Technology

Calling all teens: join the latest round of Google Code-inCalling all teens: join the latest round of Google Code-in

GoogleBlog - Wed, 11/28/2018 - 20:00

Yesterday marked the start of the 7th year of Google Code-in (GCI), our pre-university contest introducing students to open source development. GCI takes place entirely online and is open to students between the ages of 13 and 17 around the globe.

Open source software makes up the backbone of the internet, from servers and routers to the phone in your pocket, but it’s a community-driven effort. Google Code-in serves a dual purpose of encouraging young developers and ensuring that open source communities continue to grow.

The concept is simple: students complete bite-sized tasks created by 17 participating open source organizations on topic areas of their choice, including:

  • Coding

  • Documentation/Training

  • Outreach/Research

  • Quality Assurance

  • User Interface

Tasks take an average of 3-5 hours to complete and include the guidance of a mentor to help along the way. Complete one task? Get a digital certificate. Three tasks? Get a Google t-shirt. Mentor organizations pick finalists and grand prize winners from among the 10 students who contributed most to that organization. Finalists get a hoodie and Grand Prize winners get a trip to Google headquarters in California where they meet Googlers, mentors and fellow winners.  

Google Code-in began with 361 students from 45 countries and has grown to include, in 2015, 980 students from 65 countries. You can read about the experiences of past participants on the Google Open Source blog. Over the last 6 years, more than 3,000 students from 99 countries have successfully completed tasks in GCI.

Student Ahmed Sabie had this to say, “Overall, Google Code-in was the experience of a lifetime. It set me up for the future by teaching me relevant and critical skills necessary in software development.”

Know of a student who might be interested? Learn more about GCI by checking out our rules and FAQs. And please visit our contest site and read the Getting Started Guide. Teachers, you can find additional resources here to help get your students started.

The Google Code-in contest is now open! Students ages 13 to 17 gain real-world software development experience by building open source software with the support of mentors.
Categories: Technology

Calling all teens: join the latest round of Google Code-inCalling all teens: join the latest round of Google Code-in

GoogleBlog - Wed, 11/28/2018 - 20:00

Yesterday marked the start of the 7th year of Google Code-in (GCI), our pre-university contest introducing students to open source development. GCI takes place entirely online and is open to students between the ages of 13 and 17 around the globe.

Open source software makes up the backbone of the internet, from servers and routers to the phone in your pocket, but it’s a community-driven effort. Google Code-in serves a dual purpose of encouraging young developers and ensuring that open source communities continue to grow.

The concept is simple: students complete bite-sized tasks created by 17 participating open source organizations on topic areas of their choice, including:

  • Coding

  • Documentation/Training

  • Outreach/Research

  • Quality Assurance

  • User Interface

Tasks take an average of 3-5 hours to complete and include the guidance of a mentor to help along the way. Complete one task? Get a digital certificate. Three tasks? Get a Google t-shirt. Mentor organizations pick finalists and grand prize winners from among the 10 students who contributed most to that organization. Finalists get a hoodie and Grand Prize winners get a trip to Google headquarters in California where they meet Googlers, mentors and fellow winners.  

Google Code-in began with 361 students from 45 countries and has grown to include, in 2015, 980 students from 65 countries. You can read about the experiences of past participants on the Google Open Source blog. Over the last 6 years, more than 3,000 students from 99 countries have successfully completed tasks in GCI.

Student Ahmed Sabie had this to say, “Overall, Google Code-in was the experience of a lifetime. It set me up for the future by teaching me relevant and critical skills necessary in software development.”

Know of a student who might be interested? Learn more about GCI by checking out our rules and FAQs. And please visit our contest site and read the Getting Started Guide. Teachers, you can find additional resources here to help get your students started.

The Google Code-in contest is now open! Students ages 13 to 17 gain real-world software development experience by building open source software with the support of mentors.
Categories: Technology

Meet the 2018 Google News Initiative Journalism FellowsMeet the 2018 Google News Initiative Journalism Fellows

GoogleBlog - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 15:00

In 2013, we began a News Fellows program, as an investment in the next generation of digital reporters. The fellowship is an important part of the Google News Initiative’s commitment to strengthen the quality of journalism and empower news organizations to make use of technology, through pairing students interested in journalism and technology with prestigious media organizations around the world.

Since its launch, the program has expanded into 12 regions with an alumni network of over 300 journalists and innovators across the world. This month, we welcomed the 2018 U.S. Google News Initiative Fellows to Mountain View ahead of their summer fellowships at journalism nonprofits across the country:


This month, we welcomed the 2018 U.S. Google News Initiative Fellows to Mountain View ahead of their summer fellowships at journalism nonprofits across the country.
Categories: Technology

With summer ahead, what the world searched for this weekWith summer ahead, what the world searched for this week

GoogleBlog - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 13:30

Each week, we take a look at the top trending topics in Search for a sense of what the world is thinking about. Here’s a look at a few of the trending searches this week—some playful and some serious—with data from the Google News Lab

[Insert header pun here … punalty intended]

This week, fans around the world put the Gooooooooooogle in goooooooooooal!, making the World Cup the single biggest topic in Search. Everybody loves a home team, but it’s Brazil that’s leading searches globally. Meh about the players but love the game? Get in on the action with “Drills and skills” videos on YouTube; their views have increased six times since the last FIFA World Cup. And you can keep track of all your favorite teams and players with Google Trends.

The best part of the world’s best lasagnaAmid searches for “best in the world,” the top contenders were “best soccer player in the world” (because World Cup, see above) and “best restaurants in the world,” since the list of top 50 restaurants in the world was released this week. Topping the list is an Italian eatery whose menu listings include “an eel swimming up the Po river” and “the crunchy part of the lasagna.” Clearly they’re onto something ... the top searched “world’s best” food is lasagna, which maybe you’d pair with the next item on the list, “world’s best beer.”

The sun never sets on party ideasIf you found that beer, hopefully you sipped it on it yesterday—it was summer solstice, the longest day of the year. And if that lager rendered you pensive, you may have joined those who wondered, “what is the summer solstice?” and, soberly, “when does summer end?” Perk up while the sun’s up: “summer solstice party ideas” was the top related query to the phenomenon, and no place searched for the solstice more than the U.K., where nearly 10,000 people gathered to celebrate at Stonehenge.

Summer solstice playlistQueen Bey and the queen’s consort Jay-Z reign again, dropping a surprise album, “Everything Is Love,” last weekend. Search interest went up for both Bey and Jay in the U.S., 92 percent and 130 percent respectively, but Beyoncé was searched more than Jay-Z in every U.S. state. Jay-Z’s streaming platform Tidal also got its own wave of searches: interest in Tidal spiked 267 percent in the past week. The album release included a masterpiece of a music video at the Louvre, prompting people to search “How much does it cost to rent out the Louvre?” and “Where is the Mona Lisa?”

Crisis at the borderOn a more serious note, the world turned its attention to the U.S.-Mexico border this week, as anger erupted over immigrant children being separated from their families and held at migrant detention centers. A viral photo of a young girl caused a 3000 percent spike in searches for “crying toddler at border.” Searches for the Secretary of Homeland Security spiked by over 5000 percent, as did searches for former First Lady Laura Bush, who spoke out against the separation. The top “how to help” questions this week were “How to help immigrant children?” and “How to help families separated at the border?” as people searched for ways to contribute.


Check out what’s trending on Google with a look at a few of the top searches from this week.
Categories: Technology

Get verified to manage your presence on GoogleGet verified to manage your presence on Google

GoogleBlog - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 12:00

When you search for well-known people, organizations and things on Google, you’ll often come across a Knowledge Panel on the results page—a box with an overview of key information and links to resources to help you go deeper.


Individuals and organizations with Knowledge Panels can use our verification process to claim their panels and provide authoritative feedback on the information and images presented. Now we’re updating that process as well as extending verification eligibility to more entities.


Any person, organization, sports team, event and media property with a Knowledge Panel is eligible to get verified and suggest edits to the information shown. Simply search for your name or organization on Search and click or tap the prompt below the Knowledge Panel to begin the verification process.

Once you’re verified, you can suggest factual changes to information in your Knowledge Panel and suggest a featured image. You can learn more about how to provide this feedback in our help center.


We're always working on ways to improve Search to ensure you find the most relevant, accurate information possible. We hope that by giving individuals and entities an improved way to help us get it right if something’s off, we get closer to that goal.


We’re making it easier for people, organizations, sports teams and more to get verified and manage their presence on Google.
Categories: Technology

Save dinosaurs from extinction in a game world built with Google MapsSave dinosaurs from extinction in a game world built with Google Maps

GoogleBlog - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 11:00

Back in March we announced a product to help developers build games using the information Google Maps knows about the world around you. It enables game studios to easily reimagine our world as a medieval fantasy, a bubble gum candy land, or a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic city. It even helps them find the best places for gameplay––whether it’s a landmark where a player refuels or a park where they must go to complete a mission––no matter where in the world players are.


Just in time for summer and the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom™, you can explore a virtual world built with Google Maps while saving dinosaurs from extinction. Ludia and Universal’s Jurassic World™ Alive is available for free on Google Play and the App Store now.


Ludia used Google Maps’ rich and accurate data to create a game world where dinosaurs have escaped Jurassic World on Isla Nublar to roam freely in cities and neighborhoods around the world. As a member of the Dinosaur Protection Group, your mission is to save dinosaurs from another extinction––and you do that by exploring the world around you. Nestled among 3D buildings, roads, landmarks, and parks, you’ll find dinosaurs, track them with drones, collect DNA samples to level up, and create hybrid dinosaurs in your lab. Once you’ve assembled your own roster of prehistoric animals, you can battle other players to defend against threats to your mission.

To perform your duties as part of the Dinosaur Protection Group, you’ll need to earn rewards like in-game currency and battery life for your drone by finding supply drops––all strategically placed in fun (and appropriate) places using Google Maps’ in-depth understanding of real world places.

The game uses ARCore, Google's platform for building augmented reality experiences, to power an exciting (and terrifying!) AR mode that lets you get up close and personal with dinosaurs in your collection. To get to the AR mode, tap the collection icon at the bottom of your screen, select a dinosaur, and then tap the round AR icon on the right hand side.

So if you’re still bummed that dinosaurs went extinct millions of years ago, try Jurassic World Alive and spend some quality time with prehistoric beasts in your own natural habitat.

The real world goes jurassic in the newest location-based mobile game, Jurassic World™ Alive. Find dinosaurs, breed new types, and save them from extinction in a rich real-world game built with Google Maps.
Categories: Technology

What does a green arrow on Google Chrome mean?

AskDaveTaylor - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 10:02

Google puts a lot of effort into ensuring that its uber-popular Chrome web browser is safe from malware and other bad software that could show up on your system, whether you’re running Android, Windows, MacOS X or even Linux. If you’re not adding third party extensions and plug-ins, you should be pretty darn safe, and if you are adding extensions, make sure they’re from reputable developers and, worst case, delete the ones you aren’t sure about by going to More Tools > Extensions from the “•••” menu. That’s a good idea anyway, just like toolbars; don’t just add ’em because you can!

Now, if the green arrow is the one I think it is, that’s actually part of Google Chrome itself. Really. It denotes that there’s a system update available for the browser and that you’re now running an obsolete and potentially dangerous older version. Generally speaking, Google does a really seamless job with upgrades too, so every tab you have will re-open once you’ve updated so there’s really no reason not to do it immediately.

Let’s check it out, because as you sent this in I also got a green arrow icon and was darn curious what it was about. You can see it on the right side, below…

The red icon is ExpressVPN (handy having it on the browser toolbar) but that green circle with the white arrow? No idea, I certainly have no memory of installing an extension that has that graphic. So what is it?

Turns out if you move the cursor over one of the little icons, it’ll pop up a window that tells you what program or extension is responsible for that particular element. Like this:

At this point if you’re super skeptical, you could ask “but is that really what it is, or is this some sort of scam trick to get me to click on it?” My answer: Yeah, that’s what it is.

I’ll find out by clicking!

And it’s only now that I realize that it’s replaced the usual “•••” icon, which is clear when the regular Chrome menu pops up, as shown above.

Of course, it’s the first line in the menu that’s important: “Update Google Chrome”. Okay, let’s do it.

You can remain skeptical, but it’d be quite a hack to have this be something that’s going to actually install malware rather than do what it says, update chrome and relaunch it.

Trust. Let’s retain it.

Categories: Technology

How Can I Delete a Gmail Filter?

AskDaveTaylor - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 14:32

Google has made it really easy to set up and add new email filters with your Gmail account [not sure how to do that? Check out my tutorial: How to create Gmail mail filters] but editing your filters or getting rid of them entirely is a bit more tricky because you have to wade through the poorly designed settings and preferences area of the service.

I know, you’re saying “Dave, they just released a big interface update, doesn’t that fix the Settings?” If only. Fact is, the interface tweaks and AI additions are all about your inbox and nothing about settings and preferences. But if you’ve been using computers for a while, you can wade through the nerdy complexity of the Gmail settings with me and we can do just fine.

Ready?

To start, go to the gear icon on the top right of your Gmail screen and click to bring up the main menu:

As shown, you want to choose “Settings” to proceed. Now along the top of your screen are the main categories, shown as if we were still in 2001 or something

Categories: Technology

Chatting up your Google Assistant just got easierChatting up your Google Assistant just got easier

GoogleBlog - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 10:00

One of the most important things we learn as children is how to communicate with each other. We start with “goo goos and gaa gaas,” then on to baby sign language, a few simple words like “momma,” and our conversations get more complex from there.

For the Google Assistant to have a natural conversation, it should be able to understand when it’s being spoken to and should be capable of responding to several requests during an interaction. We’re taking another step forward in making your interactions with the Google Assistant more natural with Continued Conversation, available starting today on Google Home, Google Home Mini and Google Home Max.

We’ve heard from a lot of people that adding “Hey Google” before each follow-up question for the Assistant doesn’t feel as natural as they’d like. We announced Continued Conversation at I/O as an optional setting which lets you have a natural back-and-forth conversation with the Assistant without repeating “Hey Google” for each follow-up request. The new feature is starting to roll out today, and you can turn it on in the Google Assistant app by going to Settings → Preferences → Continued Conversation and hitting the toggle.

With Continued Conversation turned on, after you ask the Assistant a question, you can ask a follow-up, set a reminder, or add something to your shopping list without having to say “Hey Google” each time. You can say “thank you” or “stop” once you’re done, or we’ll end the conversation once we detect that you’re no longer talking to the Assistant. You’ll still need to activate your Assistant devices with “Ok Google,” “Hey Google,” or with a physical trigger, but with this new optional setting turned on, the Assistant will stay active for long enough to respond to follow up questions so you don't have to say “Hey Google” as often.

So next time you wake up and the skies are grey, just ask “Hey Google, what’s the weather today?”... “And what about tomorrow?”... “Can you add a rain jacket to my shopping list”... “And remind me to bring an umbrella tomorrow morning”...“Thank you!”

With today’s update, your conversations with the Google Assistant will be more natural and intuitive than they’ve ever been—your Google Assistant is growing up!

Categories: Technology

#IMakeApps: Meet Niek Bokkers, a Dutch adventurer and creative director#IMakeApps: Meet Niek Bokkers, a Dutch adventurer and creative director

GoogleBlog - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 10:00

Editor’s note: To celebrate the hard work, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of app makers around the world, this week, and over the coming months, we’ll celebrate our Android community by featuring founders, product managers, designers and developers from around the world. We’ll showcase their passions and also hear about what they do when they step away from their computersMeet our next app maker, Niek Bokkers, a Dutch adventurer, co-founder and creative director of Polarsteps. And check out more #IMakeApps stories on g.co/play/imakeapps.

Niek is an adventurer by heart. He started traveling with his dad and twin brother when he was six and hasn't stopped since, going on epic adventures to Africa and Asia. His travels inspired the idea for Polarsteps, a travel tracking app that automatically captures every place you visit.

We caught up with Niek during his latest trip to Nepal:


When did you get into technology?
With a dad in IT, I grew up with technology. I first started applying it myself at university. After a few years of building websites and other interactive concepts, I combined my passion for travel with the possibilities of technology.


How did you come up with the idea for Polarsteps?
The first setup I made years ago when I crossed the Atlantic on a catamaran with my father. I wanted to find a way to keep my family and friends up to date on our progress on the ocean. We bought a satellite phone that allowed me to send GPS coordinates to a cellphone that I had connected to a server. The GPS coordinates were calculated into an X and Y value that were plotted on map. Every day at 6pm we would send out an update to make it easy to see if we had made some progress. Back at home I decided to build the first real prototype of the Polarsteps app and brought it with me on my bike trip from Amsterdam to Capetown. I was getting so much positive feedback during the trip that I decided to professionalise the app.


What is your role at Polarsteps?
My responsibility is to make sure that travelers love our app and our company. Part of that means coming up with cool new features and of course, validating them.


What has been your experience with Android & Google Play?
It has been a great! From the 1st prototype we built, to our most recent challenges around scaling up, we have found Android and Google Play to be incredibly developer-friendly. Without it I couldn’t have made my dream come true!


How has your app business grown since you started?
Soon after we started Polarsteps, we found the means to work on the product full time. First we were with 4, now we’re about to hire our 9th employee. Our app has more than 600k downloads from all over the world and is used in more than 180 countries.


Niek is an adventurer by heart but also the co-founder and creative director of the app Polarsteps.
Categories: Technology

More transparency and control in your Google AccountMore transparency and control in your Google Account

GoogleBlog - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 06:00

Several years ago, we brought our privacy and security settings together in one place to make it easier for you to choose the options that are right for you. Billions of people have now visited their Google Account and over 20 million people do so every day.

Today, we’re announcing an improved Google Account experience. It includes new features to more easily navigate your account, more prominent security and privacy options, and detailed summaries of relevant information associated with it—like your personal info, your devices, payment methods, purchases, subscriptions, reservations, and contacts. The new experience is available today for all Android users and will launch on iOS and web later this year.

New ways to find what you need

We’ve added new features in your Google Account to make it even easier to review and control this data. We’ve introduced a new search functionality that enables you to find settings and other info you might be looking for in your account, like how to change your password.

When you have a problem but don't quite know what to look for, you can access a new dedicated support section as well. There, you'll find help with common tasks, like upgrading your account storage, and get answers from community experts.

More helpful privacy and security information

We know that when it comes to data and privacy, one size does not fit all. To help you better understand and take control of your Google Account, we've made all your privacy options easy to review with our new intuitive, user-tested design. You can now more easily find your Activity controls in the Data & Personalization tab and choose what types of activity data are saved in your account to make Google work better for you. There, you’ll also find the recently updated Privacy Checkup that helps you review your privacy settings and explains how they shape your experience across Google services.

In October, we updated our Security Checkup to provide you with an overview of your account security and personalized recommendations. The new Google Account experience builds on this and will show you prominent notices if we detect there’s something you can do to improve your security. For example, we might suggest you remove your account from old devices you’re no longer using or remove unverified apps you had granted access to your account data.

We are committed to providing you with the controls you need to choose what’s right for you. For years, we’ve built and refined tools to help you easily understand, protect, and control your information. As needs around security and privacy evolve, we will continue to improve these important tools to help you control how Google works for you.

The improved Google Account experience includes new features to more easily navigate your account, more prominent security and privacy options, and detailed summaries of relevant information associated with your account.
Categories: Technology

More transparency and control in your Google AccountMore transparency and control in your Google Account

GoogleBlog - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 06:00

Several years ago, we brought our privacy and security settings together in one place to make it easier for you to choose the options that are right for you. Billions of people have now visited their Google Account and over 20 million people do so every day.

Today, we’re announcing an improved Google Account experience. It includes new features to more easily navigate your account, more prominent security and privacy options, and detailed summaries of relevant information associated with it—like your personal info, your devices, payment methods, purchases, subscriptions, reservations, and contacts. The new experience is available today for all Android users and will launch on iOS and web later this year.

New ways to find what you need

We’ve added new features in your Google Account to make it even easier to review and control this data. We’ve introduced a new search functionality that enables you to find settings and other info you might be looking for in your account, like how to change your password.

When you have a problem but don't quite know what to look for, you can access a new dedicated support section as well. There, you'll find help with common tasks, like upgrading your account storage, and get answers from community experts.

More helpful privacy and security information

We know that when it comes to data and privacy, one size does not fit all. To help you better understand and take control of your Google Account, we've made all your privacy options easy to review with our new intuitive, user-tested design. You can now more easily find your Activity controls in the Data & Personalization tab and choose what types of activity data are saved in your account to make Google work better for you. There, you’ll also find the recently updated Privacy Checkup that helps you review your privacy settings and explains how they shape your experience across Google services.

In October, we updated our Security Checkup to provide you with an overview of your account security and personalized recommendations. The new Google Account experience builds on this and will show you prominent notices if we detect there’s something you can do to improve your security. For example, we might suggest you remove your account from old devices you’re no longer using or remove unverified apps you had granted access to your account data.

We are committed to providing you with the controls you need to choose what’s right for you. For years, we’ve built and refined tools to help you easily understand, protect, and control your information. As needs around security and privacy evolve, we will continue to improve these important tools to help you control how Google works for you.

The improved Google Account experience includes new features to more easily navigate your account, more prominent security and privacy options, and detailed summaries of relevant information associated with your account.
Categories: Technology

Restore Email Notifications of Google Calendar Invitations?

AskDaveTaylor - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 15:08

You’re not alone in noticing that the latest update to Google Calendar seems to have disabled email notifications for event invitations. I too have the very same problem and while it’s easy to just ignore it, if you don’t use Google Calendar as your main calendar system – I use Apple Calendar instead – you’re going to find you start missing meetings and events!

It seems like the core problem is that the Google Calendar team decided that people should just use Gcal (as it used to be called) and the problem goes away. Except it doesn’t really, and in either situation, having notifications of event invitations is a clear win for being able to keep up with your calendar. Even more odd, the notification setting isn’t where you’d expect to find it…

But let’s start with Google Calendar itself. I’ll use the Web interface for simplicity. On the calendar home page – at google.com/calendar – there’s a gear icon on the top right. A click and a menu appears:

No huge surprise, you want to click on “Settings” to be able to proceed. Lots of info, but on the left side you want to ensure you click on “Event settings“. At least, that’s where you’d think the setting would be found…

Event settings give you lots of valuable options, as you can see:

But surprisingly it doesn’t offer up notification settings because those are on a per-calendar basis. Still, start by checking out some of the defaults above and make sure it’s set as you desire. Ready?

Good. Now, on the left side you’ll see a list of different calendars. It might be just your personal calendar in which case it’ll just be your name, but probably you’ll have more than one. Like this:

If I click on my personal calendar – “Dave Taylor” – then I can suddenly see quite a few different options. Most importantly, “Calendar settings“:

Choose “Calendar settings” as shown and you’ll find this set of options:

The key setting – finally!! – is “New events”. As shown above, my notifications for new events in Google Calendar is “None”. So not useful! A click and here are the options from which you can choose:

Simply choose “E-mail” and you’re done. Fixed. Not too bad, even if it’s a bit of a labyrinth to solve.

Pro Tip: While you’re here, we have lots of Google help for Gmail, and Google Plus, among many other topics. And if they don’t help, ask us a question and we’ll try to help!

The post Restore Email Notifications of Google Calendar Invitations? appeared first on Ask Dave Taylor.

Categories: Technology

AI takes root, helping farmers identify diseased plantsAI takes root, helping farmers identify diseased plants

GoogleBlog - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 10:00

Editor’s note: TensorFlow, our open source machine learning library, is just that—open to anyone. Companies, nonprofits, researchers and developers have used TensorFlow in some pretty cool ways, and we’re sharing those stories here on Keyword. Here’s one of them.

At Google I/O this year, we saw how high school students Shaza Mehdi and Nile Ravenell developed PlantMD, an app that lets you detect diseases in plants using TensorFlow. These young researchers are not alone in their mission to help farmers. PlantMD’s machine learning model was inspired by a dataset from PlantVillage, a research and development unit at Penn State University. PlantVillage created an app called Nuru, Swahili for “light,” to assist farmers to grow better cassava, a crop in Africa that provides food for over half a billion people daily.

Though cassava is tolerant to droughts and capable of growing with minimal soil–making it an ideal crop in harsh weather conditions—it’s also susceptible to many diseases and pests. The symptoms of a diseased plant develops slowly, so it can be difficult for farmers to diagnose these problems in time.

PlantVillage and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) developed a solution using machine learning that could help farmers better identify and manage these diseases quickly. They annotated thousands of cassava plant images, identifying and classifying diseases to train a machine learning model using TensorFlow. Once the model was trained to identify diseases, it was deployed in the app. Farmers can wave their phone in front of a cassava leaf and if a plant had a disease, the app could identify it and give options on the best ways to manage it.

PlantMD and Nuru are part of a larger trend in the agriculture industry. Whether it’s dairy farmers in the Netherlands, cucumber farmers in Japan, cassava farmers in Tanzania, or your neighborhood gardeners, AI is taking root in agriculture and is helping farmers around the world.  

PlantVillage created an app called Nuru, Swahili for “light,” to assist farmers to grow better cassava, a crop in Africa that provides food for over half a billion people daily.
Categories: Technology

Supporting migrants and refugees on World Refugee DaySupporting migrants and refugees on World Refugee Day

GoogleBlog - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 10:00

Every minute of every day, 31 people are displaced from their homes, seeking sanctuary from global crisis, conflict and violence. No region of the world is immune. These events can have a particularly gut-wrenching impact on children, as we've seen up close recently along the U.S. border. In response, Google.org is matching employee contributions to four organizations working with migrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border: Texas Civil Rights Project, The Florence Project, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, and Kids in Need of Defense

Today, World Refugee Day, we’re reminded that this crisis goes well beyond our border. As displacement hits new records, it has never been more urgent to work together to find long-term solutions. Since September 2015, we’ve donated more than $25 million in Google.org grants to organizations that support refugees, including a $5 million grant last year to help the UN Refugee Agency and nonprofit Learning Equality improve refugees’ access to information and education. 

As part of that, we gave $2 million in grant support to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Mercy Corps to create Refugee.Info, a simple set of webpages with helpful information for refugees as they establish new lives in new locations. This past April, Google designers and engineers collaborated with the IRC on a soon-to-be released next version of the platform based on human-centered design and adapted into Arabic. The tool currently serves 800,000 refugees in five countries. With the expansion into Jordan, thousands more refugees will have access to timely and accurate information.

Google volunteers traveled to Jordan to expand Refugee.Info. Learn more about the process on Google Design: https://yt.be/centered

Last month another group of 10 Googlers traveled to Jordan to improve and expand Edraak, an Arabic-language online learning platform created by the Queen Rania Foundation. With support from a $3 million Google.org grant, Edraak has already reached over 1.6 million learners across the Middle East and North Africa. Now, it hopes to reach 13 million children in the Middle East who have limited access to education, including refugees.

Googlers (Tejas Peesapati and Nadja Dudek) and Edraak staff meet with children at a park in Amman, Jordan to learn more about what they need in terms of educational resources.

This week has brought a stark reminder of the consequences of displacement for the world's most vulnerable populations, particularly for children. As we continue our work to help migrants all over the world, we also hope for a more humane way to ensure that children, at the U.S. border and elsewhere, can reach a more promising future.

As displacement hits new records, it has never been more urgent to work together to find long-term solutions.
Categories: Technology

AI takes root, helping farmers identify diseased plantsAI takes root, helping farmers identify diseased plants

GoogleBlog - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 10:00

Editor’s note: TensorFlow, our open source machine learning library, is just that—open to anyone. Companies, nonprofits, researchers and developers have used TensorFlow in some pretty cool ways, and we’re sharing those stories here on Keyword. Here’s one of them.

At Google I/O this year, we saw how high school students Shaza Mehdi and Nile Ravenell developed PlantMD, an app that lets you detect diseases in plants using TensorFlow. These young researchers are not alone in their mission to help farmers. PlantMD’s machine learning model was inspired by a dataset from PlantVillage, a research and development unit at Penn State University. PlantVillage created an app called Nuru, Swahili for “light,” to assist farmers to grow better cassava, a crop in Africa that provides food for over half a billion people daily.

Though cassava is tolerant to droughts and capable of growing with minimal soil–making it an ideal crop in harsh weather conditions—it’s also susceptible to many diseases and pests. The symptoms of a diseased plant develops slowly, so it can be difficult for farmers to diagnose these problems in time.

PlantVillage and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) developed a solution using machine learning that could help farmers better identify and manage these diseases quickly. They annotated thousands of cassava plant images, identifying and classifying diseases to train a machine learning model using TensorFlow. Once the model was trained to identify diseases, it was deployed in the app. Farmers can wave their phone in front of a cassava leaf and if a plant had a disease, the app could identify it and give options on the best ways to manage it.

PlantMD and Nuru are part of a larger trend in the agriculture industry. Whether it’s dairy farmers in the Netherlands, cucumber farmers in Japan, cassava farmers in Tanzania, or your neighborhood gardeners, AI is taking root in agriculture and is helping farmers around the world.  

Categories: Technology

Supporting migrants and refugees on World Refugee DaySupporting migrants and refugees on World Refugee Day

GoogleBlog - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 10:00

Every minute of every day, 31 people are displaced from their homes, seeking sanctuary from global crisis, conflict and violence. No region of the world is immune. These events can have a particularly gut-wrenching impact on children, as we've seen up close recently along the U.S. border. In response, Google.org is matching employee contributions to four organizations working with migrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border: Texas Civil Rights Project, The Florence Project, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, and Kids in Need of Defense

Today, World Refugee Day, we’re reminded that this crisis goes well beyond our border. As displacement hits new records, it has never been more urgent to work together to find long-term solutions. Since September 2015, we’ve donated more than $25 million in Google.org grants to organizations that support refugees, including a $5 million grant last year to help the UN Refugee Agency and nonprofit Learning Equality improve refugees’ access to information and education. 

As part of that, we gave $2 million in grant support to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Mercy Corps to create Refugee.Info, a simple set of webpages with helpful information for refugees as they establish new lives in new locations. This past April, Google designers and engineers collaborated with the IRC on a soon-to-be released next version of the platform based on human-centered design and adapted into Arabic. The tool currently serves 800,000 refugees in five countries. With the expansion into Jordan, thousands more refugees will have access to timely and accurate information.

Google volunteers traveled to Jordan to expand Refugee.Info. Learn more about the process on Google Design: https://yt.be/centered

Last month another group of 10 Googlers traveled to Jordan to improve and expand Edraak, an Arabic-language online learning platform created by the Queen Rania Foundation. With support from a $3 million Google.org grant, Edraak has already reached over 1.6 million learners across the Middle East and North Africa. Now, it hopes to reach 13 million children in the Middle East who have limited access to education, including refugees.

Googlers (Tejas Peesapati and Nadja Dudek) and Edraak staff meet with children at a park in Amman, Jordan to learn more about what they need in terms of educational resources.

This week has brought a stark reminder of the consequences of displacement for the world's most vulnerable populations, particularly for children. As we continue our work to help migrants all over the world, we also hope for a more humane way to ensure that children, at the U.S. border and elsewhere, can reach a more promising future.

As displacement hits new records, it has never been more urgent to work together to find long-term solutions.
Categories: Technology

Augmented Reality: a new creative canvas for brandsAugmented Reality: a new creative canvas for brands

GoogleBlog - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 06:00

Since the global advertising and creative communities first came together for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in the 1950s, advertising and creative content have expanded across all sorts of media, from print to film to digital and social. We believe augmented reality (AR) will take its place among these media as a powerful canvas for brands and agencies seeking to engage more deeply with their audiences.  

AR lets creators project 3D objects into the physical world so you can interact with them as if they were real. This means that virtually any room can be a virtual playground or showroom, opening up infinite new creative possibilities.  

At this year’s Cannes Lions, we wanted to inspire the creative community to give AR a try.  So we brought AR to Google’s annual interactive showcase, the Google Beach.  Festival attendees can learn how to create great brand experiences with AR at our lightning talks (which viewers at home can watch via live stream).  And to bring AR experiences to life, we partnered with Ogilvy, an advertising agency, as well as MediaMonks, a creative production house. 

Together, they used ARCore—Google’s platform for building AR experiences—to break new ground on some well-loved campaigns. In one of my favorite examples, they reimagined an existing PERRIER & Juice TV campaign with AR, bringing it to life by making the ingredients in your beverage appear to jump out of the bottle and into your physical surroundings.  

As Perrier’s Global Brand Director, Marion Taisne, put it, “AR offers immersive experiences in real life that bring people into our brand universe. This experience allowed us to go beyond traditional ads to demonstrate that when fruit juice mixes with PERRIER, ‘extraordinaire’ happens.”  

We can only imagine how creators must have felt when campaigns at Cannes Lions first used radio or television. We hope creators today feel a similar sense of excitement as they find ways to bridge the digital and physical worlds using AR.

This year at Cannes Lions, we wanted to inspire the creative community to give AR a try.
Categories: Technology

Investing in Investigative journalismInvesting in Investigative journalism

GoogleBlog - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 02:00

Investigative journalists depend on a number of digital techniques in their work—from analyzing data on a shared spreadsheet, to identifying the original source of a photograph or picking through the minutes of a public meeting on a local website. As part of the Google News Initiative’s efforts to support high-quality journalism, we want to enable journalists to discover how digital tools can help them delve deeper or get to the facts more quickly. That’s why we’re working with the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) to provide a new program, called “Access to Tools.”

Over the coming months a team of expert trainers will provide up to 20 free workshops across the U.K., each designed to help newsroom and freelance journalists sharpen their digital newsgathering and research skills. The practical workshops will feature technology from a range of providers and include real-life examples, including how individual journalists have traced original sources. We’ll also support the CIJ to host a conference in northern England for the first time, offering advanced skills for journalists living and working outside of London.

Established in 2003, The CIJ offers real expertise in investigative journalism standards and shares the Google News Initiative’s ambition to widen access to tools and training. The director of the CIJ, James Harkin, says: “Our leading concern is to put the best tools in the hands of investigative journalists, and then grow their expertise in using them. Building on our 15 years of expertise in data journalism, advanced internet research, financial search, and internet-powered fact-checking and our relationships of trust with the corporate and independent local media, ‘Access to Tools’ is the perfect way to extend the already impressive reach of our regional network and to get out there into more regional newsrooms, communities, and universities.”

In addition to our work with CIJ, we’ll continue to provide a free range of training workshops directly to newsrooms and journalism schools. Since the launch of the News Lab in 2015, we’ve trained nearly 7 thousand journalists in the U.K. alone—but there’s more to do.

You can learn more about the free U.K. workshops on the CIJ website. For those further afield, our Google News Initiative Training Center has a specific course on Investigative Reporting.

The Google News Initiative is supporting investigative journalism across the U.K. with a new partnership with the Centre for Investigative Journalism.
Categories: Technology

Investing in Investigative journalismInvesting in Investigative journalism

GoogleBlog - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 02:00

Investigative journalists depend on a number of digital techniques in their work—from analyzing data on a shared spreadsheet, to identifying the original source of a photograph or picking through the minutes of a public meeting on a local website. As part of the Google News Initiative’s efforts to support high-quality journalism, we want to enable journalists to discover how digital tools can help them delve deeper or get to the facts more quickly. That’s why we’re working with the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) to provide a new program, called “Access to Tools.”

Over the coming months a team of expert trainers will provide up to 20 free workshops across the U.K., each designed to help newsroom and freelance journalists sharpen their digital newsgathering and research skills. The practical workshops will feature technology from a range of providers and include real-life examples, including how individual journalists have traced original sources. We’ll also support the CIJ to host a conference in northern England for the first time, offering advanced skills for journalists living and working outside of London.

Established in 2003, The CIJ offers real expertise in investigative journalism standards and shares the Google News Initiative’s ambition to widen access to tools and training. The director of the CIJ, James Harkin, says: “Our leading concern is to put the best tools in the hands of investigative journalists, and then grow their expertise in using them. Building on our 15 years of expertise in data journalism, advanced internet research, financial search, and internet-powered fact-checking and our relationships of trust with the corporate and independent local media, ‘Access to Tools’ is the perfect way to extend the already impressive reach of our regional network and to get out there into more regional newsrooms, communities, and universities.”

In addition to our work with CIJ, we’ll continue to provide a free range of training workshops directly to newsrooms and journalism schools. Since the launch of the News Lab in 2015, we’ve trained nearly 7 thousand journalists in the U.K. alone—but there’s more to do.

You can learn more about the free U.K. workshops on the CIJ website. For those further afield, our Google News Initiative Training Center has a specific course on Investigative Reporting.

The Google News Initiative is supporting investigative journalism across the U.K. with a new partnership with the Centre for Investigative Journalism.
Categories: Technology

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