It’s recently been reported that Google are using machine learning and AI software to better detect breaking news. Through utilising such technologies, the tech giant has claimed it can identify pressing news around the topic of crises – e.g. natural disasters – faster than it ever has before.
This news come from Google’s vice president of search Pandu Nayak, revealing that through such systems, Google is able to detect breaking news in a matter of minutes – an impressive advancement from its detection of the same type of content just a few years ago, in which it would take 40 minutes.
Having a faster detection of breaking news will most likely be essential as incidents of natural disasters present themselves across the world – and of which can change course considerably quickly. Faster detection of accurate breaking news can help to keep people up to date on the latest from emerging crises.
Nayak states: “Over the past few years, we’ve improved our systems to … ensure we’re returning the most authoritative information available,”
“As news is developing, the freshest information published to the web isn’t always the most accurate or trustworthy, and people’s need for information can accelerate faster than facts can materialise.”
In a related vein, Google has also announced updates in their attempts to tackle the spread of misinformation. The tech giant have recently launched an update with the help of BERT-based language understanding models, improving how they match news stories with the fact checks available.
As claimed by Nayak, their systems have improved, and now understand better whether fact check claims are related to a new piece’s topic.
“Our improvements in detecting crisis events expands on our work in 2017 to improve the quality of results for topics that might be susceptible to hateful, offensive and misleading information.”
“Those improvements remain fundamental to how we handle low-quality information in Search and News products, and since then, we’ve continuously updated our systems to be able to detect topic areas that may be at risk for misinformation. We’re continuing to train and test out systems to ensure that whatever people are searching for, they can find reliable information.”
This news from Google comes at an apt time, with the U.S. 2020 election nearing alongside such recent natural disasters as the Oregon and California wildfires – all amidst an everchanging backdrop of COVID-related updates regarding rules, regulations and infection rates. Fast and accurate information surrounding crucial, often quick-changing updates is arguably needed now more than ever.