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Google Press Day Q&A  (View post)

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

Friday, May 12, 2006
18 years ago4,244 views

Fast forwarding the archived version works in Internet Explorer 6.0 too. Here's my question and answer transcribed (around 03:32:45 into the webcast):

Tony Ruscoe asked:

Do Google have any plans in the near future to integrate their statistical machine translation system with services such as Google News, Gmail, Google Talk and even Google Search?

Sergey Brin replied:

We actually – for those of you who haven't heard – we actually developed a statistical machine translation system that won a number of awards last year and came in first on Chinese/English translation as well as Arabic/English translation. And we’re very excited about it. We'd certainly love to get that launched into our products, and we're working on it.

It was really developed to be as good as possible in terms of the quality of the translation, not as "productionizable" as possible. So, I know it seems trivial, but it would actually take some work to make that happen. But we're committed to doing it and I believe we will succeed.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

18 years ago #

> It was really developed to be as good as
> possible in terms of the quality of the translation, not
> as "productionizable" as possible

Does that mean it's a total CPU clog on Google's servers? But then again, they did pull off Arabic...

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

18 years ago #

From what I've heard, statistical machine translation is incredibly processor intensive and very slow, so I'm pretty sure that's what Sergey meant. It therefore sounds like Google are heavily relying on Moore's law [*] before they can start to integrate their system with other services...


dpneal [PersonRank 10]

18 years ago #

On a china note...
I thought was censoring everything to do with the tiananmen square incident? look at this search..
The third result is one about the massacre, and leads to this page..
Does this mean Google are reducing their censorship?

(also see's images)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

18 years ago #

I'm seeing fluctuations in changes, some showing more, some showing less than before. For example, Peter Norvig mentioned that "bird flu" was uncensored in the beginning, and it's now censored. On the other hand, I've recently checked the tiannanmen square search again on Google Images, and it showed 1 image of a tank (before, there were 0 tank images). I think it's hard to tell at the moment if there's a trend in either direction – more censorship, or less – or if we're just seeing result shuffles/ new crawls.

Mahlon [PersonRank 1]

18 years ago #

Did you hear the spirited exchange with Tony Cruz of Amnesty International on the censorship question?

Cruz said Amnesty members would have to use other search engines since Google was censored – but Brin shut him down on that one, asking which search engine Amnesty would recommend. Tony said he uses Yahoo, which Brin pointed out was worse than Google (informing on their users, not notifying users that results are filtered, etc.). Google 1, Amnesty 0.

Brin then tried to argue that Google wasn't really profiting from human rights violations, at least not yet. Brin said that less than one percent of China's Google searches occur on the censored, while more than 99% of searches are still done on the uncensored

So in spite of Google's assertion that was essentially unusable – blocked, slow – more than 99% of users find it good enough for them. Maybe word hasn't gotten out yet about, or maybe Chinese users value unfiltered information more than Google thought they would.

Google 1, Amnesty 1.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

18 years ago #

I gotta say that was pretty uninformed for Amnesty International to switch from Google to Yahoo, which kind of voids their argument. But I agree with the irony of Brin's follow-up statement! I wonder if Chinese users prefer an engine that is down 10% of the time* to one that is lying 10% of the time?


jon [PersonRank 0]

18 years ago #

just wanted to clear up my question a bit more (so wouldn't look like stupid)...
I didn't mean real time satellite imagery, cuz that would be crazy.. what i really meant (which the guy didn't include in the question) was like having image overlay. like how they have these 3D structures, you would just get the feed of where the clouds are and just show a white thing over that region. shouldn't be hard since the weather channel already is doing it, of course in a smaller scale.

on the other hand it's still pretty sweet to ask and get an answer from the Senior Vice President (Product Management) of Google!

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