Monthly:October 2017

The meeting room, by G Suite

With G Suite, we’re focused on building tools that help you bring great ideas to life. We know meetings are the main entry point for teams to share and shape ideas into action. That’s why we recently introduced Hangouts Meet, an evolution of Google Hangouts designed specifically for the workplace, and Jamboard, a way to bring creative brainstorming directly into meetings. Combined with Calendar and Drive, these tools extend collaboration beyond four walls and transform how we work—so every team member has a voice, no matter location.

But the transformative power of video meetings is wasted if it’s not affordable and accessible to all organizations. So today, we’re introducing Hangouts Meet hardware—a new way to bring high-quality video meetings to businesses of any size. We’re also announcing new software updates designed to make your meetings even more productive.

Introducing Hangouts Meet hardware

Hangouts Meet hardware is a cost-effective way to bring high-quality video meetings to your business. The hardware kit consists of four components: a touchscreen controller, speakermic, 4K sensor camera and ASUS Chromebox.

Hangouts Meet controller

The new controller provides a modern, intuitive touchscreen interface that allows people to easily join scheduled events from Calendar or view meeting details with a single tap. You can pin and mute team members, as well as control the camera, making managing meetings easy. You can also add participants with the dial-a-phone feature and present from a laptop via HDMI. If you’re a G Suite Enterprise edition customer, you can record the meeting to Drive.

Designed by Google, the Hangouts Meet speakermic actively eliminates echo and background noise to provide crisp, clear audio. Up to five speakermics can be daisy-chained together with a single wire, providing coverage for larger rooms without tabletop clutter.

The 4K sensor camera with 120° field of view easily captures everyone at the table, even in small spaces that some cameras find challenging. Each camera component is fine-tuned to make meetings more personal and distraction-free. Built with machine learning, the camera can intelligently detect participants and automatically crop and zoom to frame them.

Powered by Chrome OS, the ASUS Chromebox makes deploying and managing Hangouts Meet hardware easier than ever. The Chromebox can automatically push updates to other components in the hardware kit, making it easier for large organizations to ensure security and reliability. Remote device monitoring and management make it easy for IT administrators to stay in control, too.

New Hangouts Meet enhancements greatly improve user experience and simplify our meeting rooms. It also creates new ways for our team to collaborate. Bradley Rhodes
IT Analyst, Woolworths Limited, Australia

Says Bradley Rhodes, IT Analyst End User Computing at Woolworths Ltd Australia, “We are very excited about the new Hangouts Meet hardware, particularly the easy-to-use touchscreen. The enhancements greatly improve the user experience and simplify our meeting rooms. We have also seen it create new ways for our team to collaborate, like via the touch-to-record functionality which allows absent participants to catch up more effectively.”

More features, better meetings

We’re also announcing updates to Meet based on valuable feedback. If you’re a G Suite Enterprise edition customer, you can:

Dial in image Hangouts Meet
  • Record meetings and save them to Drive. Can’t make the meeting? No problem. Record your meeting directly to Drive. Even without a Hangouts Meet hardware kit, Meet on web can save your team’s ideas with a couple of clicks.
  • Host meetings with up to 50 participants. Meet supports up to 50 participants in a meeting, especially useful for bringing global teams together from both inside and outside of your organization.
  • Dial in from around the globe. The dial-in feature in Meet is now available in more than a dozen markets. If you board a flight in one country and land in another, Meet will automatically update your meeting’s dial-in listing to a local phone number.

These new features are rolling out gradually. The hardware kit is priced at $1999 and is available in select markets around the globe beginning today.

Whether you’re collaborating in Jamboard, recording meetings and referencing discussions in Drive or scheduling your next team huddle in Calendar, Hangouts Meet hardware makes it even easier to bring the power of your favorite G Suite tools into team meetings. For more information, visit the G Suite website.

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The importance of site-wide tagging for accurate conversion measurement in DoubleClick Search

Measurement is foundational to digital marketing. Heading into the holidays, it’s more important than ever to make sure all of your online sales, reservations and leads are measured accurately. To that end, we wanted to bring an important update to your attention: the recent introduction of Intelligent Tracking Prevention affects conversion measurement on Safari. It’s important to update your website tags as soon as possible to support measurement of conversions from Safari. This is in line with Apple’s recommendations for ad attribution. Without updating your tags, it will be difficult to measure the efficacy of your marketing campaigns.

Site-wide tagging preserves your visibility

There are multiple ways to measure the performance of your online advertising. The best options rely on site-wide tagging—tagging that’s applied to every page on your site. Applying the tag to every page of your site keeps your measurement updated and helps to measure conversions more accurately, including in Safari’s ITP environment.
There are two options for complete measurement of conversions from Safari in DoubleClick Search:

Option 1: Install the global site tag (gtag.js) on your entire site

The global site tag (gtag.js) is a new web tagging library that works across Google’s site and conversion measurement products–giving you better control while making implementation easier. The new tag will now serve as the single tag for both AdWords and Google Analytics, with support for DoubleClick Search coming mid-November. By setting it on every page of your site, and including event snippets on your active conversion pages, the global site tag will send conversion data whenever event calls are made.
Stay tuned to learn more about DoubleClick Search support for the new global site tag in November.

Option 2: Use Google Tag Manager

For customers who are already using Google Tag Manager, there’s no need to make any changes to your page—simply add the Conversion Linker tag in the Tag Manager interface, and set it to fire on all pages.
If you’re not using Google Tag Manager, you can get started today. Alternatively, you can start with the global site tag (option 1 above) and then easily upgrade to Tag Manager in the future.
If you’re using a non-Google tool for website measurement, check with your vendor to make sure your solution allows you to measure conversions in Safari’s ITP environment.

Estimating untracked conversions in DoubleClick Search

To help you accurately measure and take action on your conversion data, DoubleClick Search uses statistical modeling. Statistical modeling gathers website conversions for traffic that can’t be measured from Safari and includes them in your DoubleClick Search reporting.
We’ll continue to use statistical modeling in Doubleclick Search where site-wide measurement isn’t applied. However, using site-wide tagging will let you better understand your marketing performance across all DoubleClick products.

Measurement in DoubleClick Campaign Manager and DoubleClick Bid Manager

The two options outlined above also provide more complete measurement of conversions in DoubleClick Campaign Manager and DoubleClick Bid Manager. You can use Google Tag Manager today and the new global site tag in mid-November. Campaign Manager and Bid Manager customers using these two measurement solutions will start to see improvements in measurement coverage over the next few months.
Posted by Sriram Parameswar
Product Manager, DoubleClick SearchRead More

Clear your throat, ditch the remote: New TV shows and movies now casting via Google Home

Ahem. Starting today, you can ask your Google Assistant on Google Home, Google Home Mini, and soon your Google Home Max to play some of your favorite shows and movies from subscription services like HBO NOW, CBS All Access and The CW. You can also cast from eligible Android phones and iPhones.

If you’re in the U.S. with a Google Home and Chromecast, all you have to do is link your HBO NOW and/or CBS All Access account in the Google Home app. You don’t need an account to enjoy content from The CW. Just start by saying, “Ok Google” or “Hey Google”:

  • “Watch Curb Your Enthusiasm”
  • “Play Star Trek: Discovery”
  • “Turn the volume down”
  • “Go back 30 seconds”
  • “Play Riverdale”

More than 55 million of you are already casting with Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices, and we continue to add new features. Plus, with Google Home you can voice cast entertainment from YouTube, YouTube TV, Google Photos and Netflix.

So the next time your hands are full with popcorn, go ahead and forget the remote. Just say, “Hey Google,” sit back and enjoy.

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AlphaGo Zero: Starting from scratch

Artificial intelligence research has made rapid progress in a wide variety of domains from speech recognition and image classification to genomics and drug discovery. In many cases, these are specialist systems that leverage enormous amounts of human expertise and data.However, for some problems this human knowledge may be too expensive, too unreliable or simply unavailable. As a result, a long-standing ambition of AI research is to bypass this step, creating algorithms that achieve superhuman performance in the most challenging domains with no human input. In our most recent paper, published in the journal Nature, we demonstrate a significant step towards this goal.Read More

Meow it’s even easier to find your furry friends in Google Photos

If you have a bunch of photos of your furry friends, you now have the oppawtunity to see them all in one place in Google Photos.

When you want to look back on old photos of Oliver as a puppy or Mr. Whiskers as a kitten, you no longer need to type “dog” or “cat” into search in Google Photos. Rolling out in most countries today, you’ll be able to see photos of the cats and dogs now grouped alongside people, and you can label them by name, search to quickly find photos of them, or even better, photos of you and them. This makes it even easier to create albums, movies, or even a photo book of your pet.

PetsGIF

In addition to now grouping your pets, Google Photos fur-tunately already has a few other features to help you honor your paw-some pet. You can search by breed to see photos of your Poodle or Maine Coon or search by emoji to see all thoseorphotos.

Check the Assistant view in Google Photos to see if we’ve made a pawesome movie starring your pet, which we began rolling out in May. Or if you want to make one yourself, just tap on the new photo group of your pet, select your favorite photos, tap “+” and create a movie (this also works to create a photo book). If you want to swap the soundtrack or create your own movie, we have six pet-inspired songs to choose from in the movie editor—whether you want to raise-the-ruff or add some cattitude.

We hope these features help you better celebrate your four-legged family members in all of their paw-some-ness.

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Help keep kids safe online with Site Blocking from Google Wifi

Being a parent in today’s connected world can be tough. You want to give your kids the ability to learn and explore across the digital universe, but worry they might stumble upon inappropriate content along the way.

With Site Blocking—the latest addition to Google Wifi’s family controls—we’re removing some of the worry. Site Blocking allows you to block access to more than 8 million non-kid-friendly websites on any device in your home—all with a few taps in the Google Wifi app.

wifi site blocking

Site Blocking uses the best of Google’s SafeSearch technology to protect your family. SafeSearch was created in 2009 to help filter explicit content from your Google Search results, and now we’ve worked with the SafeSearch team to apply some of their technology to Google Wifi. Because SafeSearch is constantly crawling the web for new sites, the list of explicit sites blocked by Wifi’s family controls will automatically be updated in real time.

Site Blocking joins an existing set of Family Wi-Fi controls and will be available over the next day to all Google Wifi users around the world—just open the Google Wifi app to get started. Peace of mind is only a few taps away.

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Strengthening our commitment to Canadian research

(French translation below)Three months ago we announced the opening of DeepMinds first ever international AI research laboratory in Edmonton, Canada. Today, we are thrilled to announce that we are strengthening our commitment to the Canadian AI community with the opening of a DeepMind office in Montreal, in close collaboration with McGill University.Opening a second office is a natural next step for us in Canada, a country that is globally recognised as a leader in artificial intelligence research. We have always had strong links with the thriving research community in Canada and Montreal, where large companies, startups, incubators and government come together with ground-breaking teams, such as those at the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) and McGill University.We are delighted that DeepMind Montreal will be led by one of the pioneers of this community,Doina Precup, Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science at McGill, Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and a member of MILA. Doinas expertise is in reinforcement learning – one of DeepMinds specialities – which is critical for areas such as reasoning and planning.In her new position, Doina will continue to focus on fundamental research at McGill, MILA, and DeepMind.Read More

WaveNet launches in the Google Assistant

Just over a year ago we presented WaveNet, a new deep neural network for generating raw audio waveforms that is capable of producing better and more realistic-sounding speech than existing techniques. At that time, the model was a research prototype and was too computationally intensive to work in consumer products. But over the last 12 months we have worked hard to significantly improve both the speed and quality of our model and today we are proud to announce that an updated version of WaveNet is being used to generate the Google Assistant voices for US English and Japanese across all platforms.Using the new WaveNet model results in a range of more natural sounding voices for the Assistant.Read More

Why we launched DeepMind Ethics & Society

At DeepMind, were proud of the role weve played in pushing forward the science of AI, and our track record of exciting breakthroughs and major publications. We believe AI can be of extraordinary benefit to the world, but only if held to the highest ethical standards. Technology is not value neutral, and technologists must take responsibility for the ethical and social impact of their work.As history attests, technological innovation in itself is no guarantee of broader social progress. The development of AI creates important and complex questions. Its impact on societyand on all our livesis not something that should be left to chance. Beneficial outcomes and protections against harms must be actively fought for and built-in from the beginning. But in a field as complex as AI, this is easier said than done.As scientists developing AI technologies, we have a responsibility to conduct and support open research and investigation into the wider implications of our work. At DeepMind, we start from the premise that all AI applications should remain under meaningful human control, and be used for socially beneficial purposes. Understanding what this means in practice requires rigorous scientific inquiry into the most sensitive challenges we face.Read More

Why we launched DeepMind Ethics & Society

At DeepMind, were proud of the role weve played in pushing forward the science of AI, and our track record of exciting breakthroughs and major publications. We believe AI can be of extraordinary benefit to the world, but only if held to the highest ethical standards. Technology is not value neutral, and technologists must take responsibility for the ethical and social impact of their work.As history attests, technological innovation in itself is no guarantee of broader social progress. The development of AI creates important and complex questions. Its impact on societyand on all our livesis not something that should be left to chance. Beneficial outcomes and protections against harms must be actively fought for and built-in from the beginning. But in a field as complex as AI, this is easier said than done.As scientists developing AI technologies, we have a responsibility to conduct and support open research and investigation into the wider implications of our work. At DeepMind, we start from the premise that all AI applications should remain under meaningful human control, and be used for socially beneficial purposes. Understanding what this means in practice requires rigorous scientific inquiry into the most sensitive challenges we face.Read More