Tag Archives: Google in Asia

Science Playground now open to kids in Seoul

Starting this week, families visiting the Gwacheon National Science Museum in Seoul can drop by the new Science Playground to dabble in activities and experiments where the young—and young at heart—can get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a scientist or an engineer.

Have a look around the playground and some of the fun things you can learn to design and build here:

The “playground”—a beautiful light-filled glass structure with a fantastic view of the museum’s garden—offers four different programs throughout the week:

  • “Challenge! 3D Modeling” — try your hand at 3D printing
  • “PLAY Block Coding” — get an introduction to robotics with LEGO’s WeDo Construction Set
  • “Hello Coding” — this is a crash course on the Scratch programming language, and the principles behind algorithms and coding
  • “Mission Robotics!” — experience robotics engineering and problem-solving using a VEX IQ kit

Want to experience this for yourself? Check out the schedule and sign-up form here. Classes will be offered for free until the end of May; after that, it’s KRW5,000 (about 5 USD) per family.

Since the Children’s Makerspace opened last year, we've seen thousands of kids come up with creative ideas on what they can do with technology. Together with the new Science Playground—both of which were made possible through a partnership with the Gwacheon National Science Museum and a grant from Google.org—we’re excited to see what the kids will come up with next!

Science Playground now open to kids in Seoul

Starting this week, families visiting the Gwacheon National Science Museum in Seoul can drop by the new Science Playground to dabble in activities and experiments where the young—and young at heart—can get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a scientist or an engineer.

Have a look around the playground and some of the fun things you can learn to design and build here:

The “playground”—a beautiful light-filled glass structure with a fantastic view of the museum’s garden—offers four different programs throughout the week:

  • “Challenge! 3D Modeling” — try your hand at 3D printing
  • “PLAY Block Coding” — get an introduction to robotics with LEGO’s WeDo Construction Set
  • “Hello Coding” — this is a crash course on the Scratch programming language, and the principles behind algorithms and coding
  • “Mission Robotics!” — experience robotics engineering and problem-solving using a VEX IQ kit

Want to experience this for yourself? Check out the schedule and sign-up form here. Classes will be offered for free until the end of May; after that, it’s KRW5,000 (about 5 USD) per family.

Since the Children’s Makerspace opened last year, we've seen thousands of kids come up with creative ideas on what they can do with technology. Together with the new Science Playground—both of which were made possible through a partnership with the Gwacheon National Science Museum and a grant from Google.org—we’re excited to see what the kids will come up with next!

Science Playground now open to kids in Seoul

Starting this week, families visiting the Gwacheon National Science Museum in Seoul can drop by the new Science Playground to dabble in activities and experiments where the young—and young at heart—can get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a scientist or an engineer.

Have a look around the playground and some of the fun things you can learn to design and build here:

The “playground”—a beautiful light-filled glass structure with a fantastic view of the museum’s garden—offers four different programs throughout the week:

  • “Challenge! 3D Modeling” — try your hand at 3D printing
  • “PLAY Block Coding” — get an introduction to robotics with LEGO’s WeDo Construction Set
  • “Hello Coding” — this is a crash course on the Scratch programming language, and the principles behind algorithms and coding
  • “Mission Robotics!” — experience robotics engineering and problem-solving using a VEX IQ kit

Want to experience this for yourself? Check out the schedule and sign-up form here. Classes will be offered for free until the end of May; after that, it’s KRW5,000 (about 5 USD) per family.

Since the Children’s Makerspace opened last year, we've seen thousands of kids come up with creative ideas on what they can do with technology. Together with the new Science Playground—both of which were made possible through a partnership with the Gwacheon National Science Museum and a grant from Google.org—we’re excited to see what the kids will come up with next!

Making the internet more inclusive in India

More than 400 million people in India use the internet, and more are coming online every day. But the vast majority of India’s online content is in English, which only 20 percent of the country’s population speaks—meaning most Indians have a hard time finding content and services in their language.

Building for everyone means first and foremost making things work in the languages people speak. That’s why we’ve now brought our new neural machine translation technology to translations between English and nine widely used Indian languages—Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.

Neural machine translation translates full sentences at a time, instead of pieces of a sentence, using this broader context to help it figure out the most relevant translation. The result is higher-quality, more human sounding translations.

Just like it’s easier to learn a language when you already know a related language, our neural technology speaks each language better when it learns several at a time. For example, we have a whole lot more sample data for Hindi than its relatives Marathi and Bengali, but when we train them all together, the translations for all improve more than if we’d trained each individually.

NMT Translation India.jpg
Left: Phrase-based translation; right: neural machine translation

These improvements to Google Translate in India join several other updates we announced at an event in New Delhi today, including neutral machine translation in Chrome and bringing the Rajpal & Sons Hindi dictionary online so it’s easier for Hindi speakers to find word meanings right in search results. All these improvements help make the web more useful for hundreds of millions of Indians, and bring them closer to benefiting from the full value of the internet.

Making the internet more inclusive in India

More than 400 million people in India use the internet, and more are coming online every day. But the vast majority of India’s online content is in English, which only 20 percent of the country’s population speaks—meaning most Indians have a hard time finding content and services in their language.

Building for everyone means first and foremost making things work in the languages people speak. That’s why we’ve now brought our new neural machine translation technology to translations between English and nine widely used Indian languages—Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.

Neural machine translation translates full sentences at a time, instead of pieces of a sentence, using this broader context to help it figure out the most relevant translation. The result is higher-quality, more human sounding translations.

Just like it’s easier to learn a language when you already know a related language, our neural technology speaks each language better when it learns several at a time. For example, we have a whole lot more sample data for Hindi than its relatives Marathi and Bengali, but when we train them all together, the translations for all improve more than if we’d trained each individually.

NMT Translation India.jpg
Left: Phrase-based translation; right: neural machine translation

These improvements to Google Translate in India join several other updates we announced at an event in New Delhi today, including neutral machine translation in Chrome and bringing the Rajpal & Sons Hindi dictionary online so it’s easier for Hindi speakers to find word meanings right in search results. All these improvements help make the web more useful for hundreds of millions of Indians, and bring them closer to benefiting from the full value of the internet.

Imperial Nepal Treks: An entrepreneur’s journey to rebuild his tourism business after the great earthquake

Two years ago, Nepal experienced its most devastating earthquake in more than 80 years. Thousands of lives were lost, and many more lost their homes and livelihoods. Slowly, the community has been able to recover and rebuild their lives and businesses. Today, we hear from Anz “Anuj” Bajracharya, Director of Treks, Tours & Mountaineering at Imperial Nepal Treks about what he remembers from the day the earthquake hit, the impact it had on his company, and how he has restored and grown the business with a little help from the Internet. 

Imperial Nepal Treks team

The Imperial Nepal Treks team. Anuj is sporting sunglasses in the front row. 

Tell us, what do you remember from April 25, 2015? 
It was a quarter to noon on a Saturday, and my family and I were going to the movies. I was driving a car in the middle of the road. First there was just a shake, then there was another quake. Then there was panic. We couldn’t go back to our homes because walls were falling down, the roads were falling down. 

For four nights, we lived in the car on the road, cut off from communication. No mobile phones, no telephones, we didn’t have any contact or way to talk to my parents or our relatives. All that time we had no information about our families and friends. It was so sad to see the destruction around us. But we were the lucky ones. The Imperial Nepal Treks team didn’t lose anyone. Everyone in my family and my wife’s family was okay. Our house didn’t totally collapse, though we eventually had to demolish it. 

Imperial Nepal Treks earthquake reconstruction
The company assisted the W-Foundation and Black Yak in distributing supplies as a part of the rebuilding effort in the earthquake epicenter of Gorkha.

What impact did the earthquake have on your business? 
Nepal’s economy heavily depends on tourism, so the earthquake affected all of us in the industry. Most of our guides were from Gorkha, the epicenter of the earthquake. And no tourist wanted to visit Nepal then, so we had to stop our business for a time. We almost gave up, but we didn’t. Slowly people from overseas started emailing us again, saying they wanted to visit Nepal. Many wanted to help with reconstruction efforts, so we helped with these campaigns. 

Imperial Nepal Treks leads a group to the Annapurna base camp
Imperial Nepal Treks leads a group to the Annapurna base camp which has an altitude of 4,130 meters (13,549 feet).
Imperial Nepal Treks' partners
Imperial Nepal Treks' partners

At the time of the earthquake, you had a team of nine people. Today, you employ 30 guides who are permanent employees. How did you rebuild and grow your business in this short time? 
Our business comes not from Nepal but from abroad—Singapore, the United States, Canada, Australia, and other countries. I knew the best way to reach people was through the Internet. 


For many visitors, their first question is, "Is it safe to go up to the mountain [Everest]?" The online community helped us recover through word of mouth, recommendations, and reassuring reviews. What our guests tell us and share with others online after finishing their trek matters a lot. 

Being found on Google Search is also important for an online-based business like ours. After the earthquake, I saw companies investing in AdWords. I talked to my partners and colleagues and said we should give it a try. We rely on online marketing to reach our customers, and AdWords is a large part of this.

Given what you’ve been through in the past two years, what’s your advice for other entrepreneurs?  
Everyone wants a quick result, but we should learn to wait and watch sometimes. Business is not always about earning money, sometimes it’s about how we pause, learn, and adapt. Before I was working for Imperial Nepal Treks, I was a professional drummer. Because tourism is such a big industry here, I adapted to the market. I changed my profession and became a website designer for tourism businesses. You don’t have to always be a professional IT person or a business person to succeed. 

What’s next for your business?
Our success with Imperial Nepal Treks really motivated us to do something new, so in 2017 we registered a new company, Ecstatic Himalaya. A lot of this is possible because of Google AdWords, which has helped grow our business. While Imperial Nepal focuses on opportunities for budget-conscious and backpacker trekkers, Ecstatic Himalaya will focus on more upscale and customizable itineraries. 

Imperial Nepal Treks: An entrepreneur’s journey to rebuild his tourism business after the great earthquake

Two years ago, Nepal experienced its most devastating earthquake in more than 80 years. Thousands of lives were lost, and many more lost their homes and livelihoods. Slowly, the community has been able to recover and rebuild their lives and businesses. Today, we hear from Anz “Anuj” Bajracharya, Director of Treks, Tours & Mountaineering at Imperial Nepal Treks about what he remembers from the day the earthquake hit, the impact it had on his company, and how he has restored and grown the business with a little help from the Internet. 

Imperial Nepal Treks team

The Imperial Nepal Treks team. Anuj is sporting sunglasses in the front row. 

Tell us, what do you remember from April 25, 2015? 
It was a quarter to noon on a Saturday, and my family and I were going to the movies. I was driving a car in the middle of the road. First there was just a shake, then there was another quake. Then there was panic. We couldn’t go back to our homes because walls were falling down, the roads were falling down. 

For four nights, we lived in the car on the road, cut off from communication. No mobile phones, no telephones, we didn’t have any contact or way to talk to my parents or our relatives. All that time we had no information about our families and friends. It was so sad to see the destruction around us. But we were the lucky ones. The Imperial Nepal Treks team didn’t lose anyone. Everyone in my family and my wife’s family was okay. Our house didn’t totally collapse, though we eventually had to demolish it. 

Imperial Nepal Treks earthquake reconstruction
The company assisted the W-Foundation and Black Yak in distributing supplies as a part of the rebuilding effort in the earthquake epicenter of Gorkha.

What impact did the earthquake have on your business? 
Nepal’s economy heavily depends on tourism, so the earthquake affected all of us in the industry. Most of our guides were from Gorkha, the epicenter of the earthquake. And no tourist wanted to visit Nepal then, so we had to stop our business for a time. We almost gave up, but we didn’t. Slowly people from overseas started emailing us again, saying they wanted to visit Nepal. Many wanted to help with reconstruction efforts, so we helped with these campaigns. 

Imperial Nepal Treks leads a group to the Annapurna base camp
Imperial Nepal Treks leads a group to the Annapurna base camp which has an altitude of 4,130 meters (13,549 feet).
Imperial Nepal Treks' partners
Imperial Nepal Treks' partners

At the time of the earthquake, you had a team of nine people. Today, you employ 30 guides who are permanent employees. How did you rebuild and grow your business in this short time? 
Our business comes not from Nepal but from abroad—Singapore, the United States, Canada, Australia, and other countries. I knew the best way to reach people was through the Internet. 


For many visitors, their first question is, "Is it safe to go up to the mountain [Everest]?" The online community helped us recover through word of mouth, recommendations, and reassuring reviews. What our guests tell us and share with others online after finishing their trek matters a lot. 

Being found on Google Search is also important for an online-based business like ours. After the earthquake, I saw companies investing in AdWords. I talked to my partners and colleagues and said we should give it a try. We rely on online marketing to reach our customers, and AdWords is a large part of this.

Given what you’ve been through in the past two years, what’s your advice for other entrepreneurs?  
Everyone wants a quick result, but we should learn to wait and watch sometimes. Business is not always about earning money, sometimes it’s about how we pause, learn, and adapt. Before I was working for Imperial Nepal Treks, I was a professional drummer. Because tourism is such a big industry here, I adapted to the market. I changed my profession and became a website designer for tourism businesses. You don’t have to always be a professional IT person or a business person to succeed. 

What’s next for your business?
Our success with Imperial Nepal Treks really motivated us to do something new, so in 2017 we registered a new company, Ecstatic Himalaya. A lot of this is possible because of Google AdWords, which has helped grow our business. While Imperial Nepal focuses on opportunities for budget-conscious and backpacker trekkers, Ecstatic Himalaya will focus on more upscale and customizable itineraries. 

Exploring the mysteries of Go with AlphaGo and China’s top players

Just over a year ago, we saw a major milestone in the field of artificial intelligence: DeepMind’s AlphaGo took on and defeated one of the world’s top Go players, the legendary Lee Sedol. Even then, we had no idea how this moment would affect the 3,000 year old game of Go and the growing global community of devotees to this beautiful board game.

Instead of diminishing the game, as some feared, artificial intelligence (A.I.) has actually made human players stronger and more creative. It’s humbling to see how pros and amateurs alike, who have pored over every detail of AlphaGo’s innovative game play, have actually learned new knowledge and strategies about perhaps the most studied and contemplated game in history. You can read more about some of these creative strategies in this blog post.
AlphaGo’s play makes us feel free, that no move is impossible. Now everyone is trying to play in a style that hasn’t been tried before. Zhou Ruiyang 9 Dan Professional

Clearly, there remains much more to learn from this partnership between Go’s best human players and its most creative A.I. competitor. That’s why we’re so excited to announce AlphaGo’s next step: a five-day festival of Go and artificial intelligence in the game's birthplace, China.

Exploring the mysteries of Go with AlphaGo and China's top players

From May 23-27, we’ll collaborate with the China Go Association and Chinese Government to bring AlphaGo, China’s top Go players, and leading A.I. experts from Google and China together in Wuzhen, one of the country’s most beautiful water towns, for the “Future of Go Summit.”

The summit will feature a variety of game formats involving AlphaGo and top Chinese players, specifically designed to explore the mysteries of the game together. The games will include:

  • “Pair Go” — A game where one Chinese pro will play against another...except they will both have their own AlphaGo teammate, alternating moves, to take the concept of ‘learning together’ quite literally.
  • “Team Go” — A game between AlphaGo and a five-player team consisting of China’s top pro players, working together to test AlphaGo’s creativity and adaptability to their combined style.
  • “Ke Jie vs AlphaGo” — Of course, the centerpiece of the event will be a classic 1:1 match of three games between AlphaGo and the world’s number one player, Ke Jie, to push AlphaGo to (...perhaps beyond!) its limits.


Sundar Pichai at Beijing Go school
On top of his excellent reading and unshakable confidence, Ke Jie is known to play with a finely balanced style, knowing intuitively when to play boldly or exercise caution. Here, Ke Jie [far right], along with Nie Weiping [next to Ke Jie], Fan Hui [standing] and Gu Li [far left], have recreated the opening moves of one of AlphaGo’s games with Lee Sedol from memory to explain the beauty of its moves to Google CEO Sundar Pichai during a visit he made to Nie Weiping’s Go school in Beijing last year.

Interspersed with the games will be a forum on the “Future of A.I.” Together with some of China’s leading experts in the field, we will explore how AlphaGo has created new knowledge about the oldest of games, and how the technologies behind AlphaGo, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, are bringing solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges into reach.

Already, some of the machine learning methods behind AlphaGo have been used to tackle significant problems, such as reducing energy use.  Machine learning technology is also at work in a series of exciting medical research projects. And across many of Google’s products, machine learning has suddenly made the impossible real—from allowing people using Google Photos to find that photo of their dog in the snow almost instantly to improving the quality of Google Translate more in a single leap than the past 10 years of improvements combined.

We’re excited to see what insights this next round of games and discussion will bring, and the challenges this will help us solve together—both on and off the Go board


Exploring the mysteries of Go with AlphaGo and China’s top players

Just over a year ago, we saw a major milestone in the field of artificial intelligence: DeepMind’s AlphaGo took on and defeated one of the world’s top Go players, the legendary Lee Sedol. Even then, we had no idea how this moment would affect the 3,000 year old game of Go and the growing global community of devotees to this beautiful board game.

Instead of diminishing the game, as some feared, artificial intelligence (A.I.) has actually made human players stronger and more creative. It’s humbling to see how pros and amateurs alike, who have pored over every detail of AlphaGo’s innovative game play, have actually learned new knowledge and strategies about perhaps the most studied and contemplated game in history. You can read more about some of these creative strategies in this blog post.
AlphaGo’s play makes us feel free, that no move is impossible. Now everyone is trying to play in a style that hasn’t been tried before. Zhou Ruiyang 9 Dan Professional

Clearly, there remains much more to learn from this partnership between Go’s best human players and its most creative A.I. competitor. That’s why we’re so excited to announce AlphaGo’s next step: a five-day festival of Go and artificial intelligence in the game's birthplace, China.

Exploring the mysteries of Go with AlphaGo and China's top players

From May 23-27, we’ll collaborate with the China Go Association and Chinese Government to bring AlphaGo, China’s top Go players, and leading A.I. experts from Google and China together in Wuzhen, one of the country’s most beautiful water towns, for the “Future of Go Summit.”

The summit will feature a variety of game formats involving AlphaGo and top Chinese players, specifically designed to explore the mysteries of the game together. The games will include:

  • “Pair Go” — A game where one Chinese pro will play against another...except they will both have their own AlphaGo teammate, alternating moves, to take the concept of ‘learning together’ quite literally.
  • “Team Go” — A game between AlphaGo and a five-player team consisting of China’s top pro players, working together to test AlphaGo’s creativity and adaptability to their combined style.
  • “Ke Jie vs AlphaGo” — Of course, the centerpiece of the event will be a classic 1:1 match of three games between AlphaGo and the world’s number one player, Ke Jie, to push AlphaGo to (...perhaps beyond!) its limits.


Sundar Pichai at Beijing Go school
On top of his excellent reading and unshakable confidence, Ke Jie is known to play with a finely balanced style, knowing intuitively when to play boldly or exercise caution. Here, Ke Jie [far right], along with Nie Weiping [next to Ke Jie], Fan Hui [standing] and Gu Li [far left], have recreated the opening moves of one of AlphaGo’s games with Lee Sedol from memory to explain the beauty of its moves to Google CEO Sundar Pichai during a visit he made to Nie Weiping’s Go school in Beijing last year.

Interspersed with the games will be a forum on the “Future of A.I.” Together with some of China’s leading experts in the field, we will explore how AlphaGo has created new knowledge about the oldest of games, and how the technologies behind AlphaGo, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, are bringing solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges into reach.

Already, some of the machine learning methods behind AlphaGo have been used to tackle significant problems, such as reducing energy use.  Machine learning technology is also at work in a series of exciting medical research projects. And across many of Google’s products, machine learning has suddenly made the impossible real—from allowing people using Google Photos to find that photo of their dog in the snow almost instantly to improving the quality of Google Translate more in a single leap than the past 10 years of improvements combined.

We’re excited to see what insights this next round of games and discussion will bring, and the challenges this will help us solve together—both on and off the Go board


Exploring the mysteries of Go with AlphaGo and China’s top players

Just over a year ago, we saw a major milestone in the field of artificial intelligence: DeepMind’s AlphaGo took on and defeated one of the world’s top Go players, the legendary Lee Sedol. Even then, we had no idea how this moment would affect the 3,000 year old game of Go and the growing global community of devotees to this beautiful board game.

Instead of diminishing the game, as some feared, artificial intelligence (A.I.) has actually made human players stronger and more creative. It’s humbling to see how pros and amateurs alike, who have pored over every detail of AlphaGo’s innovative game play, have actually learned new knowledge and strategies about perhaps the most studied and contemplated game in history. You can read more about some of these creative strategies in this blog post.
AlphaGo’s play makes us feel free, that no move is impossible. Now everyone is trying to play in a style that hasn’t been tried before. Zhou Ruiyang 9 Dan Professional

Clearly, there remains much more to learn from this partnership between Go’s best human players and its most creative A.I. competitor. That’s why we’re so excited to announce AlphaGo’s next step: a five-day festival of Go and artificial intelligence in the game's birthplace, China.

Exploring the mysteries of Go with AlphaGo and China's top players

From May 23-27, we’ll collaborate with the China Go Association and Chinese Government to bring AlphaGo, China’s top Go players, and leading A.I. experts from Google and China together in Wuzhen, one of the country’s most beautiful water towns, for the “Future of Go Summit.”

The summit will feature a variety of game formats involving AlphaGo and top Chinese players, specifically designed to explore the mysteries of the game together. The games will include:

  • “Pair Go” — A game where one Chinese pro will play against another...except they will both have their own AlphaGo teammate, alternating moves, to take the concept of ‘learning together’ quite literally.
  • “Team Go” — A game between AlphaGo and a five-player team consisting of China’s top pro players, working together to test AlphaGo’s creativity and adaptability to their combined style.
  • “Ke Jie vs AlphaGo” — Of course, the centerpiece of the event will be a classic 1:1 match of three games between AlphaGo and the world’s number one player, Ke Jie, to push AlphaGo to (...perhaps beyond!) its limits.


Sundar Pichai at Beijing Go school
On top of his excellent reading and unshakable confidence, Ke Jie is known to play with a finely balanced style, knowing intuitively when to play boldly or exercise caution. Here, Ke Jie [far right], along with Nie Weiping [next to Ke Jie], Fan Hui [standing] and Gu Li [far left], have recreated the opening moves of one of AlphaGo’s games with Lee Sedol from memory to explain the beauty of its moves to Google CEO Sundar Pichai during a visit he made to Nie Weiping’s Go school in Beijing last year.

Interspersed with the games will be a forum on the “Future of A.I.” Together with some of China’s leading experts in the field, we will explore how AlphaGo has created new knowledge about the oldest of games, and how the technologies behind AlphaGo, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, are bringing solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges into reach.

Already, some of the machine learning methods behind AlphaGo have been used to tackle significant problems, such as reducing energy use.  Machine learning technology is also at work in a series of exciting medical research projects. And across many of Google’s products, machine learning has suddenly made the impossible real—from allowing people using Google Photos to find that photo of their dog in the snow almost instantly to improving the quality of Google Translate more in a single leap than the past 10 years of improvements combined.

We’re excited to see what insights this next round of games and discussion will bring, and the challenges this will help us solve together—both on and off the Go board