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Google Rolls Out New Feature For Pixel Smartphones

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA
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Google has started rolling out a feature for its Pixel smartphones that lets users make use of the Google Assistant to see who is calling and why before they answer a call.

The feature allows users to see a real-time transcript of how the caller responds so that they can then decide whether to pick up, respond by tapping a quick reply (for example, “I’ll call you back later”), or mark the call as spam and dismiss.

“Call Screen is only available to English speakers in the United States who have Pixel 2, 2 XL, 3, or 3XL devices. If you don’t see Call Screen in the Phone app’s settings, it’s not available yet,” Google said.

Call Screen, which can help users save the time spent on picking up unimportant calls from unknown numbers, does not use Wi-Fi or mobile data of the user.

Google storing location data has strong potential for abuse: Experts
Google starts rolling out ‘Call Screen’ feature for Pixel smartphones. Pixabay

This feature does not work with third-party call recording and screen recording apps as these apps may interfere with how the feature works. It is better to turn off these apps before using Call Screen, according to Google.

“Sometimes Call Screen may not understand the caller. To ask the caller to repeat themselves, the user needs to tap “I can’t understand” and the caller will hear, “It’s difficult to understand you at the moment. Could you repeat what you just said?”

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The phones in which the feature is available do not currently store the transcripts of the call, but in the future, they may see the transcripts in call history, Google said, without mentioning anything about the global roll out of the feature. (IANS)

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New AI Model by Google Can Help Detect Diabetic Retinopathy

For this purpose, it recently launched the "Google AI Impact Challenge"

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Google's new AI model to help detect diabetic retinopathy. Pixabay

Google has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) model that can detect diabetic retinopathy with a level of accuracy on par with human retinal specialists, the technology giant said.

Google is working on “rolling out this diabetic retinopathy initiative in clinics in India with Verily” — an Alphabet-owned company which works on life sciences research and development, Kent Walker, SVP of Global Affairs at Google, wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

More than 400 million people in the world have diabetes. A third of them have diabetic retinopathy — a complication that can cause permanent blindness.

“Using the new assistive technology, doctors and staff can screen more patients in less time, sparing people from blindness through a more timely diagnosis,” Walker said.

While the blindness can be prevented, diabetic retinopathy often goes undetected because people do not always get screenings.

“In major part, this is due to limited access to eye care specialists and staff capable of screening for the disease. This is a problem that AI can help us solve,” Walker said.

“Deploying this technology in underserved communities that don’t have enough eye specialists could be life-changing for many,” Walker added.

Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

Google began work on the model in collaboration with eye specialists in India and the US a few years back. They developed an AI system to help doctors analyse images of the back of the eye for signs of diabetic retinopathy.

“The results were promising,” Walker noted, while adding “we should work to make the benefits of AI available to everyone”.

Google has for several years applied AI research and engineering to projects in Asia Pacific with positive societal impact, including stopping illegal fishing in Indonesia, forecasting floods in India, and conserving native bird species in New Zealand, the blog post read.

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Besides healthcare, the tech giant also wants to support more Asia Pacific organisations in using AI to help society by engaging with governments, non-profit organisations, universities and businesses.

For this purpose, it recently launched the “Google AI Impact Challenge”.

“Selected organisations who apply to the challenge will receive support from Google’s AI experts and Google.org grant funding from a $25 million pool,” Walker said. (IANS)