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Google for India: 9 announcements by Sundar Pichai

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source: androidcentral
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New Delhi: India-born Sundar Pichai, in his first trip to the country after becoming the Google CEO, discussed several points in his keynote address at the Google for India event held here on Wednesday.

Pichai focused on the current and future project plans in collaboration with India, which included Project Loon, which is starting next year to bring the rural areas under internet coverage. He also spoke about Google’s focus on offline technologies using smartphones.

The following are the key announcements from the Google for India event which shows the company’s plans for India:

  1. Pichai predicted that India will have more android users than the US by 2016.
  1. The new virtual keyboard on Android will support 11 Indian languages.
  1. To rev up its presence in the engineering and business sector in the country, Google will set up a campus in Hyderabad. Bangalore and Hyderabad will soon see campus recruitments to this end.

  1. Over the next three years, Google will be training two million android developers via 30 universities in India, and the National Skill Development Corporation.
  1. In a move towards making the entire nation internet-enabled, Google has promised to provide wi-fi to 100 railway stations over the country by the end of 2016, with help from Indian Railways and RailTel. Mumbai Central station will get wi-fi access by January, next year.
  1. The Asus Chromebit stick PC, a candy bar-like device which can turn any monitor into a computer, will be launched in January 2016 with the Chrome OS, at prices starting from Rs 7,999.

  1. Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages— a new feature which will improve page loading speed.
  1. “lighter” version of Search results was introduced, which will load faster and increase traffic for publishers.
  1. Google will bring out the Tap to Translate feature in 2016, which instantly translates a highlighted word without having to change apps to find the translated meaning. A demonstration for the same was also carried out using the camera lens.

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Social Media Companies Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech

A law providing for hefty fines for social media companies if they do not remove

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In this Jan. 4, 2018, file photo, a man demonstrates how he enters his Facebook page as he works on his computer in Brasilia, Brazil. Facebook is once again tweaking the formula it uses to decide what people see in their news feed.
In this Jan. 4, 2018, file photo, a man demonstrates how he enters his Facebook page as he works on his computer in Brasilia, Brazil. Facebook is once again tweaking the formula it uses to decide what people see in their news feed. VOA

Social media companies Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube have greatly accelerated their removals of online hate speech, reviewing over two thirds of complaints within 24 hours, new EU figures show.

The European Union has piled pressure on social media firms to increase their efforts to fight the proliferation of extremist content and hate speech on their platforms, even threatening them with legislation.

Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube signed a code of conduct with the EU in May 2016 to review most complaints within a 24-hour timeframe.

The companies managed to meet that target in 81 percent of cases, EU figures seen by Reuters show, compared with 51 percent in May 2017 when the European Commission last monitored their compliance with the code of conduct.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova has said previously she does not want to see a removal rate of 100 percent as that could impinge on free speech. She has also said she is not in favor of legislating as Germany has done.

Social Media Companies Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech
Social Media Companies Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech, VOA

A law providing for hefty fines for social media companies if they do not remove hate speech quickly enough went into force in Germany this year.

“I do not hide that I am not in favor of hard regulation because the freedom of speech for me is almost absolute,” Jourova told reporters in December.

“In case of doubt it should remain online because freedom of expression is [in a] privileged position.”

Of the hate speech flagged to the companies, almost half of it was found on Facebook, the figures show, while 24 percent was on YouTube and 26 percent on Twitter.

The most common ground for hatred identified by the Commission was ethnic origins, followed by anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia, including expressions of hatred against migrants and refugees.

Following pressure from several European governments, social media companies stepped up their efforts to tackle extremist content online, including through the use of artificial intelligence.

The Twitter app is seen on a mobile phone in Philadelphia, April 26, 2017
The Twitter app is seen on a mobile phone in Philadelphia, April 26, 2017, VOA

Also read: Social media use may affect teenagers’ real life relationship

The Commission will likely issue a recommendation, a soft law instrument, on how companies should take down extremist content related to militant groups at the end of February, an official said, as it is less nuanced than hate speech and needs to be taken offline more quickly. (VOA)