Google is introducing new features to its Trips tool that will make it easier for you to keep track of your travel plans. When you're putting a trip together, you might end up juggling a lot of information like flights that you're keeping an eye on, hotel options and restaurants or sites you're interested in visiting. Beginning in October, Your Trips will help you manage all of that info, organizing what you've saved and searched for and letting you resume planning where you left off. Additionally, Google will assist with your planning, surfacing things to do, day plans and travel articles in Search that will become more customized as you settle your dates and hotels reservations. Further, while Google already announced it would be helping users determine whether flights they find during Thanksgiving are decently priced, it will now expand that tool to Christmas and New Year's travel times as well.
With Google's I/O developer conference kicking off later today, Google is setting the scene for what it expects to be one of the big themes of the event: artificial intelligence. Today, the company rebranded the whole of its Google Research division as Google AI, with the old Google Research site now directing to a newly expanded Google AI site. Google has over the years worked on a wide variety of other computing pursuits beyond AI, and all of that content will continue to exist within that new site, the company said. But the move signals how Google has increasingly focused a lot of its R&D on breaking new ground across the many facets of AI specifically, from technologies like computer vision, natural language processing, and neural networks, through to applications across virtually any and every business that Google currently and potentially touches, such as video, search and mobile apps, but also healthcare, automotive applications and other verticals. That's not just Google reflecting how the wider world of tech is evolving; it's also a measure of how much Google has influenced it.
Scholars and academics were handed sponsorship cash to produce papers that supported Google's business and its policy goals in an attempt to curry favour with and influence the public, the research by the US-based Campaign for Accountability (CfA) said. It cited studies by academics at Oxford and Edinburgh universities among those receiving payment from Google, either directly or indirectly. The report stated: "While some individual papers offered criticisms of Google, the overwhelming majority tended to support the company's policy or legal positions." An in-depth examination by the Google Transparency Project identified 329 research papers published between 2005 and 2017 on public policy matters of interest to Google that were in some way funded by the company. In more than half of those cases (54%), academics were directly funded by Google, the watchdog said.