Alphabet

Alphabet’s X moonshot division wants to bring AI to the electric grid

Alphabet’s X moonshot division wants to bring AI to the electric grid

Google parent Alphabet has been working on "a moonshot" for the electric grid, with a secret project in its X R&D division aiming to figure out how to make power use more stable, and more green, than it is today. The research, revealed at the White House Leaders Summit on Climate, has been underway for the past three years.

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Waymo CEO steps down: Here’s who now drives Alphabet’s autonomous car company

Waymo CEO steps down: Here’s who now drives Alphabet’s autonomous car company

Waymo's CEO is stepping down, Alphabet's autonomous car company has confirmed, with John Krafcik handing over the digital reins to the driverless vehicles to two new co-CEO instead. Dmitri Dolgov and Tekedra Mawakana - currently Waymo's COO and CTO - will both be responsible for Waymo moving forward, as the company considers how best to expand its robotaxi ride-hailing service.

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Alphabet’s next moonshot project may give you enhanced hearing

Alphabet’s next moonshot project may give you enhanced hearing

Alphabet's "moonshot factory" X is working on a new project codenamed "Wolverine," according to a new leak, and it may involve a wearable that facilitates super-hearing capabilities. The project is described as top-secret at this time and named after the popular superhero character Wolverine. The codename Wolverine wearable project reportedly picked up steam back in 2018, resulting in multiple prototypes.

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Alphabet Loon Internet balloon “Other Bet” gets grounded forever

Alphabet Loon Internet balloon “Other Bet” gets grounded forever

Google is notorious for retiring apps and services, whether those were in wide use or not. That doesn't apply to just software either and the company has sunset more than a handful of unsuccessful hardware projects that would have caused smaller companies to fold. Not Google, of course, for whom experiments, big or small, are a fact of life. The latest to join the dreaded Google Graveyard is Loon, the moonshot turned "Other Bet" that would have brought the Internet to places where towers and cables dare not go.

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Waymo drops “self-driving” term for autonomous vehicle focus

Waymo drops “self-driving” term for autonomous vehicle focus

Waymo is drawing a line in the sand for driverless terminology, announcing today that it will no longer refer to its vehicles as "self-driving" and arguing that the industry needs more consistency in how it refers to cars that can operate themselves. Though the language change may seem slight, the Alphabet-owned company concedes, it's actually key to making sure human drivers know just what is and isn't required from them in future vehicles.

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DeepMind AI makes a science-shaking protein breakthrough

DeepMind AI makes a science-shaking protein breakthrough

Alphabet's DeepMind has used its AI system to figure out a five decade old mystery in biology, the company has announced today, using AlphaFold to help understand protein behaviors. The company came to notoriety for its neural network developments, which demonstrated their human-besting capabilities in playing chess, go, and shogi.

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Waymo self-driving taxi service opens up for public rides

Waymo self-driving taxi service opens up for public rides

Waymo's driverless taxi service is opening up to the public, exiting beta in Phoenix, AZ and allowing Waymo One members to book the autonomous minivans. The Waymo Driver, as the Alphabet company describes its self-driving tech, has until now been providing rides for a small subset of Waymo One users, and Waymo has been careful to prevent those riders from talking about the experience.

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Verily’s new insurance subsidiary will leverage its health gadgets

Verily’s new insurance subsidiary will leverage its health gadgets

Alphabet's Verily has announced plans to launch Coefficient, a health insurance subsidiary that will eventually leverage Verily's various technologies and health-related devices. The insurance subsidiary will be backed by Swiss Re Group's Swiss Re Corporate Solutions commercial insurance unit. According to Verily, its Coefficient will, among other things, offer 'novel insurance and payment models.'

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Alphabet reportedly buying Focals smart glasses maker North

Alphabet reportedly buying Focals smart glasses maker North

AR-powered smart glasses are one of those technologies that sound and look great on Tony Stark but are a far cry from being an actual profitable product, be it in retail or even in industrial applications. Smart glasses are hard to get right, both in actual implementation but also in marketing. Even Google practically gave up on its Google Glass but now parent company Alphabet may be trying to take another stab at it by buying North, maker of wearables including the Focals smart glasses.

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Google Sidewalk Labs pulls out of Toronto, COVID-19 to blame

Google Sidewalk Labs pulls out of Toronto, COVID-19 to blame

Just over two years ago, Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs announced they'd be attempting to develop a smart future neighborhood in the area known as Quayside, on Toronto's waterfront. Today it was announced that Sidewalk Labs will no longer be moving forward with the project. The Waterfront Toronto board chair Stephen Diamond released a statement on the subject this afternoon. "Waterfront Toronto has been informed that Sidewalk Labs is withdrawing from our planned redevelopment of Quayside on Toronto's waterfront."

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Waymo Open Dataset Challenges make a game out of driverless car sensors

Waymo Open Dataset Challenges make a game out of driverless car sensors

Waymo has thrown open its latest self-driving car data set, inviting autonomous vehicle researchers to take part in a set of competitions based on the plentiful data gathered by its driverless fleet. The Waymo Open Dataset Challenges comes as the Google spin-off adds 800 new segments to its multi-sensor dataset, and it could come as a good distraction if you're stuck at home because of coronavirus self-isolation.

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Verily COVID-19 website will screen eligible testing candidates

Verily COVID-19 website will screen eligible testing candidates

Staying at home and social distancing are good measures to prevent further spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus but it is only a stopgap measure. One important weapon against the disease is actually knowing who is infected to be able to give them proper care and stop the virus from contaminating others. Resources for testing, both kits and healthcare workers carrying out the procedures, are spread thin. To help at least whittle down potential candidates to eligible recipients, Alphabet's Verily subsidiary is launching an online tool to help screen for high-risk individuals in San Francisco.

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