Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Is Baidu Coming for Google?

baidu-logoAviva Rutkin of New Scientist recently wrote, “Rumours have been circulating that the Chinese search engine is developing a bike that could drive itself through packed city streets. The project isn’t ready to be launched yet but Baidu confirmed it is exploring the idea.The news is intriguing, and not just because self-navigating bikes would be cool. Research into autonomous vehicles is yet another way that Baidu is following Google’s model of pushing at the boundaries of artificial intelligence.” Read more

Improving the Performance of Google Shopping Ads in AdWords

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Frederick Vallaeys of Search Engine Land recently wrote, “By late August, Product Listing campaigns for AdWords will be retired in favor of Shopping campaigns, so if you haven’t started migrating, don’t delay much longer. You can run both campaign types simultaneously, so start tweaking Shopping campaigns now so that they’ll be performing great by the time PLAs go away later this summer… Unlike with Search ads which are entirely managed in AdWords, a lot of the settings for Shopping ads are handled outside of the AdWords interface. They get their titles, images, descriptions and promotions from feeds in the Google Merchant Center. While you can use the AdWords interface to set bids, structure campaigns and set up product groups, you will need to work with your product feed if you want to have ads appear for different keywords. How to manipulate the feed depends on its size and how it is generated.” Read more

Google’s Nest Labs Contributes to Internet of Things

photo of Nest  ThermostatPreviously, it was reported on SemanticWeb.com that Google had acquired Nest Labs. Steve Lohr of The New York Times recently opined that: “Google did not pay $3.2 billion for Nest Labs this year just because it designed a smart thermostat that has redefined that humble household device. No, Google also bought into the vision of Nest’s founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, a pair of prominent Apple alumni, that the Nest thermostat is one step toward what they call the conscious home. That means a home brimming with artificial intelligence, whose devices learn about and adapt to its human occupants, for greater energy savings, convenience and security. Last Friday, Nest moved to broaden its reach in the home, buying a fast-growing maker of Internet-connected video cameras, DropCam, for $555 million. And on Tuesday, Nest is expected to announce a software strategy backed by manufacturing partners and a venture fund from Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.”

The author added: “Nest’s is the third high-profile announcement this month about software to link devices in the home in a network known as the consumer Internet of Things. At its Worldwide Developers Conference this month, Apple introduced HomeKit, its technology for linking and controlling smart home devices. HomeKit uses the iOS operating system, the software engine of iPhones and iPads. Quirky, a start-up that manufactures and sells products based on crowdsourced ideas, on Monday announced the creation of a separate software company, Wink. Its initiative has attracted the backing of a major retailer, Home Depot, and manufacturers like General Electric, Honeywell and Philips.

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Photo courtesy: flickr/jbritton

Ray Kurzweil, Google Discuss Artificial Intelligence (video)

Photo of Ray Kurzweil presenting at Google I/O 2014Signe Brewster of Gigaom recently wrote, “In 2012, Google hired Ray Kurzweil to build a computer capable of thinking as powerfully as a human. It would require at least one hundred trillion calculations per second — a feat already accomplished by the fastest supercomputers in existence. The more difficult challenge is creating a computer that has a hierarchy similar to the human brain. At the Google I/O conference Wednesday, Kurzweil described how the brain is made up of a series of increasingly more abstract parts. The most abstract — which allows us to judge if something is good or bad, intelligent or unintelligent — is an area that has been difficult to replicate with a computer. A computer can calculate 10 x 20 or tell the difference between a person and a table, but it can’t judge if a person is kind or mean. To get there, humans will need to build computers that can build abstract consciousness from a more concrete level. Humans will program them to recognize patterns, and then from those patterns they will need to be smart enough to learn to understand more.”

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Add schema.org Actions to Your Own Knowledge Graph (Video — Part 3)

[Editor's note: this is Part 3 of a series. See Part 1 and Part 2]

schema dot org logoIn Part 3 of this series, Jarek Wilkiewicz details activating the small Knowledge Graph (built on Cayley) with Schema.org Actions. He begins by explaining how Actions can be thought of as a combination of “Entities” (things) and “Affordances” (uses). As he defines it, “An affordance is a quality of an object, or an environment, which allows an individual to perform an action.”

For example, an action, might be using the “ok Google” voice command on a mobile device. The even more specific example that Wilkiewicz gives in the video (spoiler alert) is that of using the schema.org concept of potentialAction to trigger the playing of a specific artist’s music in a small music store’s mobile app.

To learn more, and to meet Jarek Wilkiewicz and his Google colleague, Shawn Simister, in person, register for the Semantic Technology & Business Conference where they will present “When 2 Billion Freebase Facts is Not Enough.”

New Open Source Graph Database Cayley Unveiled (Video – Part 2)

Cayley Logo[Editor's note: This is Part 2 of a 3 part series. See Part 1 and Part 3]

Barak Michener, Software Engineer, Knowledge NYC has posted on the Google Open Source Blog about “Cayley, an open source graph database.”: “Four years ago this July, Google acquired Metaweb, bringing Freebase and linked open data to Google. It’s been astounding to watch the growth of the Knowledge Graph and how it has improved Google search to delight users every day. When I moved to New York last year, I saw just how far the concepts of Freebase and its data had spread through Google’s worldwide offices. I began to wonder how the concepts would advance if developers everywhere could work with similar tools. However, there wasn’t a graph available that was fast, free, and easy to get started working with. With the Freebase data already public and universally accessible, it was time to make it useful, and that meant writing some code as a side project.”

The post continues: “Cayley is a spiritual successor to graphd; it shares a similar query strategy for speed. While not an exact replica of its predecessor, it brings its own features to the table:RESTful API, multiple (modular) backend stores such as LevelDB and MongoDB, multiple (modular) query languages, easy to get started, simple to build on top of as a library, and of course open source. Cayley is written in Go, which was a natural choice. As a backend service that depends upon speed and concurrent access, Go seemed like a good fit.”

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How to Build Your Own Knowledge Graph (Video – Part 1)

Photo of Jarek WilkiewiczStraight out of Google I/O this week, came some interesting announcements related to Semantic Web technologies and Linked Data. Included in the mix was a cool instructional video series about how to “Build a Small Knowledge Graph.” Part 1 was presented by Jarek Wilkiewicz, Knowledge Developer Advocate at Google (and SemTechBiz speaker).

Wilkiewicz fits a lot into the seven-and-a-half minute piece, in which he presents a (sadly) hypothetical example of an online music store that he creates with his Google colleague Shawn Simister. During the example, he demonstrates the power and ease of leveraging multiple technologies, including the schema.org vocabulary (particularly the recently announced ‘Actions‘), the JSON-LD syntax for expressing the machine readable data, and the newly launched Cayley, an open source graph database (more on this in the next post in this series).

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Wavii Founder Leaves Google One Year After Acquisition

wavii logoAlexia Tsotsis of TechCrunch reports, “Lots of Google executives are at the Re/Code Code conference in Rancho Palos Verdes this week. But at least one of them won’t be a Google executive for very much longer. Wavii founder Adrian Aoun is leaving the search company, a little more than a year after the $30 million acquisition of his content aggregation startup, in order to start a second company. It is unclear whether he left money on the table.” Read more

Opinions Splitting Around the World on Data Protection & Net Neutrality

8347363864_3afc816567Karlin Kellington of The Irish Times reports, “In the wake of recent European Court of Justice decisions on privacy, and ongoing, divergent debates in the US and EU over net neutrality and copyright, are we about to end up with two markets divided by legislative approaches to the internet? Many think the possibility is growing of two differing jurisdictions, which will offer headaches and more complexity. However, there could be fresh opportunity for European businesses, too. The April decision by the ECJ to throw out Europe’s 2006 Data Retention Directive as well as the more recent ruling that Google is a data controller subject to national data protection laws in Europe which also can be forced to remove limited types of content on request, indicated the EU will prioritise personal privacy over certain business or government security arguments.” Read more

Do You Have the “Right to be Forgotten”?

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Thomas Claburn of Information Week recently opined, “The ‘right to be forgotten,’ recognized in Article 17 of the European Union’s revision of its 1995 data protection rules, is at once admirable and asinine. Forgetfulness is often a prerequisite for forgiveness, and there are many instances when an individual or an organization deserves forgiveness. It wouldn’t be particularly helpful if a search for ‘IBM,’ for example, returned as its top result a link to a website about the company’s business with the Nazi regime. Forgetfulness is enshrined in judicial practices like the sealing of court records for juvenile offenders. It has real social value. European lawmakers are right to recognize this, but their attempt to force forgetfulness on Internet companies is horribly misguided. The right to be forgotten will cause real social harm, to say nothing of the economic and moral cost.” Read more

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