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Google is The Best Search Engine, Says Tim Cook

On a question on diversity at workplace, Cook said the Silicon Valley has been open to many different people from different walks of life

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during a data privacy conference at the European Parliament in Brussels. VOA
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Google Search engine — the default platform for iOS users — is the best, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said, adding that the company has put proper controls in its Safari web browser to safeguard users’ data.

In an interview with Axios on HBO on Sunday night, Tim Cook defended Apple’s billion-dollar deal with Google that keeps Google Search a default search platform on its devices.

“One, I think their (Google’s) Search engine is the best. But two, look at what we’ve done with the controls. We have private web browsing, we have intelligent tracking prevention.

“What we’ve tried to do is come up with ways to help our users through their course of the day. It’s not a perfect thing, but it goes a long way in helping,” Cool told the Axios technology correspondent.

Google will reportedly pay Apple a whopping $9 billion in 2018 to remain the default search engine for iPhone’s Safari browser on iOS.

According to Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall (via Business Insider), this number would only continue to grow, potentially leading to a payment of $12 billion in 2019.

Cook has opposed privacy practices of some big tech companies, like Facebook, in the past, calling them a form of “surveillance”.

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Google best Search engine, we keep Safari safe: Tim Cook. Pixabay

When it comes to regulating the tech companies, Tim Cook said while he was “not a big fan of regulation,” but there comes time to “admit when the free market is not working”.

“I think it’s inevitable that there will be some level of regulation. I think Congress and the administration at some point will pass something,” Cook said.

“This is not a matter of privacy versus profits, or privacy versus technical innovation. That’s a false choice.

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“Your device has incredible intelligence about you, but as a company I don’t have to have that,” the Apple CEO added.

On a question on diversity at workplace, Cook said the Silicon Valley has been open to many different people from different walks of life.

“But I agree 100 per cent from a gender point of view that the valley has missed it and tech in general has missed it,” he said. (IANS)

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Google Not Going to Offer Controversial Face Recognition Technology

According to Walker, Google has long been committed to the responsible development of AI

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- The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

At a time when pressure is mounting on tech companies to utilise facial recognition technology with care to avoid its misuse, Google has said it will not offer the controversial technology for now.

Toeing Microsoft’s line which has asked governments across the world to regulate this technology, Google said facial recognition merits careful consideration.

“Like many technologies with multiple uses, facial recognition merits careful consideration to ensure its use is aligned with our principles and values, and avoids abuse and harmful outcomes,” Kent Walker, Senior Vice President of Global Affairs at Google, said in a blog post on Friday.

“We continue to work with many organisations to identify and address these challenges, and unlike some other companies, Google Cloud has chosen not to offer general-purpose facial recognition APIs before working through important technology and policy questions,” informed Walker.

Earlier this month, Microsoft President Brad Smith said that given the potential for abuse of the fast advancing facial recognition technology, governments across the world need to start adopting laws to regulate this technology in 2019.

“Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues,” warned Smith in a blog post.

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Google not to offer controversial face recognition technology.
Wikimedia Commons

“The time for action has arrived,” he said, adding that the industry must also exercise restraint while using this technology.

Microsoft is one of several companies playing a leading role in developing facial recognition technology.

The company, Smith said, would start adopting new principles to manage the issues surrounding facial recognition technology in the first quarter of 2019.

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According to Walker, Google has long been committed to the responsible development of AI.

“These principles guide our decisions on what types of features to build and research to pursue. As one example, facial recognition technology has benefits in areas like new assistive technologies and tools to help find missing persons, with more promising applications on the horizon,” he added. (IANS)