Google on Thursday launched a new search engine for the scientific community that will help them make sense of millions of datasets present online.
The service, called Dataset Search, will help scientists, data journalists and geeks find the data required for their work and their stories — or simply to satisfy their intellectual curiosity.
The new search engine will work like Google Scholar, the company’s popular search engine for academic studies and reports.
“Dataset Search lets you find datasets wherever they’re hosted, whether it’s a publisher’s site, a digital library, or an author’s personal web page,” Natasha Noy, Research Scientist, Google AI, said in a blog post.
To create Dataset search, Google developed guidelines for dataset providers to describe their data in a way that the company (and other search engines) can better understand the content of their pages.
“These guidelines include salient information about datasets: who created the dataset, when it was published, how the data was collected, what the terms are for using the data, etc,” Noy said.
Google then collects and links this information, analyses where different versions of the same dataset might be, and finds publications that may be describing or discussing the dataset.
“We encourage dataset providers, large and small, to adopt this common standard so that all datasets are part of this robust ecosystem,” said Google.
People can find references to most datasets in environmental and social sciences, as well as data from other disciplines including government data and data provided by news organisations, such as ProPublica.
Dataset Search works in multiple languages with support for additional languages coming soon, said Google. (IANS)
Google CEO Sundar Pichai insisted Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee that he runs the U.S. technology giant without political preference.
“We find that we have a wide variety of sources, including sources from the left and sources from the right. And we are committed to making sure there are diverse perspectives,” Pichai told the panel.
Pichai defended the company after accusations from Republican lawmakers that Google has developed online search algorithms to suppress conservative voices.
“There are numerous allegations in the news that Google employees have thought about doing this, talked about doing this and have done it,” Republican committee chairman Robert Goodlatte said.
Republican Congressman Lamar Smith cited a study by P.J. Media that concluded 96 percent of Google’s search results for President Donald Trump were from “liberal media outlets.”
“In fact, not a single right-leaning site appeared on the first page of search results. This doesn’t happen by accident but is baked into the algorithms. Those who write the algorithms get the results they must want and apparently management allows it.”
Smith also cited a study by “Harvard-trained psychologist” Robert Epstein that said Google’s alleged bias “likely swung” more than 2.5 million votes to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
“Google could well elect the next president with dire implications for our democracy,” Smith added.
“I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way,” Pichai said. “To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests.”
Top committee Democrat Jerry Nadler said Republican accusations of bias is “a completely illegitimate issue, which is the fantasy dreamed up by some conservatives that Google and other online platforms have an anti-conservative bias. As I’ve said repeatedly, no credible evidence supports this right-wing conspiracy theory.”
President Donald Trump is among those who have accused the company of censoring conservative content, tweeting in August that Google is “RIGGED” and that “Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out.”
Pichai’s testimony came after he angered committee members in September by declining an invitation to testify about manipulation of online services by foreign governments to influence U.S. elections.
The CEO was also questioned about the company’s planned “Dragonfly” project, a censored search engine for China and “next generation technology” that Congressman Smith said Google is “developing on Chinese soil.”
“This news raises a troubling possibility, that Google is being used to strengthen China’s system of surveillance, repression and control,” Smith said. “We need to know that Google is on the side of the free world, and that it will provide its services free of anti-competitive behavior, political bias and censorship.”
An international group of 60 human rights and media groups submitted a letter Tuesday to Pichai, calling on him to abandon the project, warning that personal data would not be safe from Chinese authorities.