Summary of “Google Is Training Machines to Predict When a Patient Will Die”

The harrowing account of the unidentified woman’s death was published by Google in May in research highlighting the health-care potential of neural networks, a form of artificial intelligence software that’s particularly good at using data to automatically learn and improve.
Google had created a tool that could forecast a host of patient outcomes, including how long people may stay in hospitals, their odds of re-admission and chances they will soon die.
In contrast, Google’s approach, where machines learn to parse data on their own, “Can just leapfrog everything else,” said Vik Bajaj, a former executive at Verily, an Alphabet health-care arm, and managing director of investment firm Foresite Capital.
Another Google researcher said existing models miss obvious medical events, including whether a patient had prior surgery.
“Companies like Google and other tech giants are going to have a unique, almost monopolistic, ability to capitalize on all the data we generate,” said Andrew Burt, chief privacy officer for data company Immuta.
Google is treading carefully when it comes to patient information, particularly as public scrutiny over data-collection rises.
With the latest study, Google and its hospital partners insist their data is anonymous, secure and used with patient permission.
Even if consumers don’t take up wearable health trackers en masse, Google has plenty of other data wells to tap.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Essential Google Tricks for Better Search Results”

Are you using Google effectively as possible? If you’re just entering words into the search field without using these totally basic but totally essential tricks to improve your results, you’re missing out.
If you want to exclude a word from your search results, put a dash in front of it.
Use quotation marks to search an exact set of words, such as song lyrics.
You can search for something within a specific website by using ‘site:’.
You can do a reverse image search by going into the ‘images’ tab on Google and clicking on the camera icon in the search bar.
Google will then deliver its best guess on the image.
I then reverse image searched it on Google to find the recipe.
If you’ve got search tips that everyone should know about, tell us in the comments.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How do Apple’s Screen Time and Google Digital Wellbeing stack up?”

Apple and Google are both adding new dashboards, with options for more zoomed-out perspectives on how you’re spending your time, along with more granular views of how often you’re using individual apps – down to the minute.
Google does offer a separate app called Family Link that can do many of the same time-monitoring and app-blocking tricks, but it’s a separate app that parents have to go out of their way to install and enable, not something that’s built into the OS. Google and Apple are both updating their Do Not Disturb and notification features to put more options back in the hands of users, too.
While Apple is expanding the scope of Do Not Disturb to include location-based or event-based triggers, Google is making its version more powerful.
Information or action Overall, one could probably say that Google is taking a bit more of a brute force approach with its Digital Wellbeing program, whereas Apple’s approach is a bit more tilted toward simply supplying information to the user so they can make better decisions themselves.
Both are beta pieces of software, so there’s a very real chance that Apple and Google may make huge changes to how these features work by the time they’re released in the fall.
At the end of the day, Apple and Google are taking some real, introspective strides here when it comes to giving users information about how they use their phones.
Yes, there are certainly cynics who may feel that Apple and Google’s efforts are disingenuous – after all, these companies have always wanted to ensure that users, hardware sales, and, most importantly, profits go up ahead of anything else.
At least Google and Apple are starting to think about the problem.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Web Searches Reveal What We’re Really Thinking”

What are the weirdest questions you’ve ever Googled? Mine might be: “How many people have ever lived?” “What do people think about just before death?” and “How many bits would it take to resurrect in a virtual reality everyone who ever lived?” Using Google’s autocomplete and Keyword Planner tools, U.K.-based Internet company Digitaloft generated a list of what it considers 20 of the craziest searches, including “Am I pregnant?” “Are aliens real?” “Why do men have nipples?” “Is the world flat?” and “Can a man get pregnant?”.
This is all very entertaining, but according to economist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, who worked at Google as a data scientist, such searches may act as a “Digital truth serum” for deeper and darker thoughts.
As he explains in his book Everybody Lies, “In the pre-digital age, people hid their embarrassing thoughts from other people. In the digital age, they still hide them from other people, but not from the internet and in particular sites such as Google and PornHub, which protect their anonymity.” Employing big data research tools “Allows us to finally see what people really want and really do, not what they say they want and say they do.”
People may tell pollsters that they are not racist, for example, and polling data do indicate that bigoted attitudes have been in steady decline for decades on such issues as interracial marriage, women’s rights and gay marriage, indicating that conservatives today are more socially liberal than liberals were in the 1950s.
Using the Google Trends tool in analyzing the 2008 U.S. presidential election Stephens-Davidowitz concluded that Barack Obama received fewer votes than expected in Democrat strongholds because of still latent racism.
This difference between public polls and private thoughts, Stephens-Davidowitz observes, helps to explain Obama’s underperformance in regions with a lot of racist searches and partially illuminates the surprise election of Donald Trump.
More optimistically, these declines in prejudice may be an underestimate, given that when Google began keeping records of searches in 2004 most Googlers were urban and young, who are known to be less prejudiced and bigoted than rural and older people, who adopted the search technology years later.
As members of the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers are displaced by Gen Xers and Millennials, and as populations continue shifting from rural to urban living, and as postsecondary education levels keep climbing, such prejudices should be on the wane.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Bill Gates Line – Stratechery by Ben Thompson”

Yelp did participate in the piece because Google is doing the opposite of “Delivering the best results possible,” and instead is giving its own content an unlawful advantage.
Yelp’s position, at least in this video, appears to be that Google’s answer box is anticompetitive because it only includes reviews and ratings from Google; presumably the situation could be resolved were Google to use sources like Yelp.
First, the answer box originally included content scraped from sources like Yelp and other vertical search sites; under pressure from the FTC, driven in part by complaints from Yelp and other vertical search engines, Google agreed to stop doing so in 2013.
At least in the case of Facebook and Google, the point of integration in their respective value chains is the network effect.
It’s worth noting, by the way, why it was Facebook could come to be a rival to Google in the first place; specifically, Facebook had exclusive data – those relationships and all of the behavior on Facebook’s site that resulted – that Google couldn’t get to.
What I do find compelling is a new video that Yelp put out yesterday; while it makes many of the same points as the one above, instead of being focused on regulators it is targeting Google itself, arguing that Google isn’t living up to its own standards by not featuring the best results, and not driving traffic back to sites that make the content Google needs.
Facebook is even further from the Bill Gates Line than Google is: the latter at least needs commoditized suppliers; the former can take or leave them on a whim, and does.
Remember the conditions that led to Facebook’s rise in the first place: the company was able to circumvent Google, go directly to users, and build a walled garden of data that the search company couldn’t touch.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the Math Men Overthrew the Mad Men”

They’ve now been eclipsed by Math Men-the engineers and data scientists whose province is machines, algorithms, pureed data, and artificial intelligence.
To appreciate how alike their aims are, sit in an agency or client marketing meeting and you will hear wails about Facebook and Google’s “Walled garden,” their unwillingness to share data on their users.
This preoccupation with Big Data is also revealed by the trend in the advertising-agency business to have the media agency, not the creative Mad Men team, occupy the prime seat in pitches to clients, because it’s the media agency that harvests the data to help advertising clients better aim at potential consumers.
Prowling his London office in jeans, Keith Weed, who oversees marketing and communications for Unilever, one of the world’s largest advertisers, described how mobile phones have elevated data as a marketing tool.
Suddenly, governments in the U.S. are almost as alive to privacy dangers as those in Western Europe, confronting Facebook by asking how the political-data company Cambridge Analytica, employed by Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign, was able to snatch personal data from eighty-seven million individual Facebook profiles.
Advertiser confidence in Facebook was further jolted later in 2016, when it was revealed that the Math Men at Facebook overestimated the average time viewers spent watching video by up to eighty per cent.
In 2017, Math Men took another beating when news broke that Google’s YouTube and Facebook’s machines were inserting friendly ads on unfriendly platforms, including racist sites and porn sites.
The magazine editorialized, in May, 2017, that governments must better police the five digital giants-Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft-because data were “The oil of the digital era”: “Old ways of thinking about competition, devised in the era of oil, look outdated in what has come to be called the ‘data economy.'” Inevitably, an abundance of data alters the nature of competition, allowing companies to benefit from network effects, with users multiplying and companies amassing wealth to swallow potential competitors.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Google News has a new feature that may just pop your filter bubble”

Announced at last week’s Google I/O keynote, the AI-powered Google News app officially landed today on iOS. The app, which serves as a replacement for the seemingly-abandoned Google Play Newsstand on iOS devices, is excellent.
Instead, it’s perhaps the app’s one feature that takes an old school approach by dropping the algorithms altogether.
With the click of a button, Google displays dozens of competing takes, voices, and sources for the same story.
Whether intentional or not, Full Coverage is the antithesis to the way most of us consume news.
When scrolling through the Newsfeed, we’re shown news stories from people who tend to like the same things we do.
This type of algorithmic sorting has led to a divide unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and all because algorithms filter news based on what they believe we’re most likely to engage with.
Or, to put it another way, it’s why algorithms deliver stories from Mother Jones and The New York Times more often than those reported by The National Review or Christian Science Monitor on Apple News or Facebook’s Newsfeed.
While Google News still relies on algorithms to curate content it thinks you’ll be interested in, it drops the algorithmic approach entirely once you click the Full Coverage icon.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside Google, A Debate Rages: Should It Sell Artificial Intelligence to the Military?”

Last July, 13 U.S. military commanders and technology executives met at the Pentagon’s Silicon Valley outpost, two miles from Google headquarters.
Milo Medin, a Google vice president, turned the conversation to using artificial intelligence in war games.
Almost 4,000 Google employees, out of an Alphabet total of 85,000, signed a letter asking Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai to nix the Project Maven contract and halt all work in “The business of war.”
Google is one of several companies vying for a Pentagon cloud contract worth at least $10 billion.
A Google spokesman declined to say whether that has changed in light of the internal strife over military work.
Inside the company there is no greater advocate of working with the government than Google Cloud chief Diane Greene.
“If Google wants to get in the business of doing classified things for the military, then the public has the right to be concerned about what kind of company Google is becoming,” he says.
For many years, Google typically exited the government contracts of companies it acquired.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Google Duplex is Silicon Valley’s latest experiment at the expense of the service industry”

The more technology advances, the clearer it becomes that our smartphones are no longer about conversing but more about transfers of information.
When did human service workers become Google’s to experiment on?
That job has taught me to have empathy for those working in the service industry.
Modern technology has further enabled our entitlement, with the promise of apps and services that can customize, personalize, and cater to our every need, no matter how small.
With Google’s AI assistant making calls on our behalf, I worry it will become easier for us to abuse small businesses.
If it’s as simple as telling Google Duplex to make an appointment, it’s just as easy to constantly reschedule or not show up altogether because there’s no connection between you and the human worker who picked up the phone to arrange your reservation.
On our way home from Google I/O yesterday, my colleague Nick Statt told me about how he used Facebook’s M to order breakfasts every day to test the service.
Google is billing Duplex as a way to promote Time Well Spent™ and lessen language barrier issues so that we can all be free to engage with the world outside our digital screens.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Google’s Plan To Make Tech Less Addictive”

With a feature called Shush, Android P will automatically silence your calls and notifications when you flip your phone over, screen side down.
To put the phone down you just … put the phone down.
“We heard from people that they checked their phone right before bed, and before they knew it, an hour or two went by,” say Sameer Samat, VP of product management at Google.
Google and Apple have both already introduced warm, color shifting modes at night so that your phone’s blue light doesn’t disrupt your natural sleep cycle.
With Digital Wellbeing, Google is doing more with a feature called Wind Down mode that turns your phone gray.
You set Wind Down when you’d like to go to bed, and Android P will shift into a gray-scale palette that takes some of that slot machine-style delight out of your phone.
Roid P will have a personalized data visualization of your actual phone usage, from how many times you checked it in a day, to how many push notifications you received.
Exactly how specific this tracking will get is still a bit unclear-I can imagine something like “John spent six hours watching anime cartoons, and 15 minutes watching geometry proofs”-but Google wants to push what it calls “Meaningful engagement,” not just garbage time on your phone.

The orginal article.