Tag Archives: google

Google Translate Is Supporting More Than 110 New Languages



Google is adding support for 110 new languages to Google Translate, the company announced on Thursday. Before now, Google Translate supported 133 languages, so this expansion — which the company says its its biggest ever — marks a significant jump, The Verge reported.

Google’s PaLM 2 AI language model helped Translate learn these new languages. It was especially good at learning ones that were related to one another, such as languages “close to Hindi, like Awadhi and Marwadi, and French creoles like Seychellois Creole and Mauritanian Creole,” Google’s Isaac Casswell says in a blog post.

Google posted the following on their Keyword Blog:

Google Translate breaks down language barriers to help people connect and better understand the world around them. We’re always applying the latest technologies so more people can access this tool: in 2022, we added 24 new languages using Zero-Shot Machine Translation, where a machine learning model learns to translate into another language without ever seeing an example. And we announced the 1,0000 Languages initiative, a commitment to build AI models that will support the 1,000 most spoken languages around the world.

Here are some of the newly supported language in Google Translate:

Afar is a tonal language spoken in Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia. Of all the languages in this launch, Afar had the most volunteer community contributions.

Cantonese has long been one of the most requested languages for Google Translate. Because Cantonese often overlaps with Mandarin in writing, it’s tricky to find data and train models.

Manx is the Celtic language of the Isle of Man. It almost went extinct with the death of its last native speaker in 1974. But thanks to an island-wide revival movement, there are now thousands of speakers.

NKo is a standardized form of the West African languages that unifies many dialects into a common language. It’s unique alphabet was invented in 1949, and it has an active research community that develops resources and technology for it today.

Punjabi (Shahmukhi) is the variety of Punjabi written in Perso-Arabic script (Shahmukhi), and is the most spoken language in Pakistan.

Tamzight (Amazigh) is a Berber language spoken across North Africa. Although there are many dialects, the written form is generally mutually understandable. It’s written in Latin script and Tifingah script, both of which Google Translate supports.

Tok Pisin is an English-based creole and the lingua franca of Papua New Guinea. If you speak English, try translating to Tok Pisin — and you might be able to make out the meaning!

ArsTechnica reported that, in a blog post, Google Senior Software Engineer Isaac Caswell claimed that the newly added languages are spoken by more than 614 million people, or about 8 percent of the global population.

In my opinion, Google has created an easy way for people to learn a second language. This reminds me of the Rosetta Stone, an archeological find that had three of the most prominent languages at the time copied onto it.


Google Just Updated Its Algorithm



Over the last two years, a series of updates to Google Search amount to a dramatic upheaval to the Internet’s most powerful tool, complex with an unprecedented AI features. Will Google save the web, or destroy it? BBC reported.

If you’ve ever typed “air purifier reviews” into Google, you were probably looking for the kind of content that you’ll find on HouseFresh.com, The site started in 2020 by Gisele Navarro and her husband, based on a decade of experience writing about indoor air quality products. They filled their basement with purifiers, running rigorous science-based tests and writing articles to help consumers sort through marketing hype.

Then, in September 2023, Google made one in a series of major updates to the algorithm that runs its search engine. 

A spokesperson for Google tells the BBC that the company only launches changes to Search after rigorous testing confirmed that the shift will be helpful for users, and that the company gives website owners help, resources and opportunities for feedback on their Search rankings.

CNN reported Google promised its new artificial intelligence search tools would “do the work for you” and make finding information online quicker and easier. But just days after the launch, the company is already walking back some factually incorrect results.

Google earlier this month introduced an AI-generated search results overview tool, which summarizes search results so that users don’t have to click through multiple links to get quick answers to their questions. But the feature came under fire this week after it provided false or misleading information to some users’ questions.

For example, several users posted on X that Google’s AI summary said that former President Barack Obama is a Muslim, a common misconception. In fact, Obama is a Christian. Another user posted that a Google AI summary that said “none of Africa’s 54 recognized countries start with the letter ‘K” — clearly forgetting Kenya.

Google confirmed to CNN on Friday that the AI overviews for both queries had been removed for violating the company’s policies.

NBC News reported social media has been buzzing with examples of Google’s new “experimental” artificial intelligence tool going awry. The feature, which writes an “AI overview” response to user queries based on sources pulled from around the web, has been placed at the top of some search results.

But repeatedly, social media posts show that the tool is delivering wrong or misleading results. An NBC News review of answers provided by the tool showed that it sometimes displays false information in response to simple queries.

For example, an NBC News search for “how many feet does an elephant have” resulted in a Google AI overview answer that said “Elephants have two feet, with five toes on the first feet and four on the back feet.”

In my opinion, Google’s AI is not really ready yet. It appears to be grabbing information off various websites and giving wrong answers. 


Google’s AI Search Feature Suggested Using Glue To Keep Cheese Sticking On A Pizza



Google’s new search feature, AI Overviews, seems to be going awry. The tool, which gives AI-generated summaries of search results, appeared to instruct a user to put glue on pizza when they searched for “cheese not sticking to pizza.” Business Insider reported.

A screenshot of the summary it generated, shared on X, shows it responded with “cheese can slide off pizza for a number of reasons,” and that the user could try adding “about ⅛ cup of non-toxic glue to the sauce to give it more tackiness.”

According to another X user, the suggestion seems to have been based on a Reddit comment from 11 years ago, which was probably a joke.

Google started testing the AI Overviews feature in the US and UK earlier this year and announced it would roll out more widely by the end of 2024. Liz Reid, the head of search, introduced it as “Google will do the googling for you” at the company’s I/O conference last week.

Imagine this: you’ve carved out an evening to unwind and decide to make a homemade pizza. You assemble your pie, throw it in the oven, and are excited to start eating. But once you get ready to take a bite of your oily creation, you run into a problem — the cheese falls right off. Frustrated, you turn to Google for a solution. The Verge reported.

“Add some glue,” Google answers. “Mix about 1/8 cup of Elmer’s glue in with the sauce. Non-toxic glue will work.”

So, yeah, don’t do that, The Verge reported. As of writing this, though that’s what Google’s new AI Overviews feature will tell you to do. The feature, while not triggered for every query, scans the web and drums up an AI-generated response. The answer for the pizza glue query appears to be based on a comment from a user named “f***smith” in a more than decade-old Reddit thread, and they’re clearly joking.

This is just one of many mistakes cropping up in the new feature that Google rolled out broadly this month. It also claims that former US President James Madison graduated from the University of Wisconsin not once but 21 times, that a dog has played in the NBA, NFL, and NHL, and that Batman is a cop.

ArsTechnica reported Google’s AI Overview is a complete transformation of what Google Search is, changing from a product that searches the web to show relevant links, to a place that scrapes the web of information and shows it directly to users. Google is not done making changes, though, and the next for AI Overview is ads! 

The Google Ads & Commerce blog shows what this will look like, with ads landing at the bottom of the AI Overview box. The overview box was already a massive, screen-filling box, and ads make it even longer, pushing what’s left of the web results even further down the page. Google’s demo shows the ads at the bottom of the overview box, and you have to scroll down to see them.

In my opinion, it seems like Google’s AI Overviews has taken the comments on Reddit and used them as a way to provide answers to those seeking help with their pizza. Clearly, Google’s AI Overviews are not ready to provide actual useful answers.


Google’s AI Search Results Are Already Getting Ads



Google only just rolled out AI summaries in search results — and now they’re getting ads. In an update on Tuesday, Google says it will soon start testing search and shopping ads within AI Overviews for users in the US, The Verge reported.

According to The Verge, in the example shared by Google, the search engine’s AI overview lists a response to the question: “How do I get wrinkles out of clothes?” Beneath the AI-generated suggestions, there’s a new “Sponsored” section with a carousel showing wrinkle spray you can buy from places like Walmart and Instacart.

Google says it will display ads in AI Overviews when “they’re relevant to both the query and the information in the AI Overview.” Advertisers that already run certain campaigns through Google will automatically become eligible to appear in AI Overviews “As we move forward, we’ll continue to test and learn from new formats, getting feedback from advertisers and the industry,” Google writes.

Google posted the following on its Ads & Commerce Blog:

An evolution of attention is underway. People have seemingly endless ways to shop, communicate and stay entertained online. For advertising to stand out, it needs to be relevant and helpful — in fact, that’s more important than ever before. Businesses need to be on every surface with creative assets that capture people’s attention.

Until now, this has felt impossible to do at scale — but generative AI is changing that. This technology is helping us better meet advertisers’ needs and unlock new possibilities across the marketing process, from new immersive ads experiences to high-performing creative assets. As we build this next era of marketing together, we’re sharing our latest creative asset generation controls, new ad experiences, visual storytelling features and more at Google Marketing Live (GML).

We’ve been working on making it easier and faster to produce great creative assets for ads across marketing channels. Creative asset variety is crucial to strong ads, and achieving this has gotten easier for more advertisers with generative AI in Performance Max. We found that advertisers who improve their Performance Max Ad Strength to Excellent see 6% more conversions on average. 

Event Tickets Center was one of the earliest beta testers for asset generation in Performance Max, which has helped the team accelerate creative production by 5x with less time and effort.

CNBC reported Google announced Tuesday that it will be giving advertisers the ability to create immersive visuals in their promotions using generative artificial intelligence, as the company rolls out more AI tools for brands.

Advertisers can take advantage of what Google is calling a visual brand profile in search “that gives richer results” for queries that include the name of a brand or retailer, the company said Tuesday at its annual Google Marketing Live. Brands can also include product videos and summaries.

Last week, Google announced plans to change its search results page to prioritize a feature called “AI Overview,” which uses AI to summarize information at the top of a search results page. The move could push organic content and ads further down the page, resulting in a potential shake-up for publishers and advertisers.

In my opinion, there are a lot of companies who have jumped on artificial intelligence, and then added something of their own to it. This might be great for the big companies, but I think the general public, overall, is not super interested in AI.


Google Is Redesigning Its Search Engine – And It’s AI All The Way Down



A year ago, Google said that it believed AI was the future of search. That future is apparently here: Google is starting to roll out “AI Overviews,” previously known as the Search Generative Experience, or SGE, to users in the US and soon around the world. Pretty soon, billions of Google users will see an AI-generated summary at the top of many of their search results. And that’s only the beginning of how AI is changing search, The Verge reported.

“What we see with generative AI is that Google can do more of the searching for you,” says Liz Reid, Google’s newly installed head of Search, who has been working on all parts of AI search for the last few years. “It can take a bunch of the hard work out of searching, so you can focus on the parts you want to do to get things done, or on the parts of exploring that you find exciting,”

According to The Verge, over most of the last decade, Google has been trying to change the way you search. It started as a box where you type keywords; now, it wants to be an all-knowing being that you can query any way you want and get answers back in whatever way is most helpful to you. 

“You increase the richness, and let people ask the question they naturally would,” Reid says. For Google, that’s the trick to getting even more people to ask even more questions, which makes Google even more money. For users, it could mean a completely different way to interact with the internet: less typing, fewer tabs, and a whole lot more chatting with a search engine.

Google posted: “Generative AI in Search: Let Google do the searching for you” written by Liz Reid, VP, Head of Google Search.

Over the past 25 years, across many technological shifts, we’ve continued to reimagine and expand what Google Search can do. We’ve meticulously honed our core information quality systems to help you find the best of what’s on the web. And we’ve built a knowledge base of billions of facts about people, places and things – all so you can get information you can trust in the blink of an eye.

Now, with generative AI, Search can do more than you ever imagined. So you can ask whatever’s on your mind or whatever you need to get done – from researching to planning to brainstorming – and Google will take care of the legwork.

This is all made possible by a new Gemini model customized for Google Search. It brings together Gemini’s advanced capabilities – including multi-step reasoning, planning and multimodality – with our best in class Search systems.

ArsTechnica reported Search is still important to Google, but it soon will change. At its all-in-one AI Google I/O event Tuesday, the company introduced a host of AI-enabled features coming to Google Search at various points in the near future, which will “do more for you than you ever imagined.”

It’s not AI in every search, but it will seemingly be hard to avoid a lot of offers to help you find, plan, and brainstorm things. “AI Overviews,” the successor to the Search Generative Experience, will provide summary answers to questions, along with links to sources. You can also soon submit a video as a search query, perhaps to identify objects or provide you own prompts by voice.

In my opinion, the new AI-enabled Google search might help some people to complete their projects, plan a trip, or look up their favorite bands. My hope is that Google’s AI feature will be useful to those who need it.


Over 400 Million Google Accounts Have Used Passkeys



Google is kicking off World Password Day by updating us on its efforts to replace the often hacked, guessed, and stolen form of authentication with passkeys. Their password less approach relies on device-based authentication instead, making logging in faster and more secure, The Verge reported.

In a blog post on Thursday, the company announced that over 400 million Google accounts (of the at least 1.5 billion reported since 2018) have used passkeys since rolling them out, logging over a billion authentications between them. The majority of users find them easier to use than passwords, according to Google, adding that “since launching, passkeys have proven to be faster than passwords, since they only require users to simply unlock their device using a fingerprint, face scan or pin to log in.”

Google posted: “Passkeys, Cross-Account Protection and new ways we’re protecting your accounts”

Expanding Cross-Account Protection

We’re expanding Cross-Account Protection – our program for sharing security notifications, in a privacy-preserving way, other companies that run the non-Google apps and services you use. This helps prevent cybercriminals from gaining a foothold in one of your accounts and using it to infiltrate others.

We are currently protecting 2.4 billion accounts across 3.4 million apps and sites, and are growing our collaborations across the industry to keep billions of users safer online. It’s built on the Shared Signals Framework, which we helped create and launch in 2019, and in the coming year, we’re expanding our partnerships and support for this program. Stay tuned for which of your favorite apps and services begin using Cross-Account Protection.

Passkeys reaches a milestone – and what’s next

In less than a year, passkeys have been used to authenticate people more than 1 billion times across over 400 million Google Accounts. Passkeys are easy to use and phishing resistant, only relying on a fingerprint, face scan, or a pin making them 50% faster than passwords. In fact, on a daily basis passkeys are already used for authentication on Google Accounts more often than legacy forms of 2SV, such as SMS one-time passwords (OTPs) and app based OTPs (such as Authenticator apps) combined.

Passkeys for high risk users. We’ll soon support the use of passkeys to enroll in our strongest security offering, the Advanced Protection Program (APP). APP safeguards users who are at the highest risk of targeted attacks including campaign workers and candidates, journalists, human rights workers and more. APP traditionally required using hardware security keys as a second factor; but soon users can enroll in APP with any passkey in addition to their hardware or security keys; or use their passkeys as a sole factor or along with a password;

In a critical election year, we’ll be bringing this feature to our users who need it most, and continue to work with experts like Defending Digital Campaigns, the International Foundations for Electoral Systems, Asia Centre, Inernews, and Possible to help protect global high risk users.

More choice in where you store passkeys.

We are pleased to see independent password manager vendors such a 1Password and Dashlane, now leveraging the passkeys management APIs on Android and other operating systems. This important milestone, together with the ability to store passkeys on security keys, will give users more control.

In my opinion, it is going to take some time for Google to convince people who use passwords to switch over to passkeys. For years, we’ve been using self-selected passwords to access our favorite websites.


Google Removing Links To California News Websites



Google will begin removing links to California news websites from search engines for some Californians in response to a bill that would require online ad companies to pay a fee for connecting state residents to news sources, CNBC reported.

In a blog post on Friday announcing the “short-term test,” Jaffer Zaidi, Google’s vice president of global news partnership, said the bill, called the California Journalism Preservation Act, represents “the wrong approach to supporting journalism” and “would create a level of business uncertainty that no company would accept.”

The bill was introduced last year and remains pending in the state legislature.

The recent developments have upended many online publishers that count on Facebook and Google for traffic and are particularly painful for publications that rely on advertising revenue.

Jaffer Zaidi, VP of Global News Partnerships, posted information on The Keyword. Here are some key points:

A pending bill in the California state legislature, the California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA) would create a “link tax” that would require Google to pay for simply connecting Californians to news articles. We have long said that this is the wrong approach to supporting journalism. If passed, CJPA may result in significant changes to the services we can offer Californians and the traffic we can provide to California publishers…

…To be clear, we believe CJPA undermines news in California. We don’t take these decisions lightly and want to be transparent with California publishers, lawmakers, and our users. To avoid an outcome where all parties lose and the California news industry is left worse off, we urge lawmakers to take a different approach…

Gizmodo reported Google began blocking access to California news outlets for some users in the state, according to an announcement from the tech giant on Friday. And it’s all because Google is upset about proposed legislation that would force the company to pay some publishers for their content, something it’s calling a “link tax.”

Known as the California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA) the bill has passed Californias lower house, known as the Assembly, but still needs to be taken up by the state Senate and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom to become law. Newson hasn’t come out with an opinion on the legislation yet.

And while it’s certainly true that Google helps people find news stories, the problem is that much of the advertising money has gone to Big Tech platforms like Google and Facebook rather than the publishers who create the news content. That’s what this bill is trying to remedy in some way, forcing Google to pay publishers.

As a Californian, if CJPA passes and is signed into law, it likely won’t harm Californians. Google is not the only source of news online. DuckDuckGo, Mozilla’s Firefox, and Microsoft Edge can all be useful.