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Oversight frameworks for content-sharing platforms

A range of governments, tech platforms, and civil society are focused on how best to deal with illegal and problematic online content. There’s broad agreement on letting people create, communicate, and find information online, while preventing people from misusing content-sharing platforms like social networks and video-sharing sites.We’ve been working on this challenge for years, using both computer science tools and human reviewers to identify and stop a range of online abuse, from“get rich quick” schemes to disinformation to child sexual abuse material. We respond promptly to valid notices of specific illegal content, and we prohibit other types of content on various different services. A mix of people and technology helps us identify inappropriate content and enforce our policies, and we continue to improve our practices. Earlier this year we issued anin-depth review of how we combat disinformation, and YouTube continues to regularly update its Community Guidelines Enforcement Report.Tackling this problem is a shared responsibility. Many laws, covering everything from consumer protection to defamation to privacy, already govern online content. Safe harbors and Good Samaritan laws for online platforms support the free flow of information, innovation, and economic growth, while giving platforms the legal certainty they need to combat problematic content. Over the internet’s history, many countries have not only established criteria to qualify for safe harbors, but also developed codes of practice (like the European Union’s Code of Conduct On Countering Illegal Hate Speech and Code of Practice on Disinformation). And companies have worked together, as with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, a coalition sharing information on curbing online terrorism. Approaches continue to evolve—for instance, earlier this month we joined other companies and countries in signing the Christchurch Call to Action To Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online.We’ve previously shared our experiences in order to promote smart regulation in areas like privacy, artificial intelligence, and government surveillance, and I recently wrote about specific legal frameworks for combating illegal content online. In that spirit, we are offering some ideas for approaching oversight of content-sharing platforms:Clarity - Content-sharing platforms are working to develop and enforce responsible content policies that establish baseline expectations for users and articulate a clear basis for removal of content as well as for suspension or closure of accounts. But it’s also important for governments to draw clear lines between legal and illegal speech, based on evidence of harm and consistent with norms of democratic accountability and international human rights. Without clear definitions, there is a risk of arbitrary or opaque enforcement that limits access to legitimate information.Suitability - It’s important for oversight frameworks to recognize the different purposes and functions of different services. Rules that make sense for social networks, video-sharing platforms, and other services primarily designed to help people share content with a broad audience may not be appropriate for search engines, enterprise services, file storage, communication tools, or other online services, where users have fundamentally different expectations and applications. Different types of content may likewise call for different approaches.Transparency - Meaningful transparency promotes accountability. We launched our first Transparency Report more than eight years ago, and we continue to extend our transparency efforts over time. Done thoughtfully, transparency can promote best practices, facilitate research, and encourage innovation, without enabling abuse of processes.Flexibility - We and other tech companies have pushed the boundaries of computer science in identifying and removing problematic content at scale. These technical advances require flexible legal frameworks, not static or one-size-fits-all mandates. Likewise, legal approaches should recognize the varying needs and capabilities of startups and smaller companies.Overall quality - The scope and complexity of modern platforms requires a data-driven approach that focuses on overall results rather than anecdotes. While we will never eliminate all problematic content, we should recognize progress in making that content less prominent. Reviews under the European Union’s codes on hate speech and disinformation offer a useful example of assessing overall progress against a complex set of goals.Cooperation - International coordination should strive to align on broad principles and practices. While there is broad international consensus on issues like child sexual abuse imagery, in other areas individual countries will make their own choices about the limits of permissible speech, and one country should not be able to impose its content restrictions on another.The recent Christchurch Call is a powerful reminder of what we can do when a range of stakeholders work together to address the challenges of online content. The internet has expanded access to information, bringing incredible benefits to people around the world. And as with any new information technology, societies and cultures are developing new social norms, institutions, and laws to address new challenges and opportunities. We look forward to contributing to that extraordinarily important project.


Life skills and workforce preparation with the G Suite certification

Editor’s Note: Next week, we’re joining thousands of educators and students at ISTE in Philadelphia. Visit us at booth 2200, where you can demo the latest Chromebook devices and classroom technology from Google and our partners.  Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.Proficiency in digital tools like G Suite is important for students to advance in school and in the job market. The G Suite certification allows students to demonstrate their knowledge of G Suite tools (e.g. Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Hangouts Meet), which can be important for future universities and employers. We already have a certification for businesses and higher education, and today, it's available for K-12 students.A certification designed for the classroomThe G Suite certification tests students ages 13 and older on the same content as adults, requiring them to show competency of G Suite to help them succeed after school. We’ve created a new version of the exam, so that students can take the test from the comfort of their classroom or school testing center, administered by their teacher or other faculty, and monitored remotely by ProctorU. The exam and has been awarded the Seal of Alignment from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), which noted in its Seal of Alignment Findings Report that "The use of real-world problem-oriented scenarios makes it useful as a credential beyond the school setting...As an assessment, the certification test is clear, concise, well-designed and effectively implemented with a strong emphasis on authentic, performance-based activities.”Practice and PrepareWe’ve created exclusive academic pricing to extend the certification to students that are 13 and older. The student price for the exam will be $37 (a 50% discount off the list price of $75) per exam and is payable by schools.Educators can register their class, and once certified, they’ll get a digital badge that serves as a great addition to a college application or resume. The exam is currently only available in English.Here are some training materials that will ensure your students are well equipped to tackle the exam:Review our Exam Guide for a sneak peek of what could be covered in the certification. Reviewing the guide will help identify areas of strength and opportunity for your students.Use our freeApplied Digital Skills curriculum, a Grow with Google program, which comes with 11 ready-to-use lessons, that help your students practice their skillsTest students knowledge with our G Suite certification practice lab on Qwiklabs.Get certified todayTheGoogle Certified Educator exams are built for the educator audience, and cover the relevant Google products and pedagogical applications of our tools built for the classroom.For higher education students, head here to take the G Suite certification to make sure you’re ready for your next job. If you are interested in learning more about our G Suite certification and certifying your students, register today: g.co/studentcert.


The Chromebook App Hub offers more choices in the classroom

Editor’s Note: Next week, we’re joining thousands of educators and students at ISTE in Philadelphia. Visit us at booth 2200, where you can demo the latest Chromebook devices and classroom technology from Google and our partners.  Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.Chromebooks have become the device of choice for hundreds of thousands of schools around the world. Educators love them because they are fast, easy to share and simple to use at any grade level. Admins love them because they are intuitive, easy to manage and have a low total cost of ownership. Thanks to the many apps and tools available on Chromebooks, they can help students be creative in new ways.Educators told us that they were spending a lot of time researching the right apps and ideas for how to use them in the classroom. We listened, and earlier this year we announcedwe were building the Chromebook App Hub, a place where educators can get the most out of their devices. Today, the App Hub is up and running.Working better togetherThis online resource is designed to help educators, administrators and developers work together to learn about Chromebook apps and activity ideas for schools. Educators can discover apps for their lessons and share how they use them in their classrooms. IT administrators and curriculum designers can identify effective tools for their schools and see how technology complies with district policies. And EdTech developers can reach educators and help them understand the benefits of using their apps. Ultimately, this means that students get high-quality, engaging tools and confident instruction.Ideas from educators, apps from developersAfter finding the perfect app, educators can browse ideas and inspiration from fellow educators. We’re working with EdTechTeam and educators to gather ideas around using apps in the classroom. These include tips for success, differentiated instruction strategies and links to additional resources such as how-to videos, activities and websites.We’re working with developers to create a community in the App Hub where they can show off the best of their tools and apps for the classroom. One such app creator is Epic!, the vast children’s digital library offering unlimited access to thousands of high-quality kids’ books, videos, quizzes and more. Suren Markosian, Epic!’s founder and CEO, told us App Hub makes it easier for teachers to find the highest quality ideas and tools to inform their practice. “We are all about giving teachers access to the best resources available, so they can focus on what matters most—their students,” Suren says.Another partner is Adobe Spark, which brings creative visual storytelling to students of all levels. Aubrey Cattell, VP of Adobe Spark and Creative Cloud Education, says App Hub will not only “allow for more seamless discovery of apps like Adobe Spark, it will allow educators to see how each tool fits into their classroom and curricula.”We’ve also worked with Khan Academy, a free library of trusted, standards-aligned practice and lessons which cover math, grammar, science, history, standardized tests and more. "The App Hub is a great resource for teachers, making it fast and easy to find apps and classroom activities that work well on Chromebooks,'' says Eirene Chen, Teacher Marketing Leader for Khan Academy.Security and transparencyThe App Hub is dedicated to bringing transparency to developers’ data and accessibility policies, and to helping decision-makers find information about apps to meet the unique learning goals and policies of their school districts. We’re working with policy partners, including the non-profit Student Data Privacy Consortium (SPDC), to assist developers considering the student privacy implications of their products. “The SDPC is proud to work with [the Chromebook App Hub] to provide transparency and openness around the critical aspects of schools, states and vendors securing learner information,” says Dr. Larry L. Fruth II, CEO of A4L/SDPC.This means administrators can rest assured that apps on the hub are built by developers committed to transparency and security.  Steve Smith, CIO of Cambridge Public Schools, emphasizes the importance of our transparency and partnership with SDPC. "As a CIO, knowing that district staff have one location to go to learn such valuable information about [Chromebook] apps is fantastic,” he says.We’re also working with the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) and ConnectSafely on guidelines to create healthy digital citizenship habits-a journey parents, students, and teachers take together.You can find apps and ideas on the Chromebook App Hub today. If you’re an educator, you can submit idea sparks, and if you’re a developer, you can join the App Hub community. We will be updating and adding new content quarterly, so teachers and students alike can find new ways to learn with Chromebooks.


More time for feedback with improved planning and grading tools

Editor’s Note: Next week, we’re joining thousands of educators and students at ISTE in Philadelphia. Visit us at booth 2200, where you can demo the latest Chromebook devices and classroom technology from Google and our partners.  Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.Google for Education’s mission is to help improve learning outcomes for students around the world. We do this by giving teachers tools that make their day to day more efficient and collaboration with students more effective, so students can get the feedback and attention they need to grow.Teachers have told us they want to make grading easier, so they can spend less time on rote grading tasks and more time helping their students. So to kick off ISTE 2019, we’re announcing new product features that do just that. Here’s how we’re updating our tools with learning outcomes in mind:Better planning, preparation and transparency with rubricsUsing rubrics helps teachers set expectations for students, and gives them a consistent framework to provide actionable feedback. This process is designed to help students perform better, but can also be time-consuming. Now, teachers can create and grade rubrics in both Classroom and Course Kit through a beta. Instructors enrolled in the beta program can create a rubric and attach it to an assignment, giving students full visibility into how their work will be evaluated. Instructors can then use rubrics while grading to select rating levels and give consistent and efficient feedback. Alongside comments in Google Docs, rubrics allow educators to provide personalized insights that go beyond an overall grade. You can learn more and help us shape the future of this feature by enrolling in the beta program today.Better assessments with locked mode and question import in Google FormsEducators can enablelocked mode in Quizzes in Google Forms on managed Chromebooks. This mode prevents students from navigating away from their assessments until they submit their answers, which helps them focus during quizzes and encourages academic integrity. Thousands of educators used locked mode in beta, and this August locked mode will be available to all G Suite for Education users on managed Chromebooks. We’ve also worked with partners like Texthelp and Don Johnston to integrate accessibility features so that, even when taking a quiz in locked mode, students can use these helpful extensions.Educators often use questions from previous Forms they’ve created or Forms shared for editing by fellow educators. Soon, we'll add a feature that lets teachers import questions they’ve previously used into new Forms. So instead of spending time on recreating assessments for students, teachers can spend time providing specific comments and feedback to those same students once assessments are completed. Forms will also soon get a fresh new design—consistent with the updated looks of other apps in G Suite—with more space at the top of your Form and better ways to design the look and feel of your Form headers.Use Gradebook and sync grades to your student information systemLast November, we released an early access beta program for Gradebook in Google Classroom. Participating teachers are using Gradebook to get a holistic view of student performance over time, so they can gain a deeper understanding of where students have mastered a subject or where they still need more opportunities to improve. Over the next few days, Gradebook will be rolling out to all Classroom users. Teachers will also be able to customize how grades are calculated in their classes (weighted average or total points-based), set up grade categories for assignments, and share an overall grade with students through a host of new class settings.We’re also launching an early access beta program that allows educators to sync grades from Classroom to their school information system (SIS) of record. Once enabled by an admin, educators can visit Gradebook to sync grades to their SIS, eliminating the need to enter grades in two different locations. Aside from helping educators avoid data errors, this beta program will allow educators to spend more time providing quality instruction, through more regular feedback to students about their grades—all without leaving Google Classroom. The early access beta program will be available to schools later this summer, with Infinite Campus and Capita SIMS participating as initial partners, and more SIS partners to follow. For schools that wish to have both grades and rosters connected to their SIS, there are several complete solutions for this today.We’re excited to see how these tools empower teachers to provide even more feedback and helpful assessments to their students, all while saving them time.


Bringing slave dwellings out of the shadows with Google Street View

Editor’s note:In honor of Juneteenth, we’re sharing this story about a Google Earth Outreach project that highlights African American history. In today’s post, Justin Reid, Director of African American programs, and Peter Hedlund, Director of Encyclopedia Virginia—both of the state humanities council Virginia Humanities—talk about documenting slave dwellings using Google Street View.On Virginia’s rural farms, in city townhouses, and beneath grand plantations are spaces where enslaved African-Americans lived from the 1600s until sometimes long after Emancipation. Every day, people pass by these slave dwellings, which are often in disrepair, with no idea who lived there. These dwellings and other African-American historic sites are an important part of Virginia’s history—yet out of the nearly 250,000 cultural and historic resources documented by the state, only one percent are officially identified as reflecting African-American history.It’s easy to forget about the painful yet important parts of American history when we can’t see them. By immersing ourselves in the places where enslaved communities once lived, we are confronted with a history that cannot be ignored. So to virtually preserve these living spaces and give people access to them, we created custom Street View imagery for tours of a dozen slave dwellings throughout Virginia, which date from the late 1700s to the mid 1800s.How virtual preservation opens doors to slave dwellingsSeveral years ago, when Google Street View began to include views of interiors, we saw an opportunity to document slave dwellings for Encyclopedia Virginia, where we collect resources about the state’s history and culture. Most of the former housing sites for enslaved people are on private property, and therefore not open to visitors. Our virtual tours give access to places that people can’t visit in person.The Street View tours also play a role in virtual preservation. Many of the dwellings are in poor condition—even in worse shape than when we started photographing them a few years ago. By creating the virtual tours, we preserve the dwellings for future generations.For the tours, we consciously chose a range of dwelling types and locations to highlight how ubiquitous slavery was throughout Virginia—from the Eastern Shore to Mecklenburg County. People tend to think that enslaved people only lived on rural plantations. But we have tours of slave dwellings in urban cities like Alexandriaand Richmond, which challenge the stereotypes of how enslaved people lived.Ensuring enslaved people’s place in historyJustin has a personal connection to the Street View tour of a slave dwelling at Ampthill, a former plantation in Cumberland County. His great-great grandfather, Reverend Jacob Randolph Sr., was born into slavery at Ampthill in 1859. The dwelling in the tour, a brick two-story structure, is beside the main plantation house; the kitchen quarters building, where enslaved people also lived, still stands.The Ampthill slave quarters, where Justin’s great-grandfather may have lived as a child, illustrate the challenges of documenting dwellings. Previous owners of Ampthill thought one of the structures was a post-Civil War weaver’s cottage. When we brought Jobie Hill, a preservation architect and founder of Saving Slave Houses, to Ampthill, she immediately identified the building as a pre-Civil War slave dwelling. So many slave houses are misidentified, which hurts efforts to document them.We hope that if more people are aware of slave dwellings and view our Street View tours, more sites can be documented and perhaps preserved—and more of us recall the enslaved people who are too often left out of our historical narratives. The people and the places they lived in deserve to be part of the American story.


How Oscar Mike helps keep injured veterans on the move

I served in the United States Marine Corps for three years. I was deployed in 2001, just after the September 11th attacks, and again in 2003 during the invasion of Iraq. After my final deployment, I returned to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. But just a few nights after arriving back in the states, I was involved in a car accident that left me paralyzed from the neck down.The six years following the accident were some of the toughest I’ve ever experienced, and I wasn’t sure what the future might hold for me. I felt like everything had been taken from me, and it was hard not to focus on all the things I could no longer do. But everything changed when I discovered the world of adaptive sports, which let me experience the camaraderie of the military again and the adrenaline rush of competitive sports.This discovery was a major turning point in my life, and I knew I needed to share these experiences with other veterans like me. But these events are expensive. So my friends and I started the Oscar Mike Foundation to provide funding for wounded, ill or injured veterans to participate in adaptive sports. The foundation is named for a term we used in the military, “Oscar Mike," which means to get “on the move.” To raise money and minimize overhead costs for the foundation, we also started Oscar Mike Apparel, an American-made lifestyle brand that offers T-shirts and activewear through our online store.Most of our apparel sales happen through our website. With the help of Google Ads and free resources from Grow with Google—like a livestreamed workshop on connecting with customers online—I’ve been able to share our mission with more people around the world. Since 2011, 400 veterans from all around the country have participated in our programs, and we’ve offered more than 1,000 sporting scholarships.Today, together with Grow with Google and the Google Veterans Network—an internal community of military veterans, service members, civilian allies and family members—we’ll meet with transitioning service members and veterans for a career workshop in New York. There, we’ll offer resume and job search support as they figure out their next moves in civilian life. So many veterans struggle to determine their next steps after leaving the military, and at Oscar Mike, we want to help wounded, ill or injured veterans set new goals and find purpose again.To learn more about free tools and resources that can help veterans find their next move, visit Grow with Google.


Art Zoom: Masterpieces up close through the eyes of famous musicians

What if you could see art through an artist’s eyes? On the occasion of the 130th anniversary of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” Google Arts & Culture is introducing Art Zoom, a new way to discover details of iconic works of art. Produced by musical experience creators La Blogothèque, the video series introduces you to visual masterpieces through the eyes of your favorite musicians.Follow the blue and yellow undulating brush strokes of “Starry Night” with Maggie Rogers, who finds inspiration in the “psychedelic” scene as well as exposed pieces of canvas that Van Gogh chose not to paint. These gaps in the oil are easy to miss with the naked eye, but can be seen in surprising detail with Art Camera.Maggie Rogers on "Starry Night" by Vincent van Gogh (MoMA The Museum of Modern Art)British rockstar Jarvis Cocker is your guide through a hectic morning at Monet’s “La Gare Saint Lazare.” From the dark figures congregating on the platform to the subtle red glow of burning coal, the Pulp frontman explores his favorite features from Monet’s impressionist masterpiece.Jarvis Cocker on "The Gare St-Lazare" by Claude Monet (The National Gallery - London)“The Tower of Babel” by Pieter Bruegel the Great hangs in Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum, its miniature residents difficult to discern. Zooming in with Art Camera, Canadian pop star Feist introduces you to the quirky inhabitants who inspire her work.Feist on "The Tower of Babel" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien)More than 10,000 artworks from 208 partners worldwide have been captured with Art Cameraand digitized in ultra-high resolution, from the fluffy fabric from which Vivienne Westwood tailored the Keith Haring “Witches” dress, to the almost photographic View of Delft by Vermeer. You can see these works in intricate detail simply by browsing on the Google Arts & Culture app. Explore Art Zoom online at g.co/ArtZoom, or download our free app for iOS or Android.


Create with Google: Inspiration, resources, and tools to fuel your next big idea

The case for creativity has never been greater. Big thinking and bold ideas are in high demand, and creative execution is consistently confirmed as the largest contributor to driving sales. And as we see from the brands we partner with, success occurs when data and technology inspire creativity.But that doesn't mean it's easy. There are more platforms, more signals, and more data sources informing creative than ever before. We want our clients and partners to grow and thrive on our platforms, and that’s why we've made it a priority to invest in resources and tools to support creative makers and agencies at every stage of the creative process.This year at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, we’re expanding a new resource for the global creative community: Create with Google. Made for creatives by creatives, this platform is designed to inspire, inform and enable creative makers from ideation to execution. The global site is currently available in English, Spanish, Korean and Japanese, with a plan to expand to more languages throughout the year.Get inspired for your next big campaignWe’ve searched the globe to find the most innovative, intelligent, and imaginative work across Google’s creative canvas. Filter by format, vertical and platform, or search by keyword to inspire your creative thinking.Master Google’s platforms, formats and toolsRead up on a range of resources and get insider tips on how to build work across Google’s creative canvas—from ARCore to Display and YouTube Director Mix.Access tools to support your idea, from pitch to productionTwo new tools, Audience Connect and YouTube Mockup Tool, make it easier for you to create and sell in work on our platforms—from pitching in concepts right through production.Audience Connect transforms creative presentations from broadcast into conversation, by tracking client engagement in response to any video. When pitching in a TrueView concept, for example, the tool provides real-time feedback on when your audience is more leaned in and when they would skip. Sign up for access here.YouTube Mockup Tool lets you upload and showcase work to clients and colleagues in an authentic YouTube environment, simulating your creative across desktop, tablet and mobile.We want to champion and challenge creative makers to experiment and make better work, recognizing we only succeed when our partners do. We hope Create with Google can become a genuine global community where the industry comes together to find the inspiration, resources and tools for their next project.


How we help you find lyrics in Google Search

When you’re searching for a song’s lyrics, often you’ll see an information box in Search that shows the lyrics on the page. This feature has been under scrutiny this week, so we wanted to explain how it works and where the lyrics come from.How lyrics appear in SearchLyrics can appear in information boxes and on Knowledge Panels in Search when you’re looking for songs or lyrics. While we do this to help you find that information quickly, we also ensure that the songwriters are paid for their creative work. To do that, we pay music publishers for the right to display lyrics, since they manage the rights to these lyrics on behalf of the songwriters.Where the lyrics text comes fromHere’s something you might not know: music publishers often don’t have digital copies of the lyrics text. In these cases, we—like music streaming services and other companies—license the lyrics text from third parties.We do not crawl or scrape websites to source these lyrics. The lyrics that you see in information boxes on Search come directly from lyrics content providers, and they are updated automatically as we receive new lyrics and corrections on a regular basis.News reports this week suggested that one of our lyrics content providers is in a dispute with a lyrics site about where their written lyrics come from. We’ve asked our lyrics partner to investigate the issue to ensure that they’re following industry best practices in their approach. We always strive to uphold high standards of conduct for ourselves and from the partners we work with.To help make it clearer where the lyrics come from, we’ll soon include attribution to the third party providing the digital lyrics text. We will continue to take an approach that respects and compensates rights-holders, and ensures that music publishers and songwriters are paid for their work.


$1 billion for 20,000 Bay Area homes

As we work to build a more helpful Google, we know our responsibility to help starts at home. For us, that means being a good neighbor in the place where it all began over 20 years ago: the San Francisco Bay Area.Today, Google is one of the Bay Area’s largest employers. Across the region, one issue stands out as particularly urgent and complex: housing. The lack of new supply, combined with the rising cost of living, has resulted in a severe shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle and low income residents. As Google grows throughout the Bay Area—whether it’s in our home town of Mountain View, in San Francisco, or in our future developments in San Jose and Sunnyvale—we’ve invested in developing housing that meets the needs of these communities. But there’s more to do.Today we’re announcing an additional $1 billion investment in housing across the Bay Area.First, over the next 10 years, we’ll repurpose at least $750 million of Google’s land, most of which is currently zoned for office or commercial space, as residential housing. This will enable us to support the development of at least 15,000 new homes at all income levels in the Bay Area, including housing options for middle and low-income families. (By way of comparison, 3,000 total homes were built in the South Bay in 2018). We hope this plays a role in addressing the chronic shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle and low income residents.Second, we’ll establish a $250 million investment fund so that we can provide incentives to enable developers to build at least 5,000 affordable housing units across the market.In addition to the increased supply of affordable housing these investments will help create, we will give $50 million in grants through Google.org to nonprofits focused on the issues of homelessness and displacement. This builds on the $18 million in grants we’ve given to help address homelessness over the last five years, including $3 million we gave to the newly openedSF Navigation Center and $1.5 million toaffordable housing for low income veterans and households in Mountain View.In the coming months, we’ll continue to work with local municipalities to support plans that allow residential developers to build quickly and economically. Our goal is to get housing construction started immediately, and for homes to be available in the next few years. In Mountain View, we’ve already worked with the city to change zoning in the North Bayshore area to free up land for housing, and we’re currently in productive conversations with Sunnyvale and San Jose.Of course, affordable and quality housing is only one way we’re investing in Bay Area communities. We’re also fundingcommunity spaces that provide free access to co-working areas for nonprofits, improving transit options forthe community and our employees (taking 9,000 cars off the road per day), and supporting programs forcareer development,education andlocal businesses.Across all of this, our goal is to help communities succeed over the long term, and make sure that everyone has access to opportunity, whether or not they work in tech. Solving a big issue like the housing shortage will take collaboration across business, government and community organizations, and we look forward to working alongside others to make the Bay Area a place where everyone who lives here can thrive.


Immersive branded experiences in YouTube and display ads

As a three-dimensional, visual medium, augmented reality (AR) is a powerful tool for brands looking to tell richer, more engaging stories about their products to consumers. Recently, we brought AR to Google products like Search, and made updates to our developer platform, ARCore, to help creators build more immersive experiences. Starting this week, we’re also bringing AR to YouTube and interactive 3D assets to display ads.Helping YouTube beauty fans pick their next lipstickMany consumers look to YouTube creators for help when deciding on new products to purchase. And brands have long been teaming up with creators to connect with audiences. Now, brands and creators can make that experience even more personalized and useful for viewers in AR.Today, we’re introducing AR Beauty Try-On, which lets viewers virtually try on makeup while following along with YouTube creators to get tips, product reviews, and more. Thanks to machine learning and AR technology, it offers realistic, virtual product samples that work on a full range of skin tones. Currently in alpha, AR Beauty Try-On is available through FameBit by YouTube, Google’s in-house branded content platform.M·A·C Cosmetics is the first brand to partner with FameBit to launch an AR Beauty Try-On campaign. Using this new format, brands like M·A·C will be able to tap into YouTube’s vibrant creator community, deploy influencer campaigns to YouTube’s 2 billion monthly active users, and measure their results in real time.Viewers will be able to try on different shades of M·A·C lipstick as their favorite beauty creator tries on the same shades. After trying on a lipstick, they can click to visit M·A·C’s website to purchase it.We tested this experience earlier this year with several beauty brands and found that 30 percent of viewers activated the AR experience in the YouTube iOS app, spending over 80 seconds on average trying on lipstick virtually.Bringing three-dimensional assets to display adsWe're also offering brands a new canvas for creativity with Swirl, our first immersive display format. Swirl brings three-dimensional assets to display advertising on the mobile web, which can help educate consumers before making a purchase. They can directly zoom in and out, rotate a product, or play an animation. Swirl is available exclusively through Display and Video 360.In this example from New Balance, people can rotate to explore the Fresh Foam 1080 running shoe. Objects like a mobile phone (right) can expand to show additional layered content.To help brands more easily edit, configure and publish high-quality, realistic models to use in Swirl display ads, we’re introducing a new editor on Poly, Google’s 3D platform. It provides more editorial control over 3D objects, including new ways to change animation settings, customize backgrounds, and add realistic reflections.The new Poly editor lets you easily edit photorealistic three-dimensional objects for use in Swirl display ads.These new tools will be available to brands and advertisers this summer. We think they’ll help brands and advertisers make content more engaging, educational, and ultimately effective in driving purchase decisions. If you’re interested, check out our getting started guide for tips. We look forward to seeing you bring your products to life!


Deliver more interactive ad experiences with Display & Video 360

Marketers have more opportunities than ever before to deliver engaging ad experiences through immersive creative. Many companies are investing in creating 3D assets to bring their products to life and allow consumers to interact with products as they would in real life. For example, a person can explore the interior and exterior of a car before taking it for a test drive, all from the comfort of their home. But it can be challenging to scale these experiences. Now you can extend the reach of these 3D assets to produce more captivating ads, with two new updates coming today.Showcase your products with Immersive DisplaySwirl is a new immersive display format designed for mobile web and available on Display & Video 360. People can explore every angle of your product by rotating the 3D object in all directions and zooming in and out, interacting from their device as if the product was in front of them. Customers like Guerlain, a leading perfume and cosmetics company, are using Swirl to deliver better ad experiences that draw people’s attention and let them interact with the perfume bottle directly and discover more about the scent.Swirl is opening up a whole new creative canvas for us. We're able to tell a more dynamic story about our products and give customers a powerful new way to interact with them. Jean-Denis Mariani Chief Digital Officer of GuerlainBrands that already have 3D assets can easily create a Swirl ad unit by using the 3D/Swirl component in Google Web Designer, our creative authoring tool. And with a new editor coming to Poly, Google’s 3D platform, it’s easier for brands and agencies to edit, configure, and publish high-quality, photorealistic models to use in immersive display ads. You can learn more in this post. If you’re interested in exploring Swirl but need help building 3D assets, we also have certified 3D production partners to help.Expand the reach of your YouTube live streamsIncreasingly, people are tuning in to live events like concerts, sports and shows through live streams. Brands are noticing this shift and are investing in live stream content through sponsorships and their own branded content. We know it takes a lot of time and resources to build these assets and we want to make it easier to get more out of your live stream investment.The new live stream format in Display & Video 360 allows you to run your YouTube live stream content in display ads across screens and devices. You can quickly get started by using assets from your existing YouTube live stream campaigns with a new template in Google Web Designer.With the live stream format people will be able to interact with the video using familiar YouTube player controls. People can preview your live stream, watch full screen, and exit when they’re done, giving them full control over how they interact with your content.Building better ad experiencesLive stream and Swirl are just two examples of how we’re enabling brands to deliver more interactive ad experiences at scale with Display & Video 360. We want to make it easier for you to build ads that are engaging and valuable to consumers. We’ll continue to share creative solutions to help you build beautiful creative and deliver better ad experiences to users wherever they are online.Both Swirl and the new live stream format are in a limited beta. To learn more about these new interactive formats, reach out to your Display & Video 360 account manager.


A circular Google in a sustainable world

A circular Google and how we plan to get therePeople love stuff. During the 20th Century, the use of raw materials rose globally at twice the rate as the population. All of this consumption puts a strain on resources. In fact, just last year, humanity’s consumption of resources--such as metals, timber and even land--required 1.7 planet Earths to sustain.So, is all this demand for ‘stuff’ inherently unsustainable, or is the problem with how we take, make and waste it?The sheer scale of our resource economy is almost unimaginable: Billions of tons of materials, from plastic straws and  blocks of concrete to bales of wheat and sheets of metal, all of these things are constantly being taken, made, moved around, built with, used up, and disposed of, all across the world. For too long, the damaging environmental consequences of these linear systems remained relatively invisible. Today, however, the impact cannot be ignored. One garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans every minute, landfills are overflowing, and our climate crisis is fueled by energy used to sustain  this take-make-waste model.The ‘circular economy’ concept challenges this disconnect between consumption and consequences. In a circular economy abundance become possible, livelihoods raised and progress fueled, all by keeping stuff, circular.  Our vision is simple: we want a circular Google within a sustainable world.The challenges to making this vision a reality are as daunting as it is exciting. It demands that we redefine how systems work—from what we value and the choices we make, to the assumptions and industrial processes that have been standard practice across our economy for decades. Our new circular Google strategy is part of our wider effort to build sustainability into everything we do.As we built out this strategy, an intriguing insight emerged. An element of reaching a fully circular economy requires identifying, tracking and managing the overwhelming and globe-spanning swirl of materials. Thankfully, technological developments in the 21st century suggest a way to do so: to view all this stuff as information.Considering the circular economy as an information challenge is inspiring for us at Google. It suggests that we can leverage our scale, resources and technological expertise to help the world meet resource needs.It’s been estimated that transitioning to a circular economy could generate $4.5 trillion in new economic output by 2030. That fact illustrates the potential to achieve abundance and make progress, while also significantly improving human and environmental systems.So we are excited to announce a new goal: Maximize the reuse of finite resources across our operations, products and supply chains and enable others to do the same.But we can’t do it alone. A truly systemic shift to a circular economy goes way beyond Google. We’ll need to create new, and even unlikely, partnerships across industries. The scale of the change required to reach circularity will touch every part of society and span the entire global economy.If you are a Google team member, partner, supplier or one of the billions of people who use Google every day, we hope you will come on this exciting journey with us.


Carmen Sandiego is back for a final assignment in Google Earth

Nothing gets past you, super sleuth! You helped Carmen Sandiego recover the stolen Crown Jewels of England and Tutankhamun’s Mask. Now we need you for a third and final assignment: Recover the Keys to the Kremlin in Google Earth.We’ve teamed up with Carmen Sandiego and learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt once again to track down a new VILE operative—Paperstar, master origamist—and return this treasure to the people of Moscow.  To get your assignment, look for the special edition Pegman icon in Google Earth for Chrome, Android and iOS. And catch us next week at ISTE 2019 in Philadelphia, where we’ll be talking with teachers about how to use these educational capers in the classroom.


Meet David Feinberg, head of Google Health

Dr. David Feinberg has spent his entire career caring for people’s health and wellbeing. And after years in the healthcare system, he now leads Google Health, which brings together groups from across Google and Alphabet that are using AI, product expertise and hardware to take on big healthcare challenges. We sat down with David to hear more about his pre-Google life, what he’s learned as a “Noogler” (new Googler), and what’s next for Google Health.You joined Google after a career path that led you from child psychiatrist to hospital executive. Tell us how this journey brought you to Google Health.I’m driven by the urgency to help people live longer, healthier lives. I started as a child psychiatrist at UCLA helping young patients with serious mental health needs. Over the course of my 25 years at UCLA, I moved from treating dozens of patients, to overseeing the UCLA health system and the more than a million patients in our care. Then, at Geisinger, I had the opportunity to support a community of more than 3 million patients.I recall my mom being very confused by my logic of stepping away from clinical duties and moving toward administrative duties as a way of helping more people. However, in these roles, the impact lies in initiatives that have boosted patient experience, improved people’s access to healthcare, and (I hope!) helped people get more time back to live their lives.When I began speaking with Google, I immediately saw the potential to help billions of people, in part because I believe Google is already a health company. It’s been in the company’s DNA from the start.You say Google is already a health company. How so?We’re already making strides in organizing and making health data more useful thanks to work being done by Cloud and AI teams. And looking across the rest of Google’s portfolio of helpful products, we’re already addressing aspects of people’s health. Search helps people answer everyday health questions, Maps helps get people to the nearest hospital, and other tools and products are addressing issues tangential to health—for instance, literacy, safer driving, and air pollution.We already have the foundation, and I’m excited by the potential to tap into Google’s strengths, its brilliant people, and its amazing products to do more for people’s health (and lives).I believe Google is already a health company. It’s been in the company’s DNA from the start.This isn’t the first time Google has invested directly in health efforts. What has changed over the years about Google’s solving health-related problems? Some of Google’s early efforts didn’t gain traction due to various challenges the entire industry was facing at the time. During this period, I was a hospital administrator and no one talked about interoperability—a term familiar to those of us in the industry today. We were only just starting to think about the behemoth task of adopting electronic health records and bringing health data online, which is why some of the early projects didn’t really get off the ground. Today we take some of this for granted as we navigate today’s more digitized healthcare systems.The last few years have changed the healthcare landscape—offering up new opportunities and challenges. And in response, Google and Alphabet have invested in efforts that complement their strengths and put users, patients, and care providers first. Look no further than the promising AI research and mobile applications coming from Google and DeepMind Health, or Verily’s Project Baseline that is pushing the boundaries of what we think we know about human health. And there’s so much more we can and will do.Speaking of AI, it features prominently in many of Google’s current health efforts. What’s next for this research?There’s little doubt that AI will power the next wave of tools that can improve many facets of healthcare: delivery, access, and so much more. When I consider the future of research, I see us continuing to be deliberate and thoughtful about sharing our findings with the research and medical communities, incorporating feedback, and generally making sure our work actually adds value to patients, doctors and care providers.Of course, we have to work toward getting solutions out in the wild, and into the hands of the pathologist scanning slides for breast cancer, or the nurse scanning a patient’s record for the latest lab results on the go. But this needs to be executed safely, working with and listening to our users to ensure that we get this right.Now that you’ve been here for six months, what’s been most surprising to you about Google or the team?I can’t believe how fantastic it is to not wear a suit after decades of formal business attire. When I got the job I ended up donating most of my suits. I kept a few, you know, for weddings.On a more serious note, I’m blown away every day by the teams I’m surrounded by, and the drive and commitment they have for the work they do. I’m thrilled to be a part of this team. What's your life motto?I know this sounds cheesy, but there are three words I really do say every morning when I arrive in the parking lot for work: passion, humility, integrity. These are words that ground me, and also ground the work we are doing at Google Health. Passion means we have to get this right, and feel that health is a cause worth fighting for, every day. We need humility, because at the end of the day, if we move too quickly or mess up, people’s lives are on the line. And integrity means that we should come to work with the aim of leaving the place—and the world—better than when we found it.


Enterprise app management made simpler with managed Google Play iframe

Managed Google Play lets enterprise organizations distribute and administer apps for their teams to use at work. By using managed Google Play, IT departments can help to reduce the security risks that come from sideloading applications. Admins can give their teams full access to the Android app ecosystem or curate just the right apps for getting the job done.Managed Google Play iframe makes app distribution even easier, as IT admins can do so without leaving the Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) console. The iframe has tools for publishing private and web apps, as well as curating public applications into collections. Admins can then configure apps and securely distribute them to their teams.The managed Google Play iframe showing the Search apps page.To help users find the apps they need, IT admins can now group whitelisted Android apps into “collections” that users can access from the managed Google Play store on their device. For example, admins can create a collection for frequently used apps or one for apps in a category related to expenses. They can then change the order in which those collections appear and the order of the apps bundled in those collections.Admins can now publish a private Android app directly from an EMM Admin console. Simply upload the APK and give the app a title. It will then appear in the managed Play store —  within minutes as opposed to the hours previously required by using the Google Play Console.Admins can also distribute web applications to their managed Google Play store—these run in a standalone mode in Chrome and provide similar functionality to a dedicated Android app. The UI can be customized to fill the entire screen or show the device’s navigation bars.Admins can publish a web app for their teams and customize display elements.Enterprise mobility developers can visit the Google Developers documentation to add the iframe to the console and get specifics on implementing app management, distribution, permissions, and other essential features. We recommend that customers contact their EMM provider to determine their support for the managed Google Play iframe. To get started with device management, explore the Android Enterprise Solutions Directory.


Coming soon to the Lone Star State: more office space and a data center

We're expanding in Texas. Austin has been home to Google for over a decade and today, we’re extending our commitment to the state with a new data center in Midlothian, and the lease of two new buildings for our Austin workforce. These new commitments are part of our larger $13 billion investment in offices and data centers across the United States, which we announced earlier this year.We’re investing $600 million to develop the Midlothian site, which will create a number of full-time jobs, as well as hundreds of construction jobs to build the new data center. As part of this investment, we’re also making a $100,000 grant to the Midlothian Independent School District to support the continued growth and development of the region’s STEM programs in schools.In Austin, we already have more than 1,100 employees working across Android, G Suite, Google Play, Cloud, staffing and recruiting, people operations, finance and marketing. As we continue to grow, we’ve leased additional office space at Block 185 and Saltillo—located in downtown Austin and east Austin, respectively—to accommodate our short and long-term growth.Our current downtown Austin office on W 2nd Street. We will maintain our presence there while expanding to new locations at Saltillo and Block 185.The Lone Star state has become a hub for tech innovation and we’ve been fortunate to be a part of its growth from the very beginning. It’s the amazing talent and spirit of work and play that brought us to Texas 12 years ago and it’s what keeps us here today. We look forward to meeting our new neighbors in the Midlothian-Dallas Metro area and we’re excited to be a part of these communities for many years to come.


A father-son team uses technology to grow a 144-year-old business

Founded in 1875, Merz Apothecary is considered a Chicago landmark. For five generations, the pharmacy has been home to a collection of unique, hard-to-find goods from all over the world. Abdul Qaiyum bought the business in 1972, managing to grow the business during a time when most independent pharmacies were giving way to large chain drug stores. Abdul’s three sons worked there growing up and today, Merz Apothecary is run by Abdul and his son, Anthony. “We’re not your traditional pharmacy,” says Anthony. “We carry everything from natural remedies to grooming products to home fragrances.”One of the secrets to their continued success? Quickly embracing the power of technology. They turned to the internet while it was still in its early days, taking their first online order in 1997 and starting an e-commerce site, smallflower.com, in 1998. In 2001 they started using Google Ads to reach customers searching for their specialty products and their business began to double. They now have 60 employees and the web continues to play a critical role in their business. A YouTube channel has expanded their reach—videos sharing fun and informative product reviews have garnered over 1.5 million views. “I view the web as a way that we can deliver what we do, to everybody,” says Anthony. “Everyone is going online searching for information all the time. Google is the place where most of that gets done, so I want to be there and I want to be seen.”Abdul & Anthony in 1973 and in 2018Check out their video to learn more about how this father-son duo continues to grow a business and preserve an American landmark.


Why giving blood matters, and how you can help

My father was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as a teenager. He spent most of his life on insulin, until he went into kidney failure when I was four years old. After years on the donor list, a kidney and pancreas became available. He received seven blood transfusions in his 14-hour surgery. But two years later, his body rejected the kidney and he was back to square one. Through the kindness of his brother who was a match, my father received his second kidney transplant, along with several pints of blood. Without blood donors, my father wouldn’t have survived those surgeries and might not be alive today, 20 years later.Katen and her dadMy father's journey has made me passionate about ensuring that people like him have access to blood when they need it. Although 45 percent of Americans have been personally affected by blood donation, only 3 percent of Americans regularly donate blood.I’m personally unable to donate blood, but I’ve found another way to give back to the cause: organizing blood drives at Google. Through my work organizing 20 blood drives, I’ve encountered countless others who have personal ties to blood donation, including Googlers like Daniel Otts, who regularly donates blood in memory of his son Ferris who required plasma infusions after being born prematurely. Losing Ferris forever changed Daniel’s outlook on blood donation. “I remember how thankful I was that someone, an anonymous stranger, had given of themselves so unselfishly for the benefit of someone else, quite possibly in a life or death situation,” Daniel told me.Through these drives, we’ve collected thousands of pints of blood. And through Google’s partnership with the American Red Cross, which uses Google Maps Platform to help people find a blood drive near them, we’ve reached thousands more people across the U.S.This technology also helped Temie Giwa-Tubosun, a Nigerian native and founder of LifeBank, an app that uses Google Maps Platform to connect blood banks with drivers, hospitals, and patients in need. To date, Temie’s app has drastically cut delivery time of blood from 24 hours to less than 45 minutes and helped save more than 4,000 lives.Through my own experience, I know how important it is to give blood. And Daniel and Temie are proof of that, too. On World Blood Donor Day, we hope you’ll visit the Red Cross site to find a blood drive near you and plan your donation.


Banks, governments and tech need to work together to digitize economies and increase financial inclusion

Editor’s note: This article is a condensed version of a speech Caesar gave at the G20 Finance Leaders Meeting in Japan on Saturday, June 8, 2019.Let me introduce you to Vijay Babu. Vijay owns a small laundry shop in Bangalore, India. He can’t read or write, but he was eager to go digital to cater to smartphone savvy millennials.Vijay Babu used Google Pay, formerly known as Tez in India, to help grow his business.A year ago, he would have to pay $100 for a credit card terminal, deal with cumbersome printed receipts, and wait days to get paid. That’s no longer the case.  Vijay Babu’s daughter helped him set up Google Pay on his Android smartphone. Today, he’s able to keep track of his transactions better, accept payments remotely and build relationships with his customers through Google Pay’s chat-based interface.I believe technology is about solving the big problems, not just for a few, but for everyone.That’s more possible today than ever before because of the smartphone. Smartphones are likely the first electronic device that all of humanity will possess. There are about four billion internet users in the world today, with another one billion coming online in the next few years. Almost all of them will be using smartphones. And here’s what’s amazing about the smartphone in your pocket: Today, it has more computing power and access to information than NASA had in 1969 when they put a man on the moon.One of the biggest opportunities in front of us is how we apply that technology to the world of money. Whether you are an individual, a business or a country, your ability to access modern financial systems is pivotal to your success.Unfortunately, in today’s smartphone-enabled, always connected world, payments don’t work for everyone. Younger demographics find banking experiences too antiquated. A recent study showed that 48 percent of millennials in the U.S, are considering moving to a digital only bank, and one in three millennials plan to switch banks in the next 90 days.On the other hand, there are 2.5 billion adults in the world who are unbanked or underbanked—and the majority of them are women. This lack of access has huge implications for families, children, commerce and society at large. Besides consumers, payment challenges have an outsized impact on small businesses, the backbone of every economy.We need to use technology and deploy it at scale to solve these hard and real problems. Doing so will help move countries from cash to digital, accelerate economic growth, and drive financial inclusion in economies.At Google, building for everyone is a core philosophy. We know that we do better when everyone is invited in. Because Android is open source, there are 2.5 billion active Android devices today, made by over 1,300 different companies. And because Android is an open ecosystem, there are more than one million apps on the Google Play store. It took a global community to put smartphones in everyone’s hands. Today, it’s time for that global community to come together again to digitize economies.Caesar Sengupta speaking at the G20 Finance Leaders Meeting in Japan about how tech, governments and banks serve people better when they work together.There's a popular but deeply mistaken belief that companies and banks are rivals that are working against each other. We believe that when tech and banks work together as partners, they're better able to help people.For Google, partnering with banks helps us build products that work for everyone. By using our global infrastructure and technology platform to connect more customers to a formal financial system, we can support governments as they move societies from cash to digital and transform economies.Four years ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a Digital India. We supported the Indian government and financial institutions in realizing their vision for payments. With Google tech and our knowledge of user experience, we created a simple payments app to work on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), India’s real-time payments ecosystem. Since the launch of Google Pay in India (formerly known as Tez), transactions on UPI have increased 43 times, reaching 734 million transactions in May. Now, the cumulative value has overtaken that of credit and debit cards in India.Google Pay has grown together with the rest of the digital payments ecosystem in India. Now, two out of every three transactions on Google Pay in India take place outside of India’s top six cities in more than 300,000 towns and villages across India made by millions of people like Vijay every day.Stories like Vijay’s are examples of what is possible when governments, finance and tech work together. Together, we can and absolutely must empower billions more.