Google has announced some changes coming to existing features. Google is continuing to invest heavily into AI across all of their services. Here we will be discussing the new changes coming to Google’s own news feed, and Google’s very important Google Public Alerts.
Last year Google delivered a new way to discover new updates on Google without needing to type in a search query. This is very much Google’s answer to Facebook and Twitter. Social media today is one of the fastest and easiest ways to dynamically keep up to date with things that interest you. It’s something that Google was very aware of. Facebook and Twitter have feeds that are constantly supplying fresh news content on topics that the user is interested in and has chosen to follow. Google is now launching a huge update to Google’s “Google Feed”.
Firstly this feature is undergoing a complete rebrand. The name is being changed to ‘Discover’, and the UI is getting a clean new look. New headers will explain why you’re seeing a particular card in Discover. There will be sections on the bottom of the screen. Discover, search, and updates. Discover will provide you with new relevant content that you can find. Next to the content will be a ‘Discover’ icon that you can click on to follow that topic if it strikes an interest to you. Search will allow you to search for topics and content of your interest. Updates will be new content from everything you follow.
Discover will have a heavy emphasis on visual content. New relevant videos and article thumbnails will populate your screen in a tidy manner resulting in a user-friendly experience. Content wouldn’t always have to be new to the web but will be new to you, depending on the context. For example, if you’re looking to go on holiday, discover could suggest blog posts on great places to visit or eat that are months old. If the content is still valid, it could serve a great purpose to you as a new user to that topic and piece of content.
Using Google’s new knowledge graph layer, ‘Topic Layer’, Discover will understand your level of knowledge on a topic and help you further develop that knowledge. For example, if you’re a beginner at cooking, it will suggest basic recipes. Whereas if you’re an expert at cooking, you will see more advanced recipes.
Discover will learn about your interests, your skills and skill level, and then plan the next step for you. Discover is about you, which is why Google is bringing more ways to customise your news feed.
To see less content on a topic, tap the control icon and *poof* the post will disappear and you should start seeing that topic on your news feed less often. This ensures that you’re seeing the content that you care about. The last thing you want is to have a news feed polluted with content that means nothing to you.
Discover will also support multiple languages, making it more useful to people who speak more than one language. Discover will give you the ability to change languages for each topic. So if you like reading the news in English but cooking recipes in Spanish, you have the freedom to do that.
Discover will be making its way to mobile devices on google.com. This allows you to discover content whilst you are searching. This will make it easier to keep up with your interests and even give you the inspiration to search for more things.
Google Public Alerts has been helping people in flood crisis for years now. Google has reported that their service has been viewed 1.5billion times. Google are now investing in this feature further using AI to forecast and simulate floods.
Using flood forecasting will allow victims and authorities to prepare, ultimately saving lives. Google has stated that flood forecasting hasn’t been accurate in many locations which is why they are putting a lot of resources behind AI that can intelligently forecast floods using a range of factors.
AI will consider
Flood forecasting AI can judge whether a flood is likely in that location based off of precise data. From there, Google generates maps and run thousands of simulations in each location. With this information, Google can predict when and where the flood will occur and the severity of it.
Google has started using these efforts in India, a place that encounters 20% of the global flood-related incidents. Google has partnered up with India’s central water commision to get the data they need to roll out early local flood warnings. The first alert went out this month in the Patna region after heavy rainfall hit the region.
Google has stated that they plan to start rolling this technology out to other countries soon.
Google is continuing to invest and innovate across all of their wide assets to ensure that people can enjoy content easier, and are safe in dangerous regions of the world.