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Google Arts and Culture unveils Virtual Collection of Artworks and Exhibitions on Lives of Indian Women in History

Google Arts & Culture created by the Google Cultural Institute is a new, immersive way to experience art, history, culture and world wonders

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Mumbai, November 19, 2016: Technology giant Google has on Saturday, through its cultural arm Google Arts & Culture, unveiled a virtual collection of artworks and exhibitions on the life of Indian women in history — spanning 2,500 years and from 26 cultural institutions across the country, the company said in a statement here.

‘Women in India: Unheard Stories,’ is a collection of over fifty virtual exhibitions with more than 1,800 artworks, photographs and videos, captures the stories of India’s unsung heroines ranging from goddesses to leaders, artists and doctors.

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“This project is an effort to recognise the impact of Indian women in history and their impact on culture and while looking at where we are, we also wanted to look forward and inspire women and leaders of the future,” said Luisella Mazza, Head of Operations at Google Cultural Institute, while speaking at the launch.

The immersive narratives, which includes exemplars like Rakhmabai — the first practicing woman doctor — and Muthulakshmi Reddi — the first woman legislator — as well as artworks by several young women artists, were in partnership with Zubaan Books, India’s first feminist publisher, and can be accessed at g.co/WomenOfIndia.

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“It is our ongoing effort to make important cultural material available and accessible to everyone and to digitally preserve it to educate and inspire future generations,” Mazza added.

Google Arts & Culture created by the Google Cultural Institute is a new, immersive way to experience art, history, culture and world wonders from over a thousand organisations worldwide.

Users can also tour historical exhibits that capture stories from as early as the 1st century BCE from the Indian Museum in Kolkata, on Saktirupena – on how the Mother Goddess has been depicted in Indian art across millennia.

Additionally, there are 17 new virtual exhibits from the Centre for Art & Archaeology of the American Institute of Indian Studies.

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Users can also explore gigapixel images captured by using our latest innovation, The Art Camera – a robotic, custom built camera that moves to capture hundreds of high resolution close-ups of the painting.

These collections by can be explored on the web, iOS and Android. (IANS)

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Google Rolls Out Gender Specific Translation to Reduce Bias

Google said it is also thinking about how to address non-binary gender in translations, though it is not part of this initial launch

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Google starts rolling out gender specific translation to reduce bias. Pixabay

In a bid to reduce gender biases in its translation service, Google has started rolling out a feature that provides feminine and masculine translations for some gender-neutral words on the Google Translate website.

The feature is currently available only for a few languages, although Google plans to bring it to more languages soon.

So one can now translate single words from English to languages like French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish. As of now, translations for short phrases and sentences that mention a person in a gender-neutral way is available for the English and Turkish language pair.

“In the future, we plan to extend gender-specific translations to more languages, launch on other Translate surfaces like our iOS and Android apps, and address gender bias in features like query auto-complete,” James Kuczmarski, Product Manager, Google Translate, said in a blog post on Thursday.

Google Translate learns from hundreds of millions of already-translated examples from the web.

Historically, it has provided only one translation for a query, even if the translation could have either a feminine or masculine form.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

So when the model produced one translation, it inadvertently replicated gender biases that already existed.

For example, it would skew masculine for words like “strong” or “doctor,” and feminine for other words, like “nurse” or “beautiful.”

“Now you’ll get both a feminine and masculine translation for a single word – like ‘surgeon’ when translating from English into French, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish,” Kuczmarski said.

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“You’ll also get both translations when translating phrases and sentences from Turkish to English. For example, if you type ‘o bir doktor’ in Turkish, you’ll now get ‘she is a doctor’ and ‘he is a doctor’ as the gender-specific translations,” Kuczmarski said.

The new feature is part of Google’s efforts to promote fairness and reduce bias in Machine Learning.

Google said it is also thinking about how to address non-binary gender in translations, though it is not part of this initial launch. (IANS)