Summary of “Building A.I. That Can Build A.I.”

“We are following the same path that computer science has followed with every new type of technology,” said Joseph Sirosh, a vice president at Microsoft, which recently unveiled a tool to help coders build deep neural networks, a type of computer algorithm that is driving much of the recent progress in the A.I. field.
All of them are selling cloud-computing services that can help other businesses and developers build A.I. “There is real demand for this,” said Matt Scott, a co-founder and the chief technical officer of Malong, a start-up in China that offers similar services.
Google is investing heavily in cloud-computing services – services that help other businesses build and run software – which it expects to be one of its primary economic engines in the years to come.
Neural networks are rapidly accelerating the development of A.I. Rather than building an image-recognition service or a language translation app by hand, one line of code at a time, engineers can much more quickly build an algorithm that learns tasks on its own.
Building a neural network is not like building a website or some run-of-the-mill smartphone app.
In building a neural network, researchers run dozens or even hundreds of experiments across a vast network of machines, testing how well an algorithm can learn a task like recognizing an image or translating from one language to another.
Google said AutoML could now build algorithms that, in some cases, identified objects in photos more accurately than services built solely by human experts.
At the University of California, Berkeley, researchers are building techniques that could allow robots to learn new tasks based on what they have learned in the past.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What I Learned From Reading Every Google Founders’ Letter”

From its unconventional dutch-auction IPO, to giving employees 20% time to explore any interest related to Google, to balloon-beaming Internet projects, Google, and now Alphabet, has been anything but conventional.
1/ It’s search, stupidWhy did Google succeed and endure in the Internet battlefield when almost all other startups have faded into distant memory?
2008Even as Google has grown into a behemoth, they never took their eyes off the prize in search.
2012As the world moves increasingly digital, the core business value of Google is becoming increasingly stronger as they build even stronger network effects into their search business.
From the beginning, Google gave their team members the ability to work on projects outside of search in a 70-20-10 format.
2012But one of the biggest innovation Larry and Sergey made was to appoint Sundar Pichai as the CEO of Google in 2015.
Sundar Pichai, 2015Takeaway: if you don’t make lots of small and smart bets along the way, you might not live long enough to make the big bets.4/ Culture eats strategy for breakfastWhile Hollywood had some fun at the expense of Google in the movie The Internship, Larry and Sergey never took the culture of Google for granted.
IPOLarry was reviewing every hire even in 2007 when there were 17,000 people at Google.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt On Fake News, Russia, And “Information Warfare”

In some of the most unequivocal comments yet, the company’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, recently acknowledged to Fast Company that the search giant didn’t do enough to safeguard its services against Russian manipulation.
Schmidt’s comments, from an August 30 interview published as part of a new Fast Company feature about how Alphabet is grappling with digital threats such as fake news and disinformation, offers a preview of how Google may frame its testimony before the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees this week.
“Some of the problems that are being created are being created because the [tech] companies aren’t fixing them,” Schmidt told Fast Company.
Some of the research on the problem of fake news is being handled by Jigsaw, a think tank-like subsidiary previously known as Google Ideas.
Google, in response to growing public criticism since that time, has created initiatives to address the problem of fake news.
Who serves as Jigsaw’s CEO and is also a senior adviser to Schmidt at Alphabet, says the company can’t solve the fake news problem immediately.
“So that’s a really interesting problem, that Google and particularly Jigsaw should be pursuing, whether with fake news sites or more subtle things. Just using the Russians as an example-although plenty of other governments can do this-how would you feel if that stuff gets stronger? Would you be worried about it?” Artificial intelligence and machine learning will be essential to addressing these challenges, he explains, but “It remains to be seen whether some of these algorithms can be used to prevent bad stuff.”
“If there is going to be a regulatory framework that would come out of looking at something like fake news, how in the world are those people going to understand what’s actually happening on the internet if we don’t? It’s impossible. So if we can help understand it, then we can help educate policy makers, and we can also take some prophylactic steps beforehand so we can obviate the need for something that’s very cumbersome.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Google and Amazon bet on artificial intelligence versus Apple”

Gadgets are going through a major change AI and cloud computing are more important than “Speeds and feeds” The shift benefits Google and Amazon and poses a big risk for Apple.
So far, it’s Google and Amazon leading the charge, even as this shift stands to hit hardware-centric companies like Apple hardest.
Google baked all kinds of artificial intelligence goodness into the Pixel 2.
The Google Assistant is very good – so good, that Apple should be embarrassed about how far behind Siri is.
Suddenly, by applying its considerable edge in artificial intelligence, Google has transformed an unremarkable little machine into a flagship.
While Apple has been investing heavily in R&D, it still can’t match the progress made by Amazon, Google, or Microsoft in AI and cloud computing – you only need to look at the vast difference between what Alexa and Google Assistant can do, versus the limitations of Apple’s Siri.
A lot of the smartest apps for iPhone come from Google itself, including the popular Google Photos app.
It’s no coincidence that Amazon and Google operate their own cloud computing platforms for outside app developers to use.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Google’s Physical Keys Will Protect Your Password”

The physical keys are an evolution of two-factor authentication, an extra security layer to ensure that your password is being entered by you.
To get started, you will have to buy two physical keys for about $20 each.
Mr. Sabin, the former N.S.A. hacker, who is now a director of network security at GRA Quantum, a security consulting firm, said the physical keys had pros and cons.
On the other hand, if you lose the keys or don’t have the keys around when you need to log in to a new device, it takes longer to regain access to your account.
Ms. Sandvik, who has been testing Google’s program to assess whether to recommend it to the newsroom, said she had not yet discovered vulnerabilities in the security key system outside of the slim possibility that a hacker gained possession of both your password and your key.
The Bottom LineWhile the security keys are easy to set up and provide tough security, they may be disruptive to your productivity if you rely on apps that are incompatible with the keys.
Another example of how the keys can stifle productivity: Many employers still require using the Microsoft Outlook app for email, which won’t work with the keys.
The question is how long it will take security researchers to find a way to hack the physical keys as well.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Apple is not America’s favorite tech company”

When asked how much they enjoyed using a company’s products and services, Apple scored the lowest among the big five technology companies – Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft – in the category for both “Somewhat liked” and “Greatly liked.” Among those expressing negative sentiment, Apple scored better than Facebook, yet still lower than Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
On the topic of whether respondents would recommend Apple products and services to friends and family, the company again fell behind Google and Amazon, both of which garnered responses of either “Somewhat likely” to “Extremely likely” from more than 90 percent of survey participants.
Participants trusted Apple less than even Google, a company with a primary business model of collecting consumer data for targeting advertisements.
For passion, as measured by how much a participant would care if the company disappeared tomorrow, Apple came in last among the big five, with less than 40 percent of participants saying they would care “Very much” if the company and its products disappeared tomorrow, and nearly 20 percent saying they would not care “At all.” When it comes to societal impact, Apple surpassed Facebook and Microsoft, but fell behind Google and Amazon, in the number of participants who felt the company had a “Very positive” impact on the world.
Apple appears to have been eclipsed by companies that are becoming more deeply embedded in the fabric of everyday life Google controls search, email, web browsing, the world’s most popular mobile operating system, the leading US online video site, and is now producing more than a half-dozen hardware products from phones, laptops, and VR headsets to speakers, routers, and earbuds.
A recent poll from CNBC, titled the “All-America Economic Survey,” found that 64 percent of Americans own an Apple product, evidence that Apple’s ubiquity in consumer hardware remains undeniable.
Apple has also had a meandering path since smartphones began dominating the computing landscape, leading to accusations that the company has run out of ideas.
That’s where the tech industry is headed, and Apple may find that fewer and fewer consumers care all that much about the best new phone, tablet, or laptop when the most exciting advances in technology are happening elsewhere.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Big Tech’s Rivals Pounce at Chances to Win in Washington”

Lawmakers are pushing for regulations for technology companies for the first time in years, encouraged along by big tech’s broad assortment of rivals.
For several weeks, a group of companies including smaller tech companies and entertainment and retail businesses has informally begun regular meetings and conference calls to compare notes about Google, Facebook and Amazon and to find a way to join in a stronger opposition force.
The proposals set off huge online protests, aided by the big technology companies, that helped stop the legislation.
“Over the years, I’ve watched as the major tech companies not only sought to protect the unlevel playing field they already had, but have used their political influence to expand it to disadvantage businesses with which they compete,” said Jim Cicconi, who recently retired after years overseeing lobbying at AT&T. “Now I think policymakers are seeing the consequences.”
Even as they sense an opportunity today, the rivals say that challenging the internet companies remains a daunting task.
House and Senate staffs say lobbyists for the big technology companies have swarmed their offices in recent weeks.
The bill would take away some legal protections for sites that knowingly host content that promotes sex trafficking, a move that the internet companies warn could stifle free speech, even though it would largely exempt the big tech companies from liability.
In July, the News Media Alliance, which represents 2,000 news organizations including The Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, began advocating for antitrust exemptions that would allow the companies to collectively bargain with Facebook and Google for ad revenue.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the Frightful Five Put Start-Ups in a Lose-Lose Situation”

“In a lot of ways I’d say it hasn’t changed,” said Joey Levin, the chief executive of IAC, an internet and media company based in New York.
The company grew out of the media tycoon Barry Diller’s television holdings of the 1990s; over the last two decades, IAC created a string of digital brands that tried to find some foothold outside the fiefs of the giants.
Some of these companies became the biggest brands in their categories, while others were also-rans that came up short against the day’s tech giants.
IAC’s latest gambit is Angi Homeservices, a company that combines two big brands aimed at home repair and refurbishing, Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor.
In some ways, IAC could be a model for the internet company of tomorrow.
Though his company is the most highly valued start-up of our age, its success seems far from assured.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is an investor in Uber.
Alphabet’s autonomous-car company, Waymo, is also a competitor to Uber.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Google Pixel 2 review: plainly great”

Of course, neither the Pixel 2 nor the Pixel 2 XL are made out of plastic.
It is true that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are more divergent than they were last year – perhaps because they’re manufactured by different companies.
Google aimed for “Naturalistic” colors, but on the Pixel 2 XL they’re just plain muted The screen, especially on the 2 XL, has been polarizing.
The Pixel 2 is part of an effort to fix that, but even so, the more “Naturalistic” color tuning on the Pixel 2 XL just looks a little off.
We spent a lot of time staring at different photos on the Pixel 2, the 2 XL, the iPhone 8 Plus, the Note 8, and the original Pixel XL. When you look at all the phones side by side, it’s undeniable that the Samsung phone is wildly oversaturated, the iPhone 8 looks the most natural, and the Pixel 2 XL is the most muted.
On the original Pixel XL, I was getting no end of stutters and drops with a few different types of headphones, but nary a one on the Pixel 2.
It’s worth pointing out that the primary screen you actually look at the photos on is likely going to be your phone’s screen, so the Pixel 2’s photos are going to look a little less vibrant, especially on the Pixel 2 XL. Where things get more interesting – and a little more mixed in the results – is in portrait mode.
It’s not just the somewhat disappointing screen on the Pixel 2 XL, it’s that Google has gone out of its way to do things that are functional instead of flashy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tech Giants, Once Seen as Saviors, Are Now Viewed as Threats”

News is dripping out of Facebook, Twitter and now Google about how their ad and publishing systems were harnessed by the Russians.
In a Newsweek jeremiad in 1995 titled “Why the Web Won’t Be Nirvana,” the astronomer Clifford Stoll pointed out that “Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly” on the Usenet bulletin boards, that era’s Twitter and Facebook.
Justin Rosenstein, a former Facebook engineer, was portrayed in a recent Guardian story as an apostate: Noting that sometimes inventors have regrets, he said he had programmed his new phone to not let him use the social network.
“Facebook is a very powerful tool that I continue to use every day, just with more mindfulness.”
Mr. Galloway, whose new book, “The Four,” analyzes the power of Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple, said the social media network was still fumbling its response.
Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president of global public policy, said the network was doing its best.
“Facebook is an important part of many people’s lives,” he said.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain said the government was looking “Carefully at the roles, responsibility and legal status” of Google and Facebook, with an eye to regulating them as news publishers rather than platforms.

The orginal article.