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Google’s Parent Company ‘Alphabet’ Stock Down 7% Over Slow Ad Growth

Alphabet had 103,549 employees in the first quarter of 2019 — up from 85,050 employees in the same period a year ago

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FILE - The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, saw its stock tumbling 7 per cent after the company suggested that recent ad product changes in YouTube and Search are hurting its top-line growth.

Alphabet reported a revenue of $36.33 billion as profits fell 29 per cent to $6.66 billion, or $9.50 per share, in the first quarter of 2019 on Monday.

The profit was affected by a $1.7 billion fine levied by the European Union on Google for violating the European competition law.

“We delivered robust growth led by mobile search, YouTube and Cloud with Alphabet revenues of $36.3 billion, up 17 per cent versus last year, or 19 per cent on a constant currency basis,” Ruth Porat, Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet and Google, said in a statement.

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“We remain focused on, and excited by, the significant growth opportunities across our businesses,” Porat added.

Later, in an earnings call with analysts, she suggested that recent ad product changes – keeping the interest of users’ privacy in mind — have slowed down mobile clicks on YouTube ads.

The company’s hardware and Cloud businesses saw a 25 per cent increase to $5.45 billion.

Alphabet had 103,549 employees in the first quarter of 2019 — up from 85,050 employees in the same period a year ago. (IANS)

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Google AI Can Now Predict Lung Cancer Accurately

The research was published in the journal Nature Medicine

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

A team of Google researchers has used a deep-learning algorithm to detect lung cancer accurately from computed scans.

The work demonstrates the potential for Artificial Intelligence (AI) to increase both accuracy and consistency, which could help accelerate adoption of lung cancer screening worldwide.

Lung cancer is the deadliest of all cancers worldwide — more than breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers combined — and it’s the sixth most common cause of death globally, according to the World Health Organization.

“Using advances in 3D volumetric modeling alongside datasets from our partners (including Northwestern University), we’ve made progress in modeling lung cancer prediction as well as laying the groundwork for future clinical testing,” Shravya Shetty, M.S. Technical Lead at Google explained in a blog post late Monday.

Google researchers created a model that can not only generate the overall lung cancer malignancy prediction (viewed in 3D volume) but also identify subtle malignant tissue in the lungs (lung nodules).

Google on an Android device. Pixabay

In the research, Google AI leveraged 45,856 de-identified chest CT screening cases (some in which cancer was found).

“When using a single CT scan for diagnosis, our model performed on par or better than the six radiologists. We detected five per cent more cancer cases while reducing false-positive exams by more than 11 per cent compared to unassisted radiologists in our study,” said Google.

For an asymptomatic patient with no history of cancer, the AI system reviewed and detected potential lung cancer that had been previously called normal.

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These initial results are encouraging, but further studies will assess the impact and utility in clinical practice, said Google.

The research was published in the journal Nature Medicine. (IANS)

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