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Google joins the quest to find the famous Scottish Loch Ness Monster

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Many tried and failed in the quest of proving the existence of the mysterious Loch Ness Monster – and now Google has also jumped in the bandwagon.

With the help of divers and local experts, Google deployed its Street View cameras in and around the lake to grab glimpses of the Scottish loch, the famous abode of the cryptid.

Google unveiled a cache of underwater and surface images of the lake, which offers travelers a chance to admire the Highlands scenery or dive into the depths to look for Loch Ness.

The Street View series beautifully offers a glimpse of the ancient Urquhart Castle from the water, Fort Augustus Abbey and the lake seen “from Nessie’s perspective” under the swampy waters.

When conducting a search in the area on Google Maps, the standard yellow ‘Pegman’ transforms into a green Nessie icon that can be released anywhere on the lake to get the view from there.

According to Google, around 200,000 searches are conducted each month for the Loch Ness Monster, and around 120,000 for information and accommodation close to Loch Ness, yet “few people know what the loch even looks like.”

“The Google project was so cloaked in secrecy, when people asked about the ripples in the loch during the special diving expeditions, for once I had no opinion,” said Adrian Shine, a Loch Ness expert who helped realize the project.

“I hope people worldwide enjoy exploring Street View to have a look and then be inspired to travel to Scotland to discover this area of magical beauty and natural intrigue,” he added.

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Google Not Going to Offer Controversial Face Recognition Technology

According to Walker, Google has long been committed to the responsible development of AI

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- The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

At a time when pressure is mounting on tech companies to utilise facial recognition technology with care to avoid its misuse, Google has said it will not offer the controversial technology for now.

Toeing Microsoft’s line which has asked governments across the world to regulate this technology, Google said facial recognition merits careful consideration.

“Like many technologies with multiple uses, facial recognition merits careful consideration to ensure its use is aligned with our principles and values, and avoids abuse and harmful outcomes,” Kent Walker, Senior Vice President of Global Affairs at Google, said in a blog post on Friday.

“We continue to work with many organisations to identify and address these challenges, and unlike some other companies, Google Cloud has chosen not to offer general-purpose facial recognition APIs before working through important technology and policy questions,” informed Walker.

Earlier this month, Microsoft President Brad Smith said that given the potential for abuse of the fast advancing facial recognition technology, governments across the world need to start adopting laws to regulate this technology in 2019.

“Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues,” warned Smith in a blog post.

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Google not to offer controversial face recognition technology.
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“The time for action has arrived,” he said, adding that the industry must also exercise restraint while using this technology.

Microsoft is one of several companies playing a leading role in developing facial recognition technology.

The company, Smith said, would start adopting new principles to manage the issues surrounding facial recognition technology in the first quarter of 2019.

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According to Walker, Google has long been committed to the responsible development of AI.

“These principles guide our decisions on what types of features to build and research to pursue. As one example, facial recognition technology has benefits in areas like new assistive technologies and tools to help find missing persons, with more promising applications on the horizon,” he added. (IANS)