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Google’s Experimental AI-powered Terrarium can Simulate Real-World Weather

Users can build their own terrarium by visiting the official Project Oasis Github page

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Google's new Search feature gives single result to certain queries. Pixabay
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An Indian-origin inventor has created a voice controlled terrarium that can simulate weather conditions around the world inside a box as part of Google’s “experimental project”.

“Project Oasis” brings nature and technology together and lets users interact with them using voice. It can mimic rain, fog, clouds as well as sunshine.

“Project Oasis is a self-sustaining plant ecosystem that reflects outside weather patterns by creating clouds, rain and light inside a box,” read the project’s description on its website.

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“You can talk to it to ask about weather or ask it to create certain conditions. It currently recreates rain, clouds and lighting in a self sufficient closed and living ecosystem,” said Harpreet Sareen, the inventor of the project, in a video posted on the website.

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Made with Google’s tools such as Dialogflow and Cloud Pub/Sub, at the Google Creative Lab, “Project Oasis is self sufficient, closed ecosystem and a simple experiment to expand human conversation with technology and the natural world”, said Sareen.

Users can build their own terrarium by visiting the official Project Oasis Github page. (IANS)

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Google Rolls Out Gender Specific Translation to Reduce Bias

Google said it is also thinking about how to address non-binary gender in translations, though it is not part of this initial launch

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Google starts rolling out gender specific translation to reduce bias. Pixabay

In a bid to reduce gender biases in its translation service, Google has started rolling out a feature that provides feminine and masculine translations for some gender-neutral words on the Google Translate website.

The feature is currently available only for a few languages, although Google plans to bring it to more languages soon.

So one can now translate single words from English to languages like French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish. As of now, translations for short phrases and sentences that mention a person in a gender-neutral way is available for the English and Turkish language pair.

“In the future, we plan to extend gender-specific translations to more languages, launch on other Translate surfaces like our iOS and Android apps, and address gender bias in features like query auto-complete,” James Kuczmarski, Product Manager, Google Translate, said in a blog post on Thursday.

Google Translate learns from hundreds of millions of already-translated examples from the web.

Historically, it has provided only one translation for a query, even if the translation could have either a feminine or masculine form.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

So when the model produced one translation, it inadvertently replicated gender biases that already existed.

For example, it would skew masculine for words like “strong” or “doctor,” and feminine for other words, like “nurse” or “beautiful.”

“Now you’ll get both a feminine and masculine translation for a single word – like ‘surgeon’ when translating from English into French, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish,” Kuczmarski said.

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“You’ll also get both translations when translating phrases and sentences from Turkish to English. For example, if you type ‘o bir doktor’ in Turkish, you’ll now get ‘she is a doctor’ and ‘he is a doctor’ as the gender-specific translations,” Kuczmarski said.

The new feature is part of Google’s efforts to promote fairness and reduce bias in Machine Learning.

Google said it is also thinking about how to address non-binary gender in translations, though it is not part of this initial launch. (IANS)