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Google’s Brainy Software Can Identify And Describe Objects In Photos

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pizzagoogleGoogle is one of the companies whose artificial intelligence and computing algorithms involve something called “deep learning.” Whereas we usually think of software, AI, and computer algorithms as being programmed, deep learning goes a step further, integrating brain-like systems into software so it can learn as it feeds on data. Google has established itself as a leader in this burgeoning field, and its new experimental software shows why.

GFR has already reported on Google’s ability (and Facebook’s) to identify objects in photos. But until now, the deep learning software has only been able to identify discrete objects — perhaps a television in a photo, or a soccer ball. But now, Google’s software can identify multiple objects in context. In the image above, the program didn’t simply recognize pizza or the stove. It recognized “two pizzas sitting on top of a stove top oven.” This means the software can count and situate — it can also articulate what it sees in complete sentences.

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This Hunger Games: Mockingjay Teams Up With Google For These Viral Videos

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Two movies into what is going to ultimately be a four-movie franchise, The Hunger Games has always managed to make good use of nontraditional marketing tactics. They’ve incorporated the usual strategies, like trailers, posters, photos, and TV spots, but they’ve also employed viral websites, propaganda style posters, and other techniques to garner your attention. And the next chapter, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 is no exception to this trend.

Lionsgate announced that it is now teaming up with Google to unveil a series of YouTube videos that bring the fictional dystopian world of Panem from the movies, and Suzanne Collins’ wildly popular books, to life. Called “District Voices,” this is a string of five new videos, one dropping each day this week, that will look into the industry of a specific district—there are 12 in the story, though there is a District 13 that shows up after a while, but everyone thinks it was destroyed in a war years ago, so we’re not counting that one right now.

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Google’s Getting Into ‘Cinematic Reality’

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magic-leapYou didn’t think Google was going to let Facebook have all the fun, did you? Facebook bought virtual reality darling Oculus Rift back in March for a cool $2 billion, pissing off a bunch of early Rift supporters and securing its own position in the burgeoning virtual reality market. It seems that Facebook and Google have been engaging in tit-for-tat acquisitions recently, and this time is no different. Google is reportedly poised to invest in a “cinematic reality” company called Magic Leap.

It isn’t 100% clear what exactly Magic Leap does. Its website, which is well worth a visit, says that the company “brings the magic back” and shows virtual images in real-world scenarios, such as an elephant in the palm of one’s hand, or an image of a ballerina twirling at the foot of a toddler’s bed. Magic Leap’s CEO says the company is developing “the most natural and human-friendly wearable computing interface in the world,” but the company has by and large remained under the radar. But with Google’s interest, it’s not going to stay that way.

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Nude Celebrity Photo Leak May Get Google Sued

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jlawIf you’ve been on the internet at all in the past month, you know about the big scandal concerning the hacking and disseminating of nude photos of a bunch of female celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence. The photos were stolen, it seems, from users’ iCloud accounts and possibly smartphones as well, and then leaked on the 4Chan web forum. It’s still not 100% clear what happened, or essentially, who messed up what, but the victims are understandably motivated to find out. Lawyers representing a group of them—it’s not clear exactly which ones, but there are “over a dozen female celebrities, actresses, and athletes” involved in the suit—are threatening to sue Google over the breach, to the tune of $100 million.

Hang on—before we get to Google, what about Apple? Sure, Apple has denied culpability, insisting that even though the photos may have been obtained through iCloud, Apple systems aren’t to blame. Maybe the hackers obtained their passwords, but it wasn’t due to a flaw in iCloud or Find my iPhone or any other Apple app or program, according to the 40 hours of investigating Apple experts conducted. It’s also possible that users who took the photos on iPhones didn’t realize they were being backed up on the iCloud. So we’ll see what happens with Apple, but suffice it to say that someone has to pay, and if that someone isn’t Apple, then how about Google?

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Google Reveals Their Secret Drone Delivery Program

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project wingDespite the thorniness of FAA regulations (or lack thereof), Google recently revealed that it too has a drone delivery program underway. Project Wing has been in the works for a couple of years as part of the undercover Google[X] lab, and has been generating lots of buzz since Thursday’s announcement. The question remains, though: will Google be able to overcome the FAA? And beyond that, how will it fair in competition against Amazon?

The biggest immediate difference between the Amazon and Google’s deliver drones are the crafts themselves. Amazon would likely use a relatively small quadcopter device, while Google’s vehicle is bigger and burlier—a winged airplane/helicopter hybrid with four rotors that flies with the authority of something more like a traditional plane. After a couple years of development, Google decided it was ready to test out its drones, so they went to Australia to escape the watchful eye of the FAA.

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UFO Sightings Were Just A Google Balloon Gone Rogue

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balloonGoogle is trying to “bring the internet to everyone,” and per its Loon program, the revolutionary idea for doing so is to use solar-powered balloons that float in the stratosphere. They’re currently testing the balloons in New Zealand, but it seems that an early prototype of one of those balloons went rogue a while ago, and has since prompted UFO sightings across the U.S.

In October of 2012, folks in Pike County, Kentucky spotted a bright object zooming across the sky. Even an amateur astronomer was baffled by the sight.