Wi-Fi speeds for things like streaming and gaming.

Want to make a ‘mesh’ of your house? Google Wifi is available for pre-order in the US beginning today at retailers like the Google Store. A single Wifi point retails for $129, and covers homes up to 1,500 square feet. The three-pack, at $299, covers homes up to 4,500 square feet. Google Wifi ships on December 6th, just in time for fast Wi-Fi for all of your holiday guests.

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DeepMind and Blizzard to release StarCraft II as an AI research environment

Today at BlizzCon 2016 in Anaheim, California, we announced our collaboration with Blizzard Entertainment to open up StarCraft II to AI and Machine Learning researchers around the world.Read More