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We went to Google with our daughters for the day. Here’s what we saw.

Category: Google | Sep 13, 2017

Editor’s Note: Every other year, Google hosts “Take Your Parents to Work Day,” when parents of Googlers visit the campus and get a glimpse of what it’s like to work there. There are lots of activities to keep the parents busy, and snacks to keep them fed. To mark the occasion, the proud moms of the Keyword editors stepped in to share their perspective of the day’s activities.

First day of Google

Gregoria (mom of Elisabeth): When my husband and I arrived on campus, it felt like first day of school—but  this time, our daughter was the one taking us by the hand. We spent the morning checking out the activities at the “expo,” starting at the CodeLab where, after a few minutes of tinkering, I realized that I needed a basic knowledge of HTML. That was the end of that, so we moved on to a lesson on mindful eating and then a demo from the Google Ergonomics team, who help Googlers set up their desks to make them as comfortable as possible. A piece of feedback for next year: let me take a Google Ergonomics specialist with me to my office! 

Lisbeth (mom of Emily): The atmosphere was festive: part open house, part Renaissance Faire. Stations to braid Google-colored ribbons into our hair or paint the green Android guy on our faces would not have seemed out of place. Proud but slightly dazzled parents trailed after their Googlers, listening as the young folks took charge. Photo ops and pink shirts were everywhere.

Gregoria: Speaking of photo ops, one of the best moments of the day was learning how to do a Boomerang.

Lisbeth: We marveled at the bravery of guests trying out silent disco [ed note: yes, we definitely had to explain what this was]. There was a station where people could record themselves speaking to help improve the Google Assistant’s voice recognition, and I lent my not-very-unusual voice patterns to the “Ok, Google…” database of pronunciation in English.

1

HTML fail.

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Lisbeth checks out a Street View car.

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Photo opp with Android Oreo.

parents

On Take Your Parents To Work Day, we play with Google-shaped blocks.

Seeing the sights at the Googleplex

Lisbeth: We visited Stan, the T-rex; the bocce ball courts; the Oreo guy … the egrets! We shared some introductions with people we met along the paths and took turns taking each other’s photos. We ate lots of snacks.

Gregoria: You see the Google brand everywhere on campus, especially on the t-shirts of the happy, casually dressed Googlers. I love all the flair—the bikes, the adirondack chairs, a giant Android peeking out of the second floor of a building (I wonder what goes on in that building?), the many types of flavored spa water.

IMG_1858.JPG

Team meeting with parents in the room and on Google Hangouts.

Meeting of … the moms

Lisbeth: Emily and Elisabeth’s team had a special “parent edition” of their weekly meeting. Some parents even joined in via Google Hangouts. Now I have a better idea of where my Googler spends her days and a better feel for the personalities of her colleagues. Meeting other parents gave me another little window into the environments that shaped the team members. Listening to everyone describe​ themselves and​ their work was a favorite part of the event—second only to spending a whole day knocking around with my sweet Emily. 

Gregoria: For a lot of us parents it’s hard to understand what our kids do day-to-day at Google. I got a glimpse into my daughter’s work day and it was really special to see firsthand an environment that supports her and encourages her to grow and learn. I also enjoyed meeting the parents of her teammates—now I know why their children are brilliant!

IMG_1836.JPG

Elisabeth’s parents actually got to rest in the “rest-y things” before TGIF.

TGIF: the day ends in harmony

Gregoria: Lots of food trucks showed up before TGIF—Google’s weekly company-wide meeting—and per Elisabeth’s advice, we had to look at every truck before deciding what to order. After surveying our options, we listened to Googlepella, one of Google’s super talented a capella groups. Yes, Google has more than one a capella group … apparently we had just missed a performance from the Alphabeats. 

Lisbeth: Walking around before TGIF, I asked Emily, “What are those tents?” She replied, in her understated way​, “I think they’re just rest-y things.”

Lisbeth: We finished the day in the amphitheatre, where Sergey and Sundar fielded questions with quick wit and wisdom.

Gregoria: I admire a CEO who takes the time to answer questions from nosy parents. I liked the part of the presentation when they talked about the Google Assistant, which I downloaded on my iPhone. But I’m still waiting for my Googler to teach me how to use it …

Lisbeth: Google is still big and mysterious. The world’s future is uncertain as ever. But it is a comfort to know that smart, conscientious, dedicated people are working to meet the challenges we face.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/t3k5RYbdy4E/

Schlumberger chooses GCP to deliver new oil and gas technology platform

Category: Google | Sep 13, 2017

Google Cloud has a simple but steadfast mission: Give companies technology for new and better ways to serve their customers. We handle the network, computing and security chores; you use our software-defined infrastructure, global databases and artificial intelligence to grow your business with speed and at scale.

A great example of this work is our collaboration with Schlumberger, which has selected Google Cloud as its strategic provider for its clients’ digital journey to the cloud.

For over 90 years, Schlumberger has worked with clients in the oil and gas industry. In this work, Schlumberger generates and uses large amounts of data to safely and efficiently manage hydrocarbon exploration and production. Schlumberger has developed a unique software environment that runs on GCP called DELFI*, a cognitive energy and production (E&P) environment at the SIS Global Forum, which spans from exploration to production. Customers can combine DELFI with their own proprietary data and science for new insights and faster results.

Today at the Schlumberger customer event SIS Global Forum, I talked about the new ways Google Cloud and Schlumberger are working together. This unique, multi-year collaboration encompasses a range of technologies:

  • Big data: Schlumberger launched the DELFI cognitive E&P environment and the deployment of an E&P Data Lake based on Google BigQuery, Cloud Spanner and Cloud Datastore with more than 100 million data items comprised of over 30TB of petrotechnical data.

  • Software platforms: Schlumberger announced the launch of its petrotechnical software platforms such as Petrel* E&P and INTERSECT* running on Google Cloud Platform and integrated into DELFI

  • High performance computing: Since announcing our relationship at Google Cloud Next, we’ve worked together to optimize Schlumberger Omega* geophysical data processing platform to run at a scale not possible in traditional data center environments. Using Google Cloud NVIDIA GPUs and Custom Machine Types, Schlumberger has deployed compute capacity of over 35 petaflops and 10PB of storage on GCP.

  • Artificial intelligence: Schlumberger leverages TensorFlow for complex petrotechnical interpretation of seismic and wellbore data, as well as automation of well-log quality control and 3D seismic interpretation.

  • Extensibility: Schlumberger adopted the Apigee API management platform to provide openness and extensibility for its clients and for partners to add their own intellectual property and workflows in DELFI

“To improve productivity and performance, DELFI enables our customers to take advantage of our E&P domain science and knowledge, while at the same time fully using disruptive digital technologies from Google Cloud,” said Ashok Belani, Executive VP of Technology, Schlumberger “This approach ensures that all data is considered when making critical decisions.”

By running on GCP, Schlumberger’s customers can supercharge their applications, whether it’s training machine learning models on our infrastructure, or easier software development and deployment via Kubernetes and containers. We’re also building upon new collaborations with other companies like Nutanix to give Schlumberger the flexibility to run its applications wherever they need to be—on-premises and in the cloud.

Our collaboration with Schlumberger is just the beginning. We’re thrilled the team has chosen Google Cloud to help deliver security, accessibility and innovation through their next generation energy exploration and production technology.  

*Mark of Schlumberger

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/SAl_KAIdnkY/

Schlumberger chooses GCP to deliver new oil and gas technology platform

Category: Google | Sep 13, 2017

Google Cloud has a simple but steadfast mission: Give companies technology for new and better ways to serve their customers. We handle the network, computing and security chores; you use our software-defined infrastructure, global databases and artificial intelligence to grow your business with speed and at scale.

A great example of this work is our collaboration with Schlumberger, which has selected Google Cloud as its strategic provider for its clients’ digital journey to the cloud.

For over 90 years, Schlumberger has worked with clients in the oil and gas industry. In this work, Schlumberger generates and uses large amounts of data to safely and efficiently manage hydrocarbon exploration and production. Schlumberger has developed a unique software environment that runs on GCP called DELFI*, a cognitive energy and production (E&P) environment at the SIS Global Forum, which spans from exploration to production. Customers can combine DELFI with their own proprietary data and science for new insights and faster results.

Today at the Schlumberger customer event SIS Global Forum, I talked about the new ways Google Cloud and Schlumberger are working together. This unique, multi-year collaboration encompasses a range of technologies:

  • Big data: Schlumberger launched the DELFI cognitive E&P environment and the deployment of an E&P Data Lake based on Google BigQuery, Cloud Spanner and Cloud Datastore with more than 100 million data items comprised of over 30TB of petrotechnical data.

  • Software platforms: Schlumberger announced the launch of its petrotechnical software platforms such as Petrel* E&P and INTERSECT* running on Google Cloud Platform and integrated into DELFI

  • High performance computing: Since announcing our relationship at Google Cloud Next, we’ve worked together to optimize Schlumberger Omega* geophysical data processing platform to run at a scale not possible in traditional data center environments. Using Google Cloud NVIDIA GPUs and Custom Machine Types, Schlumberger has deployed compute capacity of over 35 petaflops and 10PB of storage on GCP.

  • Artificial intelligence: Schlumberger leverages TensorFlow for complex petrotechnical interpretation of seismic and wellbore data, as well as automation of well-log quality control and 3D seismic interpretation.

  • Extensibility: Schlumberger adopted the Apigee API management platform to provide openness and extensibility for its clients and for partners to add their own intellectual property and workflows in DELFI

“To improve productivity and performance, DELFI enables our customers to take advantage of our E&P domain science and knowledge, while at the same time fully using disruptive digital technologies from Google Cloud,” said Ashok Belani, Executive VP of Technology, Schlumberger “This approach ensures that all data is considered when making critical decisions.”

By running on GCP, Schlumberger’s customers can supercharge their applications, whether it’s training machine learning models on our infrastructure, or easier software development and deployment via Kubernetes and containers. We’re also building upon new collaborations with other companies like Nutanix to give Schlumberger the flexibility to run its applications wherever they need to be—on-premises and in the cloud.

Our collaboration with Schlumberger is just the beginning. We’re thrilled the team has chosen Google Cloud to help deliver security, accessibility and innovation through their next generation energy exploration and production technology.  

*Mark of Schlumberger

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/UEMYarz_ZIs/

Ti Amo Italy: a historic theater takes center stage in a new music video

Category: Google | Sep 13, 2017

“Ti Amo.” I love you. The new song from French synth-pop stars Phoenix. The title song from their recently released album “Ti Amo” is a love letter to Italy: from festivals in Sanremo, to singer Franco Battiato, to melted gelato.

In the video for the song, created by La Blogothèque and directed by Colin Solal Cardo in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, Phoenix’s Thomas Mars abandons his guided tour of the Teatro Bibiena to sneak off and perform with his bandmates Christian Mazzalai, Laurent Brancowitz and Deck D’Arcy, around the stage, in the corridors and boxes of the theater—all shot live on 35mm film in one continuous shot.

But the real star of the video is the Teatro Bibiena itself. It’s a stunningly beautiful Baroque theater in the Italian town of Mantua. Measuring just 425 square meters, it seats about 300 people—less than a tenth of New York’s famous Carnegie Hall. Its surprisingly small, bell-shaped space is decorated with a wooden geometric ceiling, dozens of arched boxes and monochrome frescoes. Originally intended as an academic lecture hall when it was built, in the 1760s, guests soon realized that the space had amazing acoustics, and it was then used to house music and theater performances. A 14-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart even played there!

Phoenix hero

Take a look around the theatre yourself with Street View or browse through the history of this cultural gem on Google Arts & Culture.

Phoenix

Deck D’Arcy, Christian Mazzalai, Thomas Mars and Laurent Brancowitz of Phoenix

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/R8RcfJAT5SM/

Ti Amo Italy: a historic theater takes center stage in a new music video

Category: Google | Sep 13, 2017

“Ti Amo.” I love you. The new song from French synth-pop stars Phoenix. The title song from their recently released album “Ti Amo” is a love letter to Italy: from festivals in Sanremo, to singer Franco Battiato, to melted gelato.

In the video for the song, created by La Blogothèque and directed by Colin Solal Cardo in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, Phoenix’s Thomas Mars abandons his guided tour of the Teatro Bibiena to sneak off and perform with his bandmates Christian Mazzalai, Laurent Brancowitz and Deck D’Arcy, around the stage, in the corridors and boxes of the theater—all shot live on 35mm film in one continuous shot.

But the real star of the video is the Teatro Bibiena itself. It’s a stunningly beautiful Baroque theater in the Italian town of Mantua. Measuring just 425 square meters, it seats about 300 people—less than a tenth of New York’s famous Carnegie Hall. Its surprisingly small, bell-shaped space is decorated with a wooden geometric ceiling, dozens of arched boxes and monochrome frescoes. Originally intended as an academic lecture hall when it was built, in the 1760s, guests soon realized that the space had amazing acoustics, and it was then used to house music and theater performances. A 14-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart even played there!

Phoenix hero

Take a look around the theatre yourself with Street View or browse through the history of this cultural gem on Google Arts & Culture.

Phoenix

Deck D’Arcy, Christian Mazzalai, Thomas Mars and Laurent Brancowitz of Phoenix

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/pfiZLKnedE0/

Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund: Call for fourth round applications

Category: Google | Sep 13, 2017

Since its introduction, the Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund, our €150 million commitment to supporting innovation in the European news industry, has offered €73.5 million to 359 ambitious projects in digital journalism, across 29 countries. The fund is designed to provide no-strings-attached awards to those in the news industry looking for some room—and budget—to experiment. As we’re only halfway through our commitment, we’re thrilled to open the DNI Innovation Fund for a fourth round of applications. This season’s application round will be open for the next four weeks, ending October 12 (23:59 CEST).

Focus on monetization for medium and large projects

Round 4 of the DNI Innovation Fund will be slightly different from previous rounds for Medium and Large track applicants. We’ve heard clearly that monetization one of the biggest challenges currently facing news publishers. Therefore, for this fourth round of funding, we’re requiring all Medium and Large projects to provide explicit plans for monetization, with clear indicators showing the potential of the project to create economic value added for the business. Prototype projects don’t have the monetization requirement and remain, as in previous rounds, all about innovation.

Here’s a quick reminder of how the Fund works:

Projects

We’re looking for projects that demonstrate new thinking in the practice of digital journalism; that support the development of new business models, or maybe even change the way users consume digital news. Projects can be highly experimental, but must have well-defined goals and have a significant digital component. There is absolutely no requirement to use any Google products. Successful projects will show innovation and have a positive impact on the production of original digital journalism and on the long-term sustainability of the news business.

Eligibility and Funding

The Fund is open to established publishers, online-only players, news startups, collaborative partnerships and individuals based in the EU and EFTA countries. There are three categories of funding available:

  • Prototype projects: open to organizations—and to individuals—that meet the eligibility criteria, and require up to €50k of funding. These projects should be very early stage, with ideas yet to be designed and assumptions yet to be tested. We will fast-track such projects and will fund 100 percent of the total cost.

  • Medium projects: open to organizations that meet the eligibility criteria and require up to €300k of funding. We will accept funding requests up to 70 percent of the total cost of the project. Important: All medium applications need to include a clearly defined monetization component.

  • Large projects: open to organisations that meet the eligibility criteria and require more than €300k of funding. We will accept funding requests up to 70 percent of the total cost of the project. Funding is capped at €1 million. All large applications need to include a clearly defined monetization component.

Exceptions to the €1 million cap are possible for large projects that are collaborative (e.g., international, sector-wide, involving multiple organizations) or that significantly benefit the broad news ecosystem.

How to apply

Visit the new Digital News Initiative website for full details, including eligibility criteria, frequently asked questions, terms and conditions, and application forms. Applications must be made in English and the submission deadline for the fourth round of funding is October 12, 2017. We’re also hosting a live online hangout on with the DNI Fund Team on Tuesday, Sep 26, at 3pm CEST, where we’ll share learnings from the first three rounds of applications and explain what has changed for Round 4. If you have any questions or would like to hear more, hand in your questions upfront on our site.

We’ll announce the next funding recipients by the end of this year. We look forward to receiving your applications!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/qFqlBPk6ZCc/

Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund: Call for fourth round applications

Category: Google | Sep 13, 2017

Since its introduction, the Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund, our €150 million commitment to supporting innovation in the European news industry, has offered €73.5 million to 359 ambitious projects in digital journalism, across 29 countries. The fund is designed to provide no-strings-attached awards to those in the news industry looking for some room—and budget—to experiment. As we’re only halfway through our commitment, we’re thrilled to open the DNI Innovation Fund for a fourth round of applications. This season’s application round will be open for the next four weeks, ending October 12 (23:59 CEST).

Focus on monetization for medium and large projects

Round 4 of the DNI Innovation Fund will be slightly different from previous rounds for Medium and Large track applicants. We’ve heard clearly that monetization one of the biggest challenges currently facing news publishers. Therefore, for this fourth round of funding, we’re requiring all Medium and Large projects to provide explicit plans for monetization, with clear indicators showing the potential of the project to create economic value added for the business. Prototype projects don’t have the monetization requirement and remain, as in previous rounds, all about innovation.

Here’s a quick reminder of how the Fund works:

Projects

We’re looking for projects that demonstrate new thinking in the practice of digital journalism; that support the development of new business models, or maybe even change the way users consume digital news. Projects can be highly experimental, but must have well-defined goals and have a significant digital component. There is absolutely no requirement to use any Google products. Successful projects will show innovation and have a positive impact on the production of original digital journalism and on the long-term sustainability of the news business.

Eligibility and Funding

The Fund is open to established publishers, online-only players, news startups, collaborative partnerships and individuals based in the EU and EFTA countries. There are three categories of funding available:

  • Prototype projects: open to organizations—and to individuals—that meet the eligibility criteria, and require up to €50k of funding. These projects should be very early stage, with ideas yet to be designed and assumptions yet to be tested. We will fast-track such projects and will fund 100 percent of the total cost.

  • Medium projects: open to organizations that meet the eligibility criteria and require up to €300k of funding. We will accept funding requests up to 70 percent of the total cost of the project. Important: All medium applications need to include a clearly defined monetization component.

  • Large projects: open to organisations that meet the eligibility criteria and require more than €300k of funding. We will accept funding requests up to 70 percent of the total cost of the project. Funding is capped at €1 million. All large applications need to include a clearly defined monetization component.

Exceptions to the €1 million cap are possible for large projects that are collaborative (e.g., international, sector-wide, involving multiple organizations) or that significantly benefit the broad news ecosystem.

How to apply

Visit the new Digital News Initiative website for full details, including eligibility criteria, frequently asked questions, terms and conditions, and application forms. Applications must be made in English and the submission deadline for the fourth round of funding is October 12, 2017. We’re also hosting a live online hangout on with the DNI Fund Team on Tuesday, Sep 26, at 3pm CEST, where we’ll share learnings from the first three rounds of applications and explain what has changed for Round 4. If you have any questions or would like to hear more, hand in your questions upfront on our site.

We’ll announce the next funding recipients by the end of this year. We look forward to receiving your applications!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/0C-0ujMNlAE/

Continuing to support hurricane relief efforts

Category: Google | Sep 12, 2017

Update: In less than 24 hours, together we raised $2 million for Hurricane Irma relief and recovery. Thanks to your donations, we have met our goal. However, the crisis isn’t over. Your contributions can still provide critical relief to those in need. Although Google is no longer matching donations, please consider giving directly to these organizations. 

Hurricane Irma has impacted communities throughout the Caribbean and the southeastern United States. Hitting the Caribbean islands the hardest, Irma has left millions of people to rebuild in its wake.

Today, we’re kicking off a matching campaign to support relief and recovery efforts for this deadly storm, part of our overall $5 million hurricane relief effort this month.

Google.org will be matching up to $1 million in donations at https://www.google.org/irma-relief to support the Catholic Relief Service (CRS), UNICEF, and the American Red Cross (ARC).

Irma matching

Each of these organizations is providing critical relief and recovery resources to those in the affected regions:

  • Catholic Relief Services is responding to the most remote places across the Caribbean, fulfilling essential needs such as food, water and shelter.
  • UNICEF is on the ground supporting more than 2.8 million children, and their families, impacted across the Caribbean with emergency supplies and temporary education solutions.
  • American Red Cross is the leading nonprofit responder in the Southeastern United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, working diligently to shelter, feed and support families impacted by the storm. 

In the last two weeks, our total donations include $3 million donated directly by Google.org, as well as $2 million raised so far from Google employees and public donations, for relief efforts in the areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Crisis Response and SOS Alerts

Ensuring people have access to timely, official information in a time of crisis is crucial. To help, ahead of the storm, our Crisis Response team launched an SOS Alert in Search for the Caribbean, Florida and Georgia in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. Now, as people across the region return to their homes and search for information about Hurricane Irma, or related searches, they’ll see:

  • Information on power outages
  • Emergency information contacts
  • Crisis maps in both English and Spanish, providing people with the local news, road closures, tweets, latest traffic and transit information, gas stations with crowdsourced fuel status, and post-Irma satellite and aerial imagery from partners NOAA and Digital Globe (e.g., Key West).

irma response - steph

We hope these features will help people stay safe and informed—and we’ll continue to update with relevant resources in the coming days.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/qFqivdgLsSE/

Continuing to support hurricane relief efforts

Category: Google | Sep 12, 2017

Hurricane Irma has impacted communities throughout the Caribbean and the southeastern United States. Hitting the Caribbean islands the hardest, Irma has left millions of people to rebuild in its wake.

Today, we’re kicking off a matching campaign to support relief and recovery efforts for this deadly storm, part of our overall $5 million hurricane relief effort this month.

Google.org will be matching up to $1 million in donations at https://www.google.org/irma-relief to support the Catholic Relief Service (CRS), UNICEF, and the American Red Cross (ARC).

Each of these organizations is providing critical relief and recovery resources to those in the affected regions:

  • Catholic Relief Services is responding to the most remote places across the Caribbean, fulfilling essential needs such as food, water and shelter.
  • UNICEF is on the ground supporting more than 2.8 million children, and their families, impacted across the Caribbean with emergency supplies and temporary education solutions.
  • American Red Cross is the leading nonprofit responder in the Southeastern United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, working diligently to shelter, feed and support families impacted by the storm. 

In the last two weeks, our total donations include $3 million donated directly by Google.org, as well as $2 million raised so far from Google employees and public donations, for relief efforts in the areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Crisis Response and SOS Alerts

Ensuring people have access to timely, official information in a time of crisis is crucial. To help, ahead of the storm, our Crisis Response team launched an SOS Alert in Search for the Caribbean, Florida and Georgia in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. Now, as people across the region return to their homes and search for information about Hurricane Irma, or related searches, they’ll see:

  • Information on power outages
  • Emergency information contacts
  • Crisis maps in both English and Spanish, providing people with the local news, road closures, tweets, latest traffic and transit information, gas stations with crowdsourced fuel status, and post-Irma satellite and aerial imagery from partners NOAA and Digital Globe (e.g., Key West).

irma response - steph

We hope these features will help people stay safe and informed—and we’ll continue to update with relevant resources in the coming days.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/S_qmkpiYAng/

Box: Bringing image recognition and OCR to cloud content management

Category: Google | Sep 12, 2017

Editor’s note: In this guest editorial by Box’s Senior Director of Product Management, Ben Kus tells us how they used Google Cloud Vision to add a new level of image recognition to Box.

Images are the second most common and fastest growing type of file stored in Box. Trust us: that’s a lot of images.

Ranging from marketing assets to product photos to completed forms captured on a mobile device, these images are relevant to business processes and contain a ton of critical information. And yet, despite the wealth of value in these files, the methods that organizations use to identify, classify and tag images are still mostly manual.

Personal services like Google Photos, on the other hand, have gone far beyond simply storing images. These services intelligently organize photos, making them easier to discover. They also automatically recognize images, producing a list of relevant photos when users search for specific keywords. As we looked at this technology, we thought, “Why can’t we bring it to the enterprise?”

The idea was simple: find a way to help our customers get more value from the images they store in Box. We wanted to make image files as easy to find and search through as text documents. We needed the technology to provide high-quality image labeling, be cost-effective and scale to the massive amount of image files stored in Box. We also needed it to handle thousands of image uploads per second and had to ensure that users actually found the image recognition useful. But we didn’t want to build a team of machine learning experts to develop yet another image analysis technology—that just wasn’t the best use of our resources.

That’s where Google Cloud Vision came in. The image analysis results were high-quality, the pay-as-you-go pricing model enabled us to get something to market quickly without an upfront cost (aside from engineering resources), and we trusted that the service backed by Google expertise could seamlessly scale to support our needs. And, since many of the image files in Box contain text—such as licenses, forms and contracts—Cloud Vision’s optical character recognition (OCR) was a huge bonus. It could even recognize handwriting!

Using the Google Cloud Vision was straightforward. The API accepts an image file, analyzes the image’s content and extracts any printed words, and then returns labels and recognized characters in a JSON response. Google Cloud Vision classifies the image into categories based on similar images, analyzes the content based on the type of analysis provided in the developer’s request, and returns the results and a score of confidence in its analysis.

box-1

Photo provided by Box

To securely communicate with Google Cloud Vision, we used the Google API Client Library for Java to establish an HTTPS connection via our proxy server. The simplest way to do this is to modify the JVM’s proxy settings (i.e., https.proxyHost and https.proxyPort) and use Java’s Authenticator class to provide credentials to the proxy. The downside of this approach is that it affects all of your outgoing connections, which may be undesirable (i.e., if you want other connections to not use the proxy). For this reason, we chose to use the ApacheHttpTransport class instead. It can be configured to use a proxy server only for the connections that it creates. For more information, see this post.

To access Google Cloud Vision, you need credentials—either an API key or a service account. Regardless of which credentials you use, you’ll want to keep them secret, so that no one else can use your account (and your money!). For example, do not store your credentials directly in your code or your source tree, do control access to them, do encrypt them at rest, and do cycle them periodically.

So, in order to bring these powerful capabilities to Box, we needed a set of images to send to the API and a destination for the results returned by the API. Now, when an image is uploaded to a folder in Box with the feature enabled—either via the web application or the API—the image is automatically labeled and text is automatically recognized and tagged using metadata. Plus, these metadata and representation values are then indexed for search, which means users can use our web application, a partner integration or even a custom application built on the Box Platform to search for keywords that might be found in their image content. And the search results will appear almost instantly based on the Google Cloud Vision’s analysis. Developers can also request the metadata on the image file via the Box API to use elsewhere in an application.

box-2

Photo provided by Box

As you can imagine, the ability to automatically classify and label images provides dozens of powerful use cases for Box customers. In our beta, we’re working with companies across a number of industries:

  • A retail customer is using image recognition in Box to optimize digital asset management of product photos. With automatic object detection and metadata labels, they can cut out manual tagging and organization of critical images that are central to multi-channel processes.

  • A major media company is using image recognition in Box to automatically tag massive amounts of inbound photos from freelance photographers around the globe. Previously, there was no way they could preview and tag every single image. Now they can automatically analyze more images than ever before, and unlock new ways to derive value from that content.

  • A global real estate firm is leveraging optical character recognition in Box to digitize workflows for paper-based leases and agreements, allowing their employees to skip a manual tagging process while classifying sensitive assets more quickly.

We’re excited to continue experimenting with GCP’s APIs to help our customers get more out of their content in Box. You can learn more about this from our initial announcement.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/-hCkVXjCnvs/