Thursday, July 11, 2019

“Julián Castro is winning the Democratic debate — at least on Google - The Week Magazine” plus 1 more

“Julián Castro is winning the Democratic debate — at least on Google - The Week Magazine” plus 1 more


Julián Castro is winning the Democratic debate — at least on Google - The Week Magazine

Posted: 26 Jun 2019 12:00 AM PDT

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has made enemies of a few more Democratic newcomers.

In an interview with The New York Times published Saturday, Pelosi pushed back against Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Ohmar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) for their opposition to a largely bipartisan border spending bill, referring to them just "four people." Now, Ocasio-Cortez has suggested there's a racial motivation to Pelosi's words.

Pelosi has often rejected the will of progressive newcomers, and in an interview with The Washington Post published Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez said she "understood" that was "to protect more moderate members." But this "persistent singling out" has become "just outright disrespectful . . . the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color," Ocasio-Cortez added.

Ocasio-Cortez's comment comes after she and her self-described "squad" pushed for amendments to a Republican-led bill that directed emergency funding to the border, received some compromises, and still voted against it. The bill still passed because despite having "their public whatever and their Twitter world," the freshmen representatives are just "four people and that's how many votes they got," Pelosi told The New York Times. Pelosi also reportedly told a closed-door meeting Wednesday that Democrats can't just "tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just okay," per the Post.

Yet as Politico Playbook describes it, Pelosi's words weren't meant as an insult. To Pelosi, "if you are one person who controls 20 votes, you're powerful," and everyone else is just a "normal member," Politico writes. Those supposedly offensive comments, as Politico puts it, are simply "a reflection of a reality under which [Pelosi] operates." Kathryn Krawczyk

Google uses humans to review Google Assistant queries - CNET

Posted: 11 Jul 2019 07:29 AM PDT

google-home-mini-11

Google Assistant is accurate and there's a reason why. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Google Assistant is the most accurate voice assistant on the market, beating out Samsung's Bixby, Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri. A new report says the company has humans listening to recorded search queries to help improve the accuracy of its assistant. 

A contractor provided Belgium-based VRT NWS with more than a thousand recordings of people using Google Home and the Google Assistant app to answer questions and conduct searches, the news outlet reported Thursday. There were also recordings from when the assistant was accidentally triggered. 

The Google contractor says the job entails listening to the recordings to check the accuracy of the assistant listening to users speaking in Dutch. Contractors review the script of the recorded query and confirm it matches with the voice recording. There are reportedly thousands of Google employees worldwide listening to audio excerpts via a secure login in the company's Crowdsource app.

Now playing: Watch this: A faster Google Assistant will help you decide what to...

4:45

In response to the report, Google says that these contractors listen to 0.2% of all recordings and that user accounts aren't associated with the recordings.

"These language experts review and transcribe a small set of queries to help us better understand those languages," David Monsees, product manager for Google Search, said in a blog post Thursday. "This is a critical part of the process of building speech technology, and is necessary to creating products like the Google Assistant." 

Monsees says the contractor violated the company's data security policies and there is an investigation underway. 

When setting up a Google account, the option for voice and audio activity is set to off by default. Users have to opt in to store recordings on the account, and there's a disclosure that the recordings could be used to improve the speech systems.

In April, a report found Amazon uses human workers to listen to Alexa recordings to improve Alexa's accuracy. 

Originally published July 11 at 7:29 a.m. PT.
Update 8:08 a.m. PT: Adds Google comment.

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“Julián Castro is winning the Democratic debate — at least on Google - The Week Magazine” plus 1 more


Julián Castro is winning the Democratic debate — at least on Google - The Week Magazine

Posted: 26 Jun 2019 12:00 AM PDT

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has made enemies of a few more Democratic newcomers.

In an interview with The New York Times published Saturday, Pelosi pushed back against Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Ohmar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) for their opposition to a largely bipartisan border spending bill, referring to them just "four people." Now, Ocasio-Cortez has suggested there's a racial motivation to Pelosi's words.

Pelosi has often rejected the will of progressive newcomers, and in an interview with The Washington Post published Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez said she "understood" that was "to protect more moderate members." But this "persistent singling out" has become "just outright disrespectful . . . the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color," Ocasio-Cortez added.

Ocasio-Cortez's comment comes after she and her self-described "squad" pushed for amendments to a Republican-led bill that directed emergency funding to the border, received some compromises, and still voted against it. The bill still passed because despite having "their public whatever and their Twitter world," the freshmen representatives are just "four people and that's how many votes they got," Pelosi told The New York Times. Pelosi also reportedly told a closed-door meeting Wednesday that Democrats can't just "tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just okay," per the Post.

Yet as Politico Playbook describes it, Pelosi's words weren't meant as an insult. To Pelosi, "if you are one person who controls 20 votes, you're powerful," and everyone else is just a "normal member," Politico writes. Those supposedly offensive comments, as Politico puts it, are simply "a reflection of a reality under which [Pelosi] operates." Kathryn Krawczyk

Google uses humans to review Google Assistant queries - CNET

Posted: 11 Jul 2019 07:29 AM PDT

google-home-mini-11

Google Assistant is accurate and there's a reason why. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Google Assistant is the most accurate voice assistant on the market, beating out Samsung's Bixby, Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri. A new report says the company has humans listening to recorded search queries to help improve the accuracy of its assistant. 

A contractor provided Belgium-based VRT NWS with more than a thousand recordings of people using Google Home and the Google Assistant app to answer questions and conduct searches, the news outlet reported Thursday. There were also recordings from when the assistant was accidentally triggered. 

The Google contractor says the job entails listening to the recordings to check the accuracy of the assistant listening to users speaking in Dutch. Contractors review the script of the recorded query and confirm it matches with the voice recording. There are reportedly thousands of Google employees worldwide listening to audio excerpts via a secure login in the company's Crowdsource app.

Now playing: Watch this: A faster Google Assistant will help you decide what to...

4:45

In response to the report, Google says that these contractors listen to 0.2% of all recordings and that user accounts aren't associated with the recordings.

"These language experts review and transcribe a small set of queries to help us better understand those languages," David Monsees, product manager for Google Search, said in a blog post Thursday. "This is a critical part of the process of building speech technology, and is necessary to creating products like the Google Assistant." 

Monsees says the contractor violated the company's data security policies and there is an investigation underway. 

When setting up a Google account, the option for voice and audio activity is set to off by default. Users have to opt in to store recordings on the account, and there's a disclosure that the recordings could be used to improve the speech systems.

In April, a report found Amazon uses human workers to listen to Alexa recordings to improve Alexa's accuracy. 

Originally published July 11 at 7:29 a.m. PT.
Update 8:08 a.m. PT: Adds Google comment.

$69

CNET may get a commission from retail offers.

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