Inside Google & Alphabet - August 14th, 2019

Inside Google & Alphabet (Aug 14th, 2019)

Most Searches Don't Produce Clicks / ​AI Detects Cancer / Whistleblower Gives DOJ Political Bias Docs

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1. Fewer than 50 percent of Google searches result in a click, an analysis from Rand Fishkin, co-founder of SEO platform Moz, reveals. According to his data, 50.33 percent of searches result in no click at all, while 42 percent provide an "organic click," and 4.42 percent result in clicks on ads. Meanwhile, in June  2019, most of all browser-based searches on produced zero-clicks for the first time. - ZDNET

2. ​Google Health's augmented-reality microscope accurately identified cancerous tumors in samples of breast and prostate cells, a study published in Nature this week reveals. In a proof of concept, the AI's algorithms achieved high-performance scores of 0.92 and 0.93 when detecting cancerous lymph nodes in breast and prostate cancer in real-time, with one even giving a perfect score. If the tool can prove as successful in real life, pathologists would no longer need to analyze biological tissue to see if there are signs of cancer, a time-consuming task. Google researchers believe the microscope can benefit developing countries or groups with limited funds as it is a much faster and cheaper cancer detection method.  - THE REGISTER

3. Google "Machine Learning Fairness" whistleblower Zachary Vorhies -- who went public this morning -- gave the Department of Justice’s Antitrust division around 950 pages of documents and a laptop he says prove Google's political bias. According to the former insider, the tech giant developed algorithms to hide its political bias within artificially intelligence platforms. The documents reportedly reveal how Google had manipulated the algorithms and the evidence of how it was done by, for example, restricting conservative and progressive websites from appearing on news feeds for an Android Google product. It's a form of engineering so worrying, Vohries claims "this will actually be taught in universities of what totalitarian states can do with this type of capability.” By delivering this information, he believes the public will be forced to fight back and develop a solution. - SARA CARTER

4. Twenty-three European job search websites are urging the EU’s Competition Commissioner to investigate Google's job search tool. In a letter, the rival sites ask the EU to temporarily order Google to remove its first-party job listing tool from its search results. The websites say Google is motivated by anti-competitive behavior and is unfairly using its dominance to fuel the rise of the tool, pushing their pages down in search results. - REUTERS

5. A Google artificial intelligence algorithm meant to track and fight hate speech demonstrates racial bias, a University of Washington study reveals. The researchers found the tool is overwhelmingly profiling tweets posted by African-Americans written in African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) as hate speech. This was the case despite the fact most of the content found in the tweets was not harmful. - FORBES

6. Google is allegedly suffering from an internal culture problem that's slowly ruining it, and that's partly thanks to the company's acceptance of "aberrant geniuses," a report from WIRED reveals. The publication spoke to 47 anonymous current and former Google employees, all of whom described an increasingly disillusioned and distrustful workforce upset about a variety of issues ranging from Google's work with China to lack of diversity and sexism. According to former CEO Eric Schmidt, one large source of these issues is the tech giant's acceptance of "aberrant geniuses" like former Android head Andy Rubin, who left Google with a $90 million exit package in the wake of sexual assault accusations. "You need these aberrant geniuses because they're the ones that drive, in most cases, the product excellence," Schmidt said, causing some to argue the tech giant purposefully turns a blind eye to bad behavior when the individual in question is considered more valuable. -  BUSINESS INSIDER via WIRED (note: the WIRED article may have a paywall)

7. Google employees are circulating a petition demanding the tech giant not pursue a cloud computing contract with US Customs and Border Protection, accusing immigration officials of "perpetrating a system of abuse and malign neglect" at the border. - MEDIUM

8. Google has released a video revealing Project Euphonia, a project that aims to make speech recognition capable of understanding those with speech impairments, heavy accents, and non-standard speaking voices, at work in real life. - GOOGLE

9. Those who own defective 2016 Google Pixels could get up to $500 thanks to the resolution of a class-action lawsuit. Even those who didn't experience a defect are eligible for a $20 pay-out. - ARS TECHNICA

10. A fire broke out at a future Google campus in Manhattan, New York, which has since been put out. Six firefighters were injured. - NEW YORK POST

Written and curated by Inside Dev and Inside Deals Editor Sheena Vasani, a freelance journalist based in California. Proficient in Javascript and Ruby. Got my start at Dev Bootcamp and Thinkful.

Editor: Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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