The Official Google Blog

The High Five: Put some R-E-S-P-E-C-T on it (ven., 17 août 2018)
Daydreaming and I’m thinking of Trends. This week, with a little help from the Google News Lab we honor the Queen of Soul, celebrate birthdays, shine some light on the left-handed among us and much more. Here’s a look at this week’s top trends. Paying respect to a legend On Thursday, we said goodbye to Aretha “Queen of Soul” Franklin who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer at 76. This musical legend gave the world iconic hits like “Respect,” “Natural Woman,” “Think,” “I Say A Little Prayer,” and “Chain of Fools,” all of which came in as the most-searched Aretha Franklin songs this week. She never shied away from the opportunity to flaunt her dramatic furs and show-stopping hats, all while reaching octaves and bravados that could make anyone drown in their own tears. Celebrities, world leaders and fans alike took time to pay their respects with folks in D.C., Michigan, Maryland, Georgia and Mississippi continuing to Rock Steady and search for details on the Queen of Soul. May we forever ride the midnight train of soul and take a drive down the Freeway of Love because that’s what Aretha would want us to do. Dodging traffic in Los Angeles Traffic is a way of life in Los Angeles and Elon Musk’s Boring Company is looking to make life a little bit easier, at least if you’re going to Dodger Stadium. The company is proposing a 3.6-mile underground tunnel in an effort to curb congestion on L.A. roads and people are intrigued. So much so that search interest in “boring company tunnel” spiked more than 60 percent over the past week in the U.S. Some people had tunnel vision, also searching for the North River Tunnels, Twin Peaks tunnel and Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Sixty going on thirty Madonna and Angela Bassett celebrated their sixtieth birthdays this week and people were in utter disbelief. Questions like “How old was Madonna when she had her daughter?” and “How does Angela Bassett stay looking so young?” were trending, as the mystery behind their fountain of youth glow remains unsolved. Washington D.C. was one of the top regions searching for both Madonna and Angela Bassett and the top search question on turning 60 was “What to say to someone turning 60?” Uhhh … Happy Birthday?   Righty tighty, lefty loosey Left-handers day was this past Monday and to celebrate, Oreo created a special left handers package and even sent a free package of cookies to all the residents of Left Hand, West Virginia. Lefties and righties alike took to Search to find out, “What percentage of people are left handed,” “Is there a left handers day club,” and “Is LeBron James left handed.” They also wanted to know if there were products and perks made especially for lefties such as “Best pens for lefties” and “Scholarships for lefties.” Looks like this week was the right week to be a left-handed. Representation matters Crazy Rich Asians, the first major studio production in 25 years to star an all-Asian cast, opened in theaters this week and is on track to net $30 million dollars by the end of the weekend. The top five states searching for the film include D.C., California, Hawaii, New York and Washington, and people searching for Crazy Rich Asians also searched for Geetha Govindam, Mile 22, and BlacKkKlansman over the past week in the U.S. Double-feature weekend at the theater anyone?

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Safety-first AI for autonomous data center cooling and industrial control (ven., 17 août 2018)
Many of society’s most pressing problems have grown increasingly complex, so the search for solutions can feel overwhelming. At DeepMind and Google, we believe that if we can use AI as a tool to discover new knowledge, solutions will be easier to reach. In 2016, we jointly developed an AI-powered recommendation system to improve the energy efficiency of Google’s already highly-optimized data centers. Our thinking was simple: Even minor improvements would provide significant energy savings and reduce CO2 emissions to help combat climate change. Now we’re taking this system to the next level: instead of human-implemented recommendations, our AI system is directly controlling data center cooling, while remaining under the expert supervision of our data center operators. This first-of-its-kind cloud-based control system is now safely delivering energy savings in multiple Google data centers. How it works Every five minutes, our cloud-based AI pulls a snapshot of the data center cooling system from thousands of sensors and feeds it into our deep neural networks, which predict how different combinations of potential actions will affect future energy consumption. The AI system then identifies which actions will minimize the energy consumption while satisfying a robust set of safety constraints. Those actions are sent back to the data center, where the actions are verified by the local control system and then implemented. DME_DCIQ_v09-01.jpg DME_DCIQ_v09-02.jpg DME_DCIQ_v09-03.jpg DME_DCIQ_v09-04.jpg The idea evolved out of feedback from our data center operators who had been using our AI recommendation system. They told us that although the system had taught them some new best practices—such as spreading the cooling load across more, rather than less, equipment—implementing the recommendations required too much operator effort and supervision. Naturally, they wanted to know whether we could achieve similar energy savings without manual implementation. We’re pleased to say the answer was yes! We wanted to achieve energy savings with less operator overhead. Automating the system enabled us to implement more granular actions at greater frequency, while making fewer mistakes. Dan Fuenffinger Dan Fuenffinger Data Center Operator, Google Designed for safety and reliability Google's data centers contain thousands of servers that power popular services including Google Search, Gmail and YouTube. Ensuring that they run reliably and efficiently is mission-critical. We've designed our AI agents and the underlying control infrastructure from the ground up with safety and reliability in mind, and use eight different mechanisms to ensure the system will behave as intended at all times. One simple method we’ve implemented is to estimate uncertainty. For every potential action—and there are billions—our AI agent calculates its confidence that this is a good action. Actions with low confidence are eliminated from consideration. Another method is two-layer verification. Optimal actions computed by the AI are vetted against an internal list of safety constraints defined by our data center operators. Once the instructions are sent from the cloud to the physical data center, the local control system verifies the instructions against its own set of constraints. This redundant check ensures that the system remains within local constraints and operators retain full control of the operating boundaries. Most importantly, our data center operators are always in control and can choose to exit AI control mode at any time. In these scenarios, the control system will transfer seamlessly from AI control to the on-site rules and heuristics that define the automation industry today. Find out about the other safety mechanisms we’ve developed below: DME_DCIQ_v08-05.png Increasing energy savings over time Whereas our original recommendation system had operators vetting and implementing actions, our new AI control system directly implements the actions. We’ve purposefully constrained the system’s optimization boundaries to a narrower operating regime to prioritize safety and reliability, meaning there is a risk/reward trade off in terms of energy reductions. Despite being in place for only a matter of months, the system is already delivering consistent energy savings of around 30 percent on average, with further expected improvements. That’s because these systems get better over time with more data, as the graph below demonstrates. Our optimization boundaries will also be expanded as the technology matures, for even greater reductions. graph.gif This graph plots AI performance over time relative to the historical baseline before AI control. Performance is measured by a common industry metric for cooling energy efficiency, kW/ton (or energy input per ton of cooling achieved). Over nine months, our AI control system performance increases from a 12 percent improvement (the initial launch of autonomous control) to around a 30 percent improvement. Our direct AI control system is finding yet more novel ways to manage cooling that have surprised even the data center operators. Dan Fuenffinger, one of Google’s data center operators who has worked extensively alongside the system, remarked: "It was amazing to see the AI learn to take advantage of winter conditions and produce colder than normal water, which reduces the energy required for cooling within the data center. Rules don’t get better over time, but AI does." We’re excited that our direct AI control system is operating safely and dependably, while consistently delivering energy savings. However, data centers are just the beginning. In the long term, we think there's potential to apply this technology in other industrial settings, and help tackle climate change on an even grander scale.

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Simplifying Data Studio embeds and social sharing (jeu., 16 août 2018)
Today we are introducing two new features to make sharing your Data Studio visualizations easier, including enhanced support for embedding your reports across the web, and rich snippets of your reports when you share them on social networks. Embed with Embed.ly Data Studio now supports embedding interactive reports on Medium, Reddit and hundreds of other sites that use Embed.ly. To embed your report, simply paste the report URL in your article. Simply embed your report and it will sync in real time, making it possible for you to distribute your interactive reports. Learn more. Here are some examples of embedded reports: DS Embed 1 Medium article showing Stack Overflow trends. Link DS Embed 2 Reddit post showing real time departures for BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). Link Share rich snippets on social When you share your report link on social platforms or messaging apps, you will now see a rich snippet including the title, thumbnail and description of the report. Your audience will know what to expect from the link and have better visibility to your reports. Rich snippets also help make your content more searchable on social networks. To generate rich snippets, post the report URL you intend to share. Here's an example of a rich snippet: DS Embed 3 Rich snippets work on any social platform or messaging app that supports Open Graph Protocol including Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and apps like Hangouts, iMessage and Slack.

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Helping you find useful information fast on Search (jeu., 16 août 2018)
Imagine you’re remodeling your kitchen, and you want information about how quartz compares to granite for your new countertops. Sure, Google can tell you what quartz and granite are, but that’s perhaps not what you had in mind. Chances are you’re hoping to learn more about the differences in cost, benefits, and durability of each, and may be looking for guidance on other subtopics to explore. For these types of queries, we’re introducing a new way to get you to relevant information fast and help you get a glimpse of multiple aspects of a topic with a single search. quarts vs. granite Now when you search for something like [quartz vs. granite], you’ll see a panel with a set of relevant subtopics to explore. As another example, when you search [emergency fund], you'll get a quick view of information that relates to the recommended size, purpose, and importance of an emergency fund, and you can easily click the links to these relevant sources to learn more. This new format is meant to help guide you with what we understand to be common, useful aspects of the topic and help you sift through the information available, all with the goal of delivering the most relevant results for you. These new panels are automatically generated based on our understanding of these topics from content on the web, and we hope you find them useful as they roll out over the next few days. This update is the latest in a series of improvements we’ve been making to help you get information quickly with Search. As always, if you have any feedback on the information you see, please let us know via the feedback link at the bottom of the search results page. To learn more about how these types of features work, check out our post on featured snippets.

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Announcing the 10 startups that will take the stage at Demo Day Asia (jeu., 16 août 2018)
After our open call for startups to apply and pitch to top global investors at Demo Day Asia—taking place this September in Shanghai—we received hundreds of submissions. They came from founders from every corner of Asia-Pacific, across industries as diverse as agriculture, entertainment, and healthcare. While difficult to narrow down this impressive field, after painstaking deliberation, the results are finally in. Out of 305 qualifying applications, the 10 finalists that will take the final stage at Demo Day Asia are... (drum-roll!): DycodeX from Indonesia develops Internet of Things solutions for livestock farming FreightExchange from Australia is an online platform for freight carriers to sell their unused space to shippers. GITAI from Japan specializes in building robots that can help humans conduct scientific experiments in space. Marham from Pakistan is a healthcare platform that helps people search, book appointments, and consult with doctors online. Miotech from China is a fintech startup developing artificial intelligence-based software for financial services firms. OneStockHome from Thailand offers an e-commerce platform for construction materials. Origami Labs from Hong Kong makes smart rings that allow people to hear and send text messages without taking out their phones. SigTuple from India creates AI-based solutions to automate healthcare screening. SkyMagic from Singapore produces drone swarming technology for live entertainment and traffic management systems. Swingvy from Korea provides human resources solutions for businesses. Gitai Demo Day Asia GITAI from Japan builds robots that help humans conduct scientific experiments in space. skymagic demodayasia SkyMagic from Singapore works on drone technology for live entertainment and traffic management systems. Freight exchange demo day asia FreightExchange from Australia connects Australian shippers and carriers with their online platform. origamilabs DemoDayAsia Origami Labs from Hong Kong produces smart rings that let people hear and send text messages without taking out their phones. We’re proud that several of these companies belong to organisations that are a part of the Google for Entrepreneurs partner network, a community of over 35 member spaces globally and programs supporting startups. They include startups from Kibar in Indonesia, Fishburners in Australia, Hubba in Thailand, Found in Singapore and People Squared in China. Congratulations to these outstanding startups and their founders! They will pitch to a distinguished panel of leaders from Google for Entrepreneurs, Sequoia Capital China, and Venturra Capital on September 20th in Shanghai. The startups that impress could come home with funding from investors and up to $100,000 in Google Cloud Platform credits. Most importantly, we hope these incredible startups blaze a path forward for other founders and continue to improve the lives of others with their innovative products. Good luck in Shanghai!

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