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Opening the Google AI China Center

Category: Google | Dec 12, 2017

Since becoming a professor 12 years ago and joining Google a year ago, I’ve had the good fortune to work with many talented Chinese engineers, researchers and technologists. China is home to many of the world’s top experts in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. All three winning teams of the ImageNet Challenge in the past three years have been largely composed of Chinese researchers. Chinese authors contributed 43 percent of all content in the top 100 AI journals in 2015—and when the Association for the Advancement of AI discovered that their annual meeting overlapped with Chinese New Year this year, they rescheduled.

I believe AI and its benefits have no borders. Whether a breakthrough occurs in Silicon Valley, Beijing or anywhere else, it has the potential to make everyone’s life better for the entire world. As an AI first company, this is an important part of our collective mission. And we want to work with the best AI talent, wherever that talent is, to achieve it.

That’s why I am excited to launch the Google AI China Center, our first such center in Asia, at our Google Developer Days event in Shanghai today. This Center joins other AI research groups we have all over the world, including in New York, Toronto, London and Zurich, all contributing towards the same goal of finding ways to make AI work better for everyone.

Focused on basic AI research, the Center will consist of a team of AI researchers in Beijing, supported by Google China’s strong engineering teams. We’ve already hired some top experts, and will be working to build the team in the months ahead (check our jobs site for open roles!). Along with Dr. Jia Li, Head of Research and Development at Google Cloud AI, I’ll be leading and coordinating the research. Besides publishing its own work, the Google AI China Center will also support the AI research community by funding and sponsoring AI conferences and workshops, and working closely with the vibrant Chinese AI research community.

Humanity is going through a huge transformation thanks to the phenomenal growth of computing and digitization. In just a few years, automatic image classification in photo apps has become a standard feature. And we’re seeing rapid adoption of natural language as an interface with voice assistants like Google Home. At Cloud, we see our enterprise partners using AI to transform their businesses in fascinating ways at an astounding pace. As technology starts to shape human life in more profound ways, we will need to work together to ensure that the AI of tomorrow benefits all of us. 

The Google AI China Center is a small contribution to this goal. We look forward to working with the brightest AI researchers in China to help find solutions to the world’s problems. 

Once again, the science of AI has no borders, neither do its benefits.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/04rYObIx_hA/

A look at Team Drives in action at the California Academy of Sciences

Category: Google | Dec 12, 2017

Located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences is an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum all wrapped into one. Attracting visitors from all over the world, the California Academy of Sciences aims to explore, explain, and sustain life on Earth. In addition to biodiversity research and conservation efforts, they offer a large variety of exhibits to educate visitors about wildlife, ecosystems, and the sustainability of our planet.

The California Academy of Sciences uses G Suite and other Google products to help employees collaborate, onboard new team members effectively, manage data for science-based animal care, and schedule upcoming physicals and treatments for live animals. Recently, they migrated all their digital data to Team Drives, a G Suite for Nonprofits tool that lets organizations store, search, and access shared content from anywhere. In Team Drives, files belong to the team instead of the individual, so users won’t need to search across siloed folders with varying permissions. Since implementing this change, the California Academy of Sciences has been able to reduce time spent searching for documents, limit duplication of efforts, and collaborate more closely with their team members and other organizations internationally. We spoke with Associate Director of the Steinhart Aquarium (and Google super user), Laurie Patel, who successfully migrated 15 years of digital data to Team Drives in just one evening, to learn more about how they’re using the tool.

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Three endangered African Penguins on exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences. The penguin on the left is a juvenile hatched at the Academy as a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan.

Better animal health management through unlimited storage

The initial reasoning behind the transition to Team Drives was unlimited storage. Because of the massive amounts of animal medical data that must be stored, the aquarium team needs space to upload all the PDFs, images, videos, and spreadsheets that they collect. All medical data gets logged, like each animal’s annual physicals, blood work, pictures, weight, and other diagnostics. With 38,000 live animals at the California Academy of Sciences, it’s easy to see how the virtual file cabinet of data in their systems could start to overflow. With Team Drives, Laurie’s team can upload all the images and data they collect so that it’s accessible in one place, all the time—without relying on an individual owner to have sole access. And with Team Drives’ permissions settings, they share and link these folders to the external Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) database. That database connects with zoos and aquariums across the world so researchers can cross-reference each species’ baseline health reports. Being able to upload large files to this database has increased both the California Academy of Sciences’ and the ZIMS accumulated knowledge of medical data to ensure all animals are treated properly and receive the best possible care and enrichment.

Everything you need to know is right there in Team Drives.

Laurie Patel

Associate Director of Steinhart Aquarium

Real-time updates to support strict protocols for animal safety

Caring for a diverse animal collection in varied habitats, like the four-story Osher Rainforest exhibit or the 212,000 gallon Philippine Coral Reef exhibit, requires California Academy of Sciences’ staff to adhere to strict protocols to ensure a consistently high standard of animal care. To ensure stable environments, all processes need to be executed in a specific way—and this critical information has to be readily accessible to staff and always up to date. From changing an animal’s diet to venomous animal handling protocols, employees routinely search and access these procedures and databases to make real-time decisions. For example, water is collected daily from separate tanks to check the water quality and test things like pH levels and magnesium concentration. Employees input this data into Google Sheets, and conditional formatting automatically attributes a color code based on each test result—an easy and instantaneous visual indication to inform what action is needed for the employees back at the tank.

We use data-driven responses for science based animal care. And utilizing Google’s collaboration tools for all this data is how we’re able to do this.

Laurie Patel

Associate Director of the Steinhart Aquarium

Streamlined onboarding = more time for animals

By consolidating all training materials and important resources in one place, the Steinhart Aquarium team can onboard new members to the team quickly and efficiently. This helps the team prepare for legacy planning as well. When one teammate leaves, their successor can easily take ownership of all the files and resume where the former employee left off, ensuring that no work is lost in the transfer. And by linking to various Team Drives folders in their online hub powered by Google Sites, they’ve created a one-stop-shop to guide team members to the right information at the right time.

Sharks

The Reef Lagoon exhibit showcases the interrelationships of mangrove, lagoon and reef habitats found in the Philippines, an ecosystem researched by the biologists and scientists at the California Academy of Sciences.

Ultimately, Team Drives help California Academy of Sciences operate without fear of lost data or out-of-date sharing preferences. This extra time saved allows employees to spend more time caring for a charismatic group of live animals and engaging with the museum’s visitors, rather than their screens. Learn how Team Drives can help your organization and get started today.

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

News Lab in 2017: working with news organizations to address industry challenges

Category: Google | Dec 12, 2017

Editor’s Note: This week we’re looking at the ways the Google News Lab is working with news organizations to build the future of journalism. This is the first in a four-part series.

2017 was a critical time for both the news and technology industries. The battle against misinformation, rapidly-changing business models for news organizations and fundamental questions about the relationship between journalism and technology have made Google’s role in supporting quality journalism as important as it’s ever been. We started the Google News Lab in 2015 to work alongside newsrooms to navigate those issues and build a stronger future for news.

No single technology, platform or partnership will solve every challenge the news industry faces, so we’ve focused on using our resources and technology to help newsrooms and journalists try new things. Three of the biggest challenges we focused on in 2017 were trust and misinformation, inclusive storytelling and local news. Today, we’ll provide detail on how we approached those challenges—and to ensure we’re tackling the right ones in the future, we’d love to hear feedback and new ideas.

Trust and misinformation

Though it’s been a focus since we founded the News Lab, curbing the spread of misinformation and helping people understand what content they can trust has become even more important this year, in light of events across the world. Our efforts to fight misinformation focus on three key groups—platforms, newsrooms and consumers.

Platforms: Google has launched a number of features to prevent the spread of misinformation on our platforms, and News Lab has built partnerships to strengthen those efforts.

Newsrooms: Discovering and debunking misinformation is a daunting task for any newsroom, but we’re encouraged by a new generation of organizations developing methods to meet this challenge.

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  • We helped start the First Draft coalition of digital media verification experts to combine efforts and share best practices with newsrooms everywhere. This year, they produced “A Field Guide to Fake News,” a playbook on how newsrooms can fight misinformation. Their recent report “Information Disorder” offers an excellent approach for understanding and grappling with misinformation.
  • Along with hundreds of news organizations around the world, we created pop-up newsrooms to discover and debunk fake news stories and provide readers with accurate information during the U.K., French and German elections. Early research shows that this is working, and the effort in France received an ONA award for helping build a blueprint for verification around key moments. We plan to continue these experiments in 2018, and we’re developing tools and training on how our products can help in this area.

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Journalists from across France undergo training in verifying online content in run-up to French election.

Consumers: In an age of information overload, we need to do more to help news consumers distinguish fact from fiction. Recent research out of Stanford suggests that news consumers—even young, tech-savvy students—struggle with parsing the difference between accurate and false claims. To help people develop skills to navigate news in a digital age, we launched a news literacy program in Canada, which we’re looking to expand in the coming year. We’re also working with our product teams to ensure our platforms help news consumers understand how to judge the credibility of content online, building on features like the publisher knowledge panel.

Inclusive storytelling

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This visualization from Polygraph shows how U.S. newsrooms have changed since 2001, according to ASNE’s survey data.

In order for newsrooms to serve their readers and uncover the most important stories in their communities, they need to reflect the diversity of their markets. But this remains a challenge: in a survey we produced with the American Society of News Editors, we found that diversity in U.S. newsrooms hasn’t improved much over time. For instance, men still make up 63 percent of newsrooms in the U.S.

So we’ve focused our energy on partnerships to empower journalists from a diverse range of backgrounds and communities. We’re working with Maynard Institute to support 200 people of color in media, and we backed the Street School in France and the Hamburg media school in Germany to train young journalists from underprivileged backgrounds. We’ve also created fellowships and programs to give diverse journalists new opportunities, with groups like NCTJ Journalism Diversity Fund and Neue Deutsche Medienmacher.

We also think technology can play an important role in understanding bias in news. In 2016 Google.org, USC and the Geena Davis Institute used machine learning to create a tool that identified gender distribution in Hollywood. We’re building on this work to explore how newsrooms can apply the same technology to better understand representation in news coverage.

Local news

Local newsrooms have been hit hard by the shift to digital, with revenue pressures causing local newsrooms to shrink—or worse, close down. Through a partnership with the Society for Professional Journalists, we’ve trained more than 9,500 local reporters across America on essential skills, from multimedia storytelling to safety and security, in the last year. And our partnership with the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal Labs gave local journalists in Mississippi and New Jersey the resources to experiment on new models for investigative reporting.  

We’re looking at new models for strengthening the local news ecosystem, through initiatives like Report for America, which will place a thousand journalists in local newsrooms in the next five years. Over the next six months, we’ll pilot the program in 12 local newsrooms in areas underserved by local news media.

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Feedback from journalists and others in the industry is important to our efforts. We’d love your feedback, which you can share through this form. In our next post, we’ll talk about how we’re helping news organizations navigate new technologies—like virtual reality, data visualizations and machine learning—in their newsrooms.

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

Igniting innovation: Connecting Thailand’s startups globally

Category: Google | Dec 12, 2017

The Google for Entrepreneurs logo at one of HUBBA’s locations in Bangkok.

Editor’s note: This post comes from Amarit Charoenphan, CEO and co-founder of HUBBA, Thailand’s first and largest coworking space and community. Today, they’re officially joining the Google for Entrepreneurs partner network.


I started out as an entrepreneur in 2012, when Bangkok was affected by serious flooding. I needed somewhere to escape to. But I realized that the coffee shops were too full and lacked a sense of community. I was inspired to co-found HUBBA to create a place where people with great ideas can collaborate.

Later that year, we opened our doors to Thailand’s first coworking space in Ekkamai. Since then, we’ve grown from a single shared office space to become a tech ecosystem builder with three locations across Bangkok and more than 20,000 engaged members and alumni. Today, I’m proud to officially join the Google for Entrepreneurs global network and become Thailand’s first GFE network hub.

As the newest member of the Google for Entrepreneurs partner network, we’re excited to give even more Thai startups access to resources to help them scale and go global. In fact, as of today, our community will have access to more than 25 member co-working spaces and Google’s six Campuses. HUBBA members will also have opportunities to participate in programs Google runs for startups, such as Google Demo Day and Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange.

From our very first day as a collaborative space, HUBBA has been home to some of Thailand’s and the world’s most innovative tinkerers, creatives and doers. With Google for Entrepreneurs’ global network, we hope to help our tribe of Thai startups become even more successful.

  • HUBBA-GFE Thailand
    (L to R) Kelly Payakvichien, Head of Brand at HUBBA, Charle Charoenphan, co-founder and HUBBA COO, Amarit Charoenphan, co-founder and HUBBA CEO, Chayanat Chaiwattanapong Head of Business Development at HUBBA, Jenny Park, Google for Entrepreneurs and Mike Kim, Google for Entrepreneurs in front of the newly renovated HUBBA Ekkamai location.
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    Entrepreneurs at one of HUBBA’s locations in Bangkok.
  • Hubbaspace
    There are three HUBBA spaces across Bangkok and over 700 active members monthly and 20,000 alumni.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/bx5cmpqBj5k/

330 million internet users accelerating the growth of Southeast Asia’s internet economy

Category: Google | Dec 12, 2017

With hundreds of millions of Southeast Asians coming online, we should pay attention to the opportunities in the region’s dynamic internet economy. In last year’s “e-Conomy 2025 Southeast Asia” report, Google and Temasek examined the incredible growth in Southeast Asia’s internet economy. It turns out that Southeast Asia’s internet economy growth has exceeded expectations. The region’s internet economy will reach $50 billion in 2017, outpacing earlier growth expectations by 35 percent. In the “e-Conomy Southeast Asia Spotlight 2017” report, we’ve found that the region is well on track to realizing a $200 billion internet economy by 2025.

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Southeast Asia’s internet economy market size (in USD billions)

Here are some other striking numbers about Southeast Asia’s internet economy from the latest report:

  • 330 million internet users. With more than 70 million new internet users since 2015, Southeast Asia now has the third largest number of internet users in the world—bigger than the whole population of the United States. 
  • 3.6 hours on the mobile internet every day. Southeast Asians spend more time on the mobile internet than anyone else on the planet. Thailand is top of the list with 4.2 hours per day, with Indonesia a close second at 3.9 hours per day. To compare, the U.S. spends 2 hours per day, the U.K. 1.8 hours per day, and Japan 1 hour per day on mobile internet.
  • 140 minutes shopping online every month. Southeast Asians spend almost twice as much time as Americans in e-commerce marketplaces. The region will have an $88.1 billion e-commerce market by 2025.
  • 6 million rides booked through ride-hailing platforms every day. The ride-hailing market in Southeast Asia has grown four-fold since 2015 and will be $20.1 billion by 2025.
  • More than $12 billion raised by Southeast Asian startups since 2016. At 0.18 percent of GDP, the amount of investment into Southeast Asian startups is on par with India’s and a vote of confidence in Southeast Asia’s huge internet potential.

Learn more about Southeast Asia’s growing internet economy in the “e-Conomy Southeast Asia Spotlight 2017.” 

GoogleTemasekInfo

Download the infographic here.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/IiwFRg3LAwg/

Holiday greetings from Project Fi

Category: Google | Dec 11, 2017

It’s time to kick off this holiday season,

And with new phones and features there’s no better reason,

To gift our subscribers with holiday cheer,

It’s a game on the slopes; we’ll bring all the gear.

Strap on your best boots and hit the fresh snow,

Looking out for snowboarders and pine trees below,

If you hit all the jumps, it will be a quick breeze,

And you’ll fly down the steep slopes with expert ease.

The end of the game brings Fi users a prize,

Click here to get started and reach the surprise.

And to all our friends and family, both far and near,

Have a happy holidays and a wonderful New Year!  

 

yeti2

 

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/IFtYgR8G_NM/

$13 million dollars in 10 years: CS professional development grants are open

Category: Google | Dec 11, 2017

Ten years ago, Jeff Walz, a manager on Google’s University Relations team, had a hunch about widening access to computer science (CS) education for students—he thought that if teachers could train other teachers, who would then train their students, together they could create a ripple effect. After attending a Carnegie Mellon University workshop for high school teachers designed to expose them to the “bigger picture of computer science,” Walz was inspired to create opportunities for teachers to expand their skill set. So he created Google’s first grant program to fund professional development opportunities in computer science for high school teachers.

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Jeff at CMU celebrating the 10th anniversary of the DARPA Urvan challenge

Over the 10 years since, we’ve provided more than $13 million through our professional development grants program, formerly known as CS4HS, to fund teacher PD in computer science education around the world. Over 50,000 educators in more than 50 countries have benefited from our professional development program, designed to grow their confidence and skillset. This program is just one example of our ongoing commitment to ensure more students have access to computer science education.

And today, grant applications are open to school districts, universities, and other education nonprofits around the world for the 2018-2019 school year. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the program, we’re expanding to include applications to fund PD programs for primary, secondary, middle school teachers, as well as teachers who are still in school. Grants are available in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, China, Australia, New Zealand and Africa.

The impact of professional development grants for educators

Here are a few stories of how PD providers have used our funding to support and enable educator impact:

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Dr. Lisa Milenkovic, STEM and CS Supervisor for Broward County Public Schools, the sixth-largest school district in the U.S., wanted to boost interest in CS across her district. As a grantee, Milenkovic developed an online PD course to help educators achieve state certification in Florida for teaching CS. The CS certification course and face-to-face mentoring builds CS teaching expertise in the district, increasing the availability of CS classes district-wide. Learn more about Lisa’s PD journey for educators in Broward County Public Schools.

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Paul O’Callaghan is a primary school teacher at Lucan Community National School in Dublin, Ireland. To further build his confidence in teaching CS and computational thinking (CT), Paul participated in the CTwins project, a joint initiative of 2016 grantees Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast. “It was motivational to be surrounded by like-minded educational professionals and to work collaboratively with people of all ages who were passionate about integrating CT meaningfully into their curricula.” The CTwins workshops encouraged Paul to develop at his school school to integrate CS throughout the entire curriculum for students aged 5 to 12. Paul says that “the potential for CS in our school knows no bounds” thanks to professional learning opportunities for teachers like himself.  

Join our online CS seminar to learn more

To learn more about computer science professional development, join us on December 16th for our first-ever online CS seminar, “Building Pathways to Teaching Computer Science.” School districts, universities and community organizations can learn how to create effective PD programs tailored to local needs of educators to integrate CS and CT into their classrooms. Seminar speakers include Maggie Johnson, Vice President of Education and University Programs at Google, Deborah Seehorn, Interim Director of CSTA, and Daniel Moix, K-12 Teacher and K-12 CS Framework & CSTA Standards Writer. You can watch the event live (or the recording) on the Google for Education YouTube Channel.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/x2lq47UPE3Q/

Three ways employees will benefit from digital transformation in 2018

Category: Google | Dec 11, 2017

Editor’s note: Business is no longer as usual. New technologies in the workplace, like machine learning and augmented reality, create opportunities for companies to enhance employee productivity. Alan Lepofsky, analyst at Constellation Research, Inc. discusses three key areas where technology will impact work as we know it.

From Baby Boomers to Gen Z, today’s workplace contains a mixture of generations. Although each has grown up with very different technological and cultural experiences, all face similar challenges at work, like information overload and having to stay up-to-date with technology that’s constantly changing. But all is not lost! The future of work is an exciting one which will leverage new tools, technologies and techniques to help people get work done.

At Constellation Research, three of the top areas we’re tracking around employees in the digital workplace are: 1. using technology to augment how teams accomplish work, 2. using data to guide actions and prioritize projects and 3. using technology to encourage more creativity among teams. Here are some of the things we’re observing.

Augmenting our ability to get more done

No longer a thing of the future, AI is already all around us in a big way—powering the voice input on our phones or the content in our news streams.

While conversations about AI often turn to science fiction, the reality for knowledge workers is that AI is already enhancing how they work, and will continue to do so. We’re already seeing email clients that recommend replies, calendars that automate meeting scheduling, and video services that transcribe content.

The way we create, consume and interact with content is also changing. Legacy whiteboards in meeting rooms are being replaced by large, intelligent and interactive screens that allow people to collaborate whether they’re in the same room or across the world. Augmented and virtual reality are moving beyond science fiction (and gaming) to mainstream use cases such as education, product design and retail. While today’s headsets may be cumbersome, soon augmented reality will be everywhere, turning any clear surface into a potential display.

In addition, new input methods including voice dictation and gesture recognition (hands and face) are allowing us to interact with our devices in new ways. I actually wrote a lot of this post by speaking out loud to my phone. 

Using data to derive insights and guide actions

How many miles have you flown this year? How many steps have you taken today? Our personal lives are filled with measurements of our accomplishments and actions. Everything is quantified. But can you say the same for work?

Imagine if you could understand which social media posts are most effective or which meetings lead to more customer wins. We don’t always have the information we need at work to help us be more effective employees. In order to provide employees with meaningful information, data needs to be collected and patterns need to be discovered. But the fragmentation of work across social networks, file sharing, web conferencing and business applications creates quite a challenge.

The solution requires charting the interactions between people, content and devices. These collections are called “graphs” in computer science, and they reveal things like who people work with and what content they interact with. This information can be used to discover patterns, leading to insights about the way people work. In turn, this data can help employees better determine what work should be prioritized and what can be postponed.

Everyone becomes a storyteller

Think about the types of content people use at work: email, chat, documents, spreadsheets, presentations. Compare that to your personal life which is probably dominated by photos and videos. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a similar level of fun and creativity at work? 

In the past, creating compelling graphics or videos was limited to professionals. Today, almost anyone with a camera phone can start creating highly visual content. Most camera applications provide lenses, filters, stickers and other digital tricks to enhance pictures. Some take gorgeous panoramic images and some even create 3600 content. Conversations in group messaging applications now include emojis and animated gifs. Photo-sharing sites can automatically create collages from our best images.

These advances in storytelling are starting to show up in the workplace as well, enabling marketers to create more effective presentations, financial workers to create visually informative spreadsheets and sales people to pitch products with more engaging content. The days of boring content at work are coming to an end.

Delivering in the digital workplace

We’ve witnessed incredible advancements in the tools we use at work over the past 20 years. However, these pale in comparison to what the next decade will be like. The future of work is going to empower employees regardless of skillset or seniority.

If you’re ready to embrace the changes and become a digital employee, have your holographic assistant connect with mine so we can discuss this further! …Or at least take advantage of some of the auto-scheduling features cropping up in your Calendar app.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/szqX0NRPYbM/

Brains, beauty and beats: Google Home Max is here

Category: Google | Dec 11, 2017

Just in time for the holidays, Google Home Max is now available online from Best Buy, the Google Store, Verizon and Walmart. Max brings together the convenience of controlling your music with your voice, with premium, high quality audio.

Google Home Max sounds pretty amazing right out of the box because it’s our first speaker with Smart Sound. Powered by Google’s artificial intelligence (AI), Smart Sound means Max can automatically adapt itself based on where it’s placed in the room. There’s no extra setup or testing required. Even if you move Max from one spot to another, it’ll continuously tune itself to the room, so your music will sound one step closer to the studio.

We thought through each detail to make sure that every audio-obsessed music-junkie you know will love Google Home Max. Here’s why:

  1. Built for premium sound: Google Home Max has two 4.5-inch high-excursion woofers that’ll deliver deep, powerful bass. And Max is loud…really loud. It’s 20 times more powerful than Google Home, so it will fill any room in your home with amazing audio.

  2. More music: Max allows you to use your voice to control popular services like Spotify Free and Premium, YouTube Music, Google Play Music or Pandora, and with Chromecast built in, you can cast from your phone from many more services. For all of your other music and devices, Max has support for both Bluetooth® and aux-in. Plug in your record player and dust off your vinyl.

  3. Your very own DJ: With the Google Assistant built in, Max is always ready to start your favorite song, pause or turn it up, all with just your voice. Can’t quite remember that name of that famous holiday favorite? Your Assistant can find it with just a few small details. Just ask, “Hey Google, play that song that goes, ‘Chestnuts roasting…’” Or too early for Christmas tunes? Just ask, “Ok Google, play ‘Discover Weekly’ from Spotify’” (for some playlists, you might need a subscription).

  4. Designed for your home: Google Home Max was designed to be versatile and seamlessly blend in with your home’s decor. You can stand it up vertically or place it horizontally to fit in your space. It’s available in two colors, Chalk and Charcoal, and was made with beautiful yet durable fabric, developed from scratch to allow your music to be heard without distortion.

  5. Turn it up: With Max’s integrated far-field microphones and speech recognition technology, it can hear you from across the room, even when your music is blasting.

  6. Multi-room: Group all of your Google Home devices through the Google Home app and get your favorite holiday playlist going in every room. You can even wirelessly pair two Maxes together for stereo sound.

  7. Control your smart home: Make premium sound the center of your smart home. Google Home Max works with more than 150 home automation brands and more than 1,000 devices—including Nest, Belkin Wemo and Philips Hue. Plus, Google Home Max can complete two tasks at once. If you have a compatible smart plug, try saying, “Hey Google, turn on the Christmas tree and play Jingle Bells.”

Check out Google Home Max in person at select Verizon retail locations and at the Made by Google pop-up stores in New York City and Los Angeles. This holiday season, Google Home Max is the perfect gift for music lovers on your holiday list. Or maybe it’s the perfect gift from you, to you. We won’t judge.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/qlL9xg8puYA/

More reasons to love your Pixel phone

Category: Google | Dec 11, 2017

When you invest in a smartphone, you expect it to last a while (and not go out of date when the next product comes along). We expect that, too, so we constantly add new experiences to Pixel phones to make sure they keep getting better over time. Here are a few highlights from recent weeks:

1. Have fun and get creative with Augmented Reality Stickers

Pixel 2 has the world’s highest-rated smartphone camera, and it lets you do a lot more in addition to taking great photos and videos. This week, we’re bringing AR Stickers to Pixel, so you can add virtual characters and playful emojis directly into your photos and videos to bring your favorite stories to life.  

You don’t have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to team up with characters from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” like BB-8, a stormtrooper, or a porg. You can play around with Eleven, the Demogorgon, and your other favorite characters from Netflix’s “Stranger Things;” use Foodmoji and 3D Text stickers when you’re feeling hungry; or shoot a celebratory video at your New Year’s party with AR balloons and champagne.

Google Pixel 2 | Stranger Things AR Stickers

AR stickers from Netflix's "Stranger Things"

It’s easy! Open up the camera app, switch to AR Stickers mode, choose a sticker pack, and drop them into the scene. You can move, resize and rotate the stickers, and they interact with other characters in the scene. Once you capture a picture or video you can quickly and easily share with friends on social media. AR Stickers are rolling out over the coming days to all Pixel phones running Android 8.1 Oreo. We’ll release more AR Sticker packs in the future, so keep your eyes peeled.

2. Explore the world around you with Google Lens

We recently introduced Google Lens in the Google Assistant on Pixel so you can learn more about the world around you. If you walk past a landmark in a new city or discover a painting in a museum, just open up the Assistant on your Pixel and tap on the Lens button (or simply squeeze the sides of your Pixel 2 phone) to get more information about what you’re looking at.

And with Google Lens in Google Photos, you can now copy important information–like a Wi-Fi password, gift card code, or recipe—from a photo and then paste it somewhere else (such as into a field on a web page, an email, or text message).

3. An even more helpful Assistant

There are new features on your Google Assistant on Pixel too. Now you can broadcast your voice from your Pixel to the Google Home devices around your house. And the Assistant now speaks new languages, including Spanish and Italian.

4. Taking a bite out of the newest version of Oreo

We recently rolled out Android Oreo 8.1, which makes it even faster and easier to get stuff done on your Pixel. SmartSelect recognizes text when you long press, highlights the relevant words, and then recommends a next logical step through a suggested app—for example, it’ll take you to Google Maps if you copy an address. This feature is powered by machine learning, and it can recognize addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and more. Another useful feature in Oreo 8.1 for Pixel users: Wi-Fi speed labels show you how fast nearby networks are.

Your Pixel will keep getting better over time. Stay tuned for new camera experiences and AR sticker packs, new ways to explore the world around you with Google Lens, accessories and a lot more.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/XuCDy3r068k/