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Category Archives: Search Engines

Commentary – The Shallowness of Google Translate

The Atlantic: The Shallowness of Google Translate – The program uses state-of-the-art AI techniques, but simple tests show that it’s a long way from real understanding.

“…The practical utility of Google Translate and similar technologies is undeniable, and probably it’s a good thing overall, but there is still something deeply lacking in the approach, which is conveyed by a single word: understanding. Machine translation has never focused on understanding language. Instead, the field has always tried to “decode”—to get away without worrying about what understanding and meaning are. Could it in fact be that understanding isn’t needed in order to translate well? Could an entity, human or machine, do high-quality translation without paying attention to what language is all about? To shed some light on this question, I turn now to the experiments I made…It’s hard for a human, with a lifetime of experience and understanding and of using words in a meaningful way, to realize how devoid of content all the words thrown onto the screen by Google Translate are. It’s almost irresistible for people to presume that a piece of software that deals so fluently with words must surely know what they mean. This classic illusion associated with artificial-intelligence programs is called the “Eliza effect,” since one of the first programs to pull the wool over people’s eyes with its seeming understanding of English, back in the 1960s, was a vacuous phrase manipulator called Eliza, which pretended to be a psychotherapist, and as such, it gave many people who interacted with it the eerie sensation that it deeply understood their innermost feelings…”

Google Chrome ad blocking system – how it works

Chromium Blog – Under the hood: How Chrome’s ad filtering works – While most advertising on the web is respectful of user experience, over the years we’ve increasingly heard from our users that some advertising can be particularly intrusive. As we announced last June, Chrome will tackle this issue by removing ads from sites that… Continue Reading

Beginning July 2018 Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”

Google Chromium Blog: “For the past several years, we’ve moved toward a more secure web by strongly advocating that sites adopt HTTPS encryption. And within the last year, we’ve also helped users understand that HTTP sites are not secure by gradually marking a larger subset of HTTP pages as “not secure”. Beginning in July 2018… Continue Reading

Google provides flight delay information

Mashable: “The only thing worse than missing your flight is arriving on time just to realize the flight’s been delayed for a couple of hours, and there’s nothing you can do besides sip expensive airport coffee and worry about missing a meeting and/or a connecting flight.  Google’s excellent Flights service has a new feature that… Continue Reading

Selecting Entities on Sites and Performing Tasks On Them Through Google

SEO by the Sea: “A patent granted to Google this week describes a way to easily identify an entity such as a restaurant on a touch device, and select it online and take some action associated with that entity based upon the context of a site the entity is found upon. Actions such as booking… Continue Reading

A reintroduction to Google’s featured snippets

Google Blog: ” Sometimes when you do a search, you’ll find that there’s a descriptive box at the top of Google’s results. We call this a “featured snippet.” In this post—the first in a new series going behind-the-scenes on how Google Search works—we’ll explore when, where and why we provide featured snippets. What is a… Continue Reading

If you have an android device – read about Google’s Location History tracking

Quartz – If you’re using an Android phone, Google may be tracking every move you make [no this is not a Sting lyric]: “The Alphabet subsidiary’s location-hungry tentacles are quietly lurking behind some of the most innovative features of its Android mobile operating system. Once those tentacles latch on, phones using Android begin silently transmitting… Continue Reading

Google lets users mute reminder ads after online shopping

Google Blog: Don’t need a reminder? Now you can mute reminder ads in Ads Settings – “Today, we’re announcing more additions to Ads Settings and Mute This Ad to give you more control to mute the ads you see on Google, on websites, and in apps. Let’s say you’ve walked through one too many puddles… Continue Reading

Discover 20,771,524 images, texts, videos, and sounds from across the US

Via @DPLA – “We are pleased to announce that the beta for our all-new website is now available for you to explore! The new site is more user-centered than ever before with more content for our “Pro” communities coming soon! Check it out: https://beta.dp.la Look for both new and familiar features on our all-new beta… Continue Reading

DuckDuckGo moves beyond search to also protect you while browsing.

DuckDuckGo News: “Over the years, DuckDuckGo has offered millions of people a private alternative to Google, serving over 16 billion anonymous searches. Today we’re excited to launch fully revamped versions of our browser extension and mobile app, extending DuckDuckGo’s protection beyond the search box to wherever the Internet takes you. It’s hard to use the… Continue Reading

How Microsoft Academic uses knowledge to address the problem of conflation/disambiguation

Microsoft Academic post: “Entity linking is a cognitive capability essential to human communication. It contains two challenging components: first, entity conflation, where we recognize that even though an entity is referred to by different names, it is still one item; and second, entity disambiguation, where we differentiate between entities with the same name and distinguish… Continue Reading

Guide offer tips and tricks to enhance value of Google Maps

Digital Trends: “Google Maps boasts more than 1 billion active users today, making it the most popular navigation software in the world. It gets millions of us where we need to go every day, but are you sure you’re getting the most out of it? It’s easy to miss new features or hidden options. That’s… Continue Reading