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Tech Giant Google Cracks Whip on Political Debates at Workplace

Before his firing, Damore had filed a complaint with the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that charged Google with “misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints”

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FILE -Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the keynote address of the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif., May 7, 2019. VOA

Google has cracked down on its employees who encourage political speech and internal debates at workplace, restricting the company’s historically open work culture.

In an email sent to employees, Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained the company’s revised community guidelines.

“While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not.

“Our primary responsibility is to do the work we’ve each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics,” the new guidelines read.

The new rules come as Google faces increasing scrutiny from politicians, the public, and its employees on a number of issues, reports Vox.

“Don’t troll, name call, or engage in ad hominem attacks — about anyone. Be respectful in your comments about (and to) your fellow Googlers,” the guidelines read.

“Working at Google comes with tremendous responsibility. It’s critical that we honour that trust and uphold the integrity of our products and services. The guidelines are official policy and apply when employees are communicating in the workplace,” Google said in a statement given to The Verge.

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Google has been hit by a couple of walkouts and sit-ins in the past over workplace policies.

In November, nearly 20,000 Google employees across the world walked out following the company’s mishandling of sexual harassment allegations.

Six months after they staged a walkout against workplace harassment, Google employees on May 1 staged sit-in protest at the IT major’s offices across the world. The group “Google Walkout For Real Change” organised the sit-in protest.

The search engine giant in 2017 fired the author of a controversial memo on gender diversity that went viral inside the company.

Also Read: Facebook Downplayed Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal

Authored by James Damore, the memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” claims that when it comes to technology, there is a biological difference between men and women.

Before his firing, Damore had filed a complaint with the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that charged Google with “misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints”. (IANS)

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Google Builds A Quantum Computer That Is Far Ahead Than Supercomputers

Google has reportedly built a quantum computer that is way ahead than world's top supercomputers in calculation

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One of the main building at Google's headquarters for European operations in Dublin Ireland. Wikimedia Commons

Google has reportedly built a quantum computer that is way ahead than world’s top supercomputers in calculation – solving tasks in nearly three minutes that would otherwise take current supercomputers 10,000 years to achieve.

According to a report in Financial Times on Friday, a Google research paper has claimed the feat, saying “their processor was able to perform a calculation in three minutes and 20 seconds that would take today’s most advanced classical computer, known as Summit (from IBM), approximately 10,000 years”.

“To our knowledge, this experiment marks the first computation that can only be performed on a quantum processor,” wrote the Google researchers.

In March 2018, Google unveiled its 72-qubit quantum computer chip Bristlecone, saying it was “cautiously optimistic that quantum supremacy can be achieved with Bristlecone”.

Not just Google but several tech giants like Microsoft, IBM and Intel have joined the race to build a scalable quantum computer.

Earlier this week, IBM unveiled its quantum computer with 53 qubits.

A quantum computer can solve complex problems that would otherwise take billions of years for today’s computers to solve. This has massive implications for research in health care, energy, environmental systems, smart materials and more.

According to Google, if a quantum processor can be operated with low enough error, it would be able to outperform a classical supercomputer on a well-defined computer science problem, an achievement known as “quantum supremacy”.

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To our knowledge, this experiment marks the first computation that can only be performed on a quantum processor. Pixabay

These random circuits must be large in both number of qubits as well as computational length (depth).

“Although no one has achieved this goal yet, we calculate quantum supremacy can be comfortably demonstrated with 49 qubits, a circuit depth exceeding 40, and a two-qubit error below 0.5 per cent,” Google said recently.

“We believe the experimental demonstration of a quantum processor outperforming a supercomputer would be a watershed moment for our field, and remains one of our key objectives,” it added.

Researchers at Microsoft are also busy writing the software to build a scalable computer that will help humanity unlock solutions to problems in areas such as clean energy, global warming, materials design and much more – including solving the mysteries of our universe.

If all goes well, Microsoft is confident about having one such scalable super machine within the next five years.

ALSO READ: Tech Giant Apple Applies for a US Trademark on ‘Slofie’

Based on quantum bits, the computer will not use classical bits but qubits which are not limited to binary and can have properties of 0 and 1 simultaneously, thus trying every possible number and sequence simultaneously to unlock vast amounts of data.

The current bits in computers store information as either 1 or 0, thus limiting the potential to make sense when faced with gigantic volumes of data.

“We’re looking at a five-year timeframe to build a quantum computer and what we need are roughly 100-200 good qubits with a low-error rate,” Krysta Svore, Principal Research Manager, Microsoft Quantum Computing, recently told IANS. (IANS)