For the past 15 years, the Google Faculty Research Award Program has helped support world-class technical research in computer science, engineering, and related fields, funding over 2000 academics at ~400 Universities in 50+ countries since its inception. As Google Research continues to evolve, we continually explore new ways to improve our support of the broader research community, specifically on how to support new faculty while also strengthening our existing collaborations .
To achieve this goal, we are introducing two new programs aimed at diversifying our support across a larger community. Moving forward, these programs will replace the Faculty Research Award program, allowing us to better engage with, and support, up-and-coming researchers:
The Research Scholar Program supports early-career faculty (those who have received their doctorate within the past 7 years) who are doing impactful research in fields relevant to Google, and is intended to help to develop new collaborations and encourage long term relationships. This program will be open for applications in Fall 2020, and we encourage submissions from faculty at universities around the world.
We will also be piloting the Award for Inclusion Research Program, which will recognize and support research that addresses the needs of historically underrepresented populations. This Summer we will invite faculty—both directly and via their institutions—to submit their research proposals for consideration later this year, and we will notify award recipients by year's end.
Year after year, we hear from conference attendees that it's not just the content they came for, it's the connections. Meeting new people, getting new perspectives, making new friends (and sometimes hiring them!) is a big part of KubeCon Life. We want to make sure that the Kubecon community is welcoming to people from diverse backgrounds but just being welcoming is not enough: we have to actually do the work to help people get through the door.
The easiest way to help people get through the door is through diversity scholarships. One of the biggest blockers to full participation in our community is just having the resources to get to the room where it happens, and a diversity scholarship—not just a ticket, but travel assistance too—helps increase participation.
Dope. @googlecloud went swagless this Kubecon and sending the funds to the Kubecon diversity scholarship for Barcelona.
This Kubecon we want you to take away the really important things from the conference: new knowledge and new connections... not just another pen or plastic doodad. (Although to be fair, we will also have plenty of stickers... stickers aren't swag, they're an essential part of Kubecon!)
Google prides itself on being a data-driven company, so when we need to decide where we can spend our dollars to make the most impact and do the most good for the Kubecon community, we turn to the data. We know there is an issue from the CNCF KubeCon report in Seattle 2018 reporting in 11% women (and that’s not even a complete diversity metric). Now looking at the things conference attendees have told us they value about Kubecon, we put together this handy chart to help us guide our decision-making:
Travel + Conf Ticket Scholarship
Face to face learning
OSS community building
We also need to consider externalities when we make our decisions—and going #swagless and dedicating those resources to improving the conversation and community at Kubecon has some positive externalities: less plastic (and lighter luggage going home) is better for the planet, too!
If our work to support diversity and inclusion at Kubecon has inspired you and you want to know what your org can do to participate, there is plenty of room in the #swagless tent for everyone—redirect your swag budget to D&I efforts. Shoutouts to conference organizers like SpringOne that went totally swagless this year!
Our commitment to a welcoming environment and a diverse community doesn't stop at getting people in the door: we also need to work on inclusion. Our diversity lunch and hack is a place where people can:
Build their skills through pair programming
Get installation help
Do deep-dives on k8s topics
Connect with others in the community
Our diversity lunch isn't just talking about diversity: it's about working towards diversity through skill-building and creating stronger community bonds. Register here!
We welcomed 220 friends and allies in Barcelona and expect to continue the sold-out streak in San Diego (get your ticket now)!
3: Redirecting Even More
But wait, there's more! We're not just going #swagless, we're also redirecting all the hands-on workshop registration fees ($50) from Anthos Day, Anthos&GKE Lab, OSS: Agones, Knative, and Kubeflow to the diversity scholarship fund. You can build a stronger, more diverse community while you build your skills—a total twofer. (And our workshops are also walking the walk of inclusion by being accessible themselves: if you need support to attend a workshop, whether financial or physical, send us a note.
Also, one of the best things any company can do to drive D&I is to hire people who will help your company become more diverse, whether as a consultant to help you build your program, or as a team member who will help you bring a wider perspective to your product! Come meet a Googler at any of the activities we are doing during the week to discuss jobs at Google Cloud: g.co/Kubecon. By: Paris Pittman, Google Open Source
“I was able to make my first contribution yesterday, and today it was merged. I'm so excited about my first steps in open source", a participant said about the First Summit for Open Source Contributors, which took place this September in Guadalajara, México.
How do you involve others in open source? How can we make this space more inclusive for groups with low representation in the field?
With these questions in mind and the call to contribute to software that is powering the world's favorite products, Google partnered with Software Guru magazine, Wizeline Academy, OSOM (a consortium started by Googler, Griselda Cuevas, to engage more Mexican developers in open source), IBM, Intel, Salesforce and Indeed to organize the First Summit for Open Source Contributors in Mexico. The Apache Software Foundation and the CNCF were some of the organizations that sponsored the conference. The event consisted of two days of training and presentations on a selection of open source projects, including Apache Beam, Gnome, Node JS, Istio, Kubernetes, Firefox, Drupal, and others. Through 19 workshops, participants were able to learn about the state of open source in Latin America, and also get dedicated coaching and hands-on practice to become active contributors in OSS. While unpaid, these collaborations represent the most popular way of learning to code and building a portfolio for young professionals, or people looking to do a career shift towards tech.
As reported by many advocacy groups in the past few years, diversity remains a big debt in the tech industry. Only an average of 8.4% of employees in ten of the leading tech companies are Latinx(1). The gap is even bigger in open source software, where only 2.6% of committers to Apache projects are Latinx(2). Diversity in tech is not just the right thing to do, it is also good business: bringing more diverse participation in software development will result in more inclusive and successful products, that serve a more comprehensive set of use cases and needs in any given population.
While representation numbers in the creation of software are still looking grim, the use of OSS is growing fast: It is estimated that Cloud and big-data OSS technologies will grow five times by 2025 in Latin America. The main barrier for contributing? Language.
The First Summit for Open Source Contributors set out to close this fundamental gap between tech users and its makers. To tackle this problem, we created, in partnership with other companies, 135 hours of content in Spanish for 481 participants, which produced over 200 new contributors across 19 open source projects. When asked why contributions from the region are so low, 41% of participants said it was due to lack of awareness, and 34% said they thought their contributions were not valuable. After the event, 47% of participants reported that the workshops and presentations provided them with information or guidance on how to contribute to specific projects, and 39% said the event helped them to lose fear and contribute. Almost 100% of participants stated that they plan to continue contributing to Open Source in the near future… and if they do, they would raise representation of Latinx in Open Source to 10%.
This event left us with a lot of hope for the future of diversity and inclusion in open source. Going forward, we hope to continue supporting this summit in Latin America, and look for ways of reproducing this model in other regions of the world, as well as designing proactive outreach campaigns in other formats.
The Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference is taking place in Lyon, France, which the Google Open Source Programs Office is sponsoring. The Linux Foundation supports shared technology through open source, while the conference provides a space for developers and technologists in open source to meet, network, and share knowledge with one another in order to advance the community. Why is this of utmost importance to Google OSS? Google has been rooted in the open source community for many years, supporting programs, projects, and organizations to help advance open source software and technology—we understand the necessity of sustaining open source and the developer community in order to advance technology as a whole.
Sponsoring OSSEU is more than just providing funds, but really pushing the diversity initiative in open source. We need diversity across all levels in open source whether it’s contributors, maintainers, doc writers, or anyone supporting the project. As said recently by the Open Source Initiative, “Many perspectives makes better software.” Having previously funded diversity initiatives such as scholarships or lunches at OSS conferences, Google continues to support this cause by sponsoring the diversity lunch at OSSEU.
In particular, sessions and events that Google will be hosting while at OSSEU include a keynote on Documentation by Megan Byrd-Sanicki and the Women in Open Source Lunch, both on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. The keynote on Docs highlights the importance of doc stars and why their contributions are essential to the growth of the open source community. Our support of the women in open source lunch is especially important as we look to increase the diversity of the open source community by supporting women and non-binary persons to get more involved and have the opportunity to connect with each other at an event of this scale.
If you’re attending OSSEU, stop by the keynote, and we hope to see you at the lunch as well. If you aren’t attending this year, and are interested in getting more involved in the open source community, the summits hosted by the Linux Foundation are one of the best ways to learn more about OSS and meet passionate people involved in different OSS projects and organizations.
Once a year, we invite community organizers and influencers from developer groups that support diversity and inclusion in their local tech ecosystem to the Women Techmakers Summit Europe. The Women Techmakers Summit is designed to provide training opportunities, share best practices, show success stories and build meaningful relationships. The fourth edition of the WTM Summit in Europe took place in Warsaw, one of Europe’s most innovative tech and startup ecosystems.
Such positive energy! All 120 attendees of the WTM Summit Europe 2019
Expertise from the Community for the Community
The Women Techmakers Summit hosted 120 people, all women and men that are leading tech communities across Europe. With more than half of the sessions being delivered by community influencers, the group came together to share their best practices, learn from each other and discuss all things related to diversity & inclusion. “A fantastic opportunity to meet other community organizers across Europe and learn from each other.”
We also invited role models to draw inspiration and motivation from. Head of Google for Startups, Agnieszka Hryniewicz-Bieniek, and Cloud Engineer, Ewa Maciaś, demonstrated that stepping out of our comfort zone is something we should do more and more. No one has the right answers from the start but by trying out new ways, we can carve our individual paths. Fear of failure is real. It should not keep us from experimenting, though.
Google’s Natalie Villalobos, head of the Women Techmakers program, and Emma Haruka Iwao, record breaker for calculating the most accurate value of Pi with Google Cloud, gave a glimpse into their personal stories. Their insights? Sometimes we need to go through hard times. They equipped us with the right mindset to push through, become your boss and succeed.
This left the attendees with the right motivation to get back to their communities: “This was my first WTM Summit, and it was an incredible experience. I met some amazing ladies and role models, and will be happy to share the inspiration I got with my local community.”
Googler Emma Haruka Iwao sharing her journey to break the world record for calculating the most accurate value of Pi
Building the Basis for Diversity and Inclusion
“Being at the WTM Summit felt like being inside a family. I felt really included like at no conference before." To make everyone feel welcome, a code of conduct was visible for all attendees, and prayers and parents spaces were provided for all attendees. The itself needed to become the inspiration for community organizers and influencers to carry the learnings back to the communities.
Organizers working together to develop best practices to foster diversity and inclusion in their tech communities
Women Techmakers: Changing the Narrative
One of the core elements of Women Techmakers is creating and providing community for women in tech. Women Techmakers Ambassadors thrive diversity and inclusion initiatives in their local tech community to help to bring more women into the industry. In Europe, more than 150 WTM Ambassadors from 25 countries support their local tech communities to close the gap between the number of women and men in the industry. Meetup organizers and community advocates who want to achieve parity can join the Women Techmakers program. As members, they are given the tools and opportunities to change the narrative.
If you are interested in joining the WTM Ambassadors Program, reach out to [email protected]
Women Techmakers creates visibility, community and resources for women in technology by hosting events, offering free training and piloting new initiatives with different groups and partners around the world. Earlier this year, we launched Women Techmakers in 60 Seconds, a YouTube series where we explain advanced technical topics in one minute or less.
Today, we’re excited to announce our partnership with the GDS Global Localization Program to expand the accessibility and reach of our content. Together, our teams will work to create a diverse user experience by reducing language and cultural barriers. Localization goes beyond translation. While references in the US might not be popular concepts in other countries, our passionate partners ensure they sound natural to people around the world.
We’re proud to produce a series that reaches, inspires, and educates the Google Developer Community all over the world. Every other Wednesday, we’ll publish a new episode discussing topics like APIs, Virtual Machines, and more. In the comments below the video, we’ll include additional resources for you to explore if you want a deeper dive into the video’s theme. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. If you’re interested in learning more and getting involved with Women Techmakers, check out our website and sign up to become a member.
Posted by Anurag Batra and Parker Barnes, Product Managers, Google AI
Recently, we introduced the Inclusive Images Kaggle competition, part of the NeurIPS 2018 Competition Track, with the goal of stimulating research into the effect of geographic skews in training datasets on ML model performance, and to spur innovation in developing more inclusive models. While the competition has concluded, the broader movement to build more diverse datasets is just beginning.
Today, we’re announcing Open Images Extended, a new branch of Google’s Open Images dataset, which is intended to be a collection of complementary datasets with additional images and/or annotations that better represent global diversity. The first set we are adding is the Crowdsourced extension which is seeded with 478K+ images donated by Crowdsource app users from all around the world.
About the Crowdsourced Extension of Open Images Extended To bring greater geographic diversity to Open Images, we enabled the global community of Crowdsource app users to photograph the world around them and make their photos available to researchers and developers as part of the Open Images Extended dataset. A large majority of these images are from India, with some representation from the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
The images, focus on some key categories like household objects, plants & animals, food, and people in various professions (all faces are blurred to protect privacy). Detailed information about the composition of the dataset can be found here.
Pictures from India and Singapore contributed using the Crowdsource app.
Get Involved This is an early step on a long journey. To build inclusive ML products, training data must represent global diversity along several dimensions. To that end, we invite the global community to help expand the Open Images Extended dataset by contributing imagery from your own hometown and community. Download the Crowdsource Android app to contribute images you’ve taken from your phone, or contact us if there are other image repositories (that you have the rights for) that you’re interested in adding to open-images dataset.
Acknowledgements The release of Open Images Extended has been possible thanks to the hard work of a lot of people including, but not limited to the following (in alphabetical order of last name): James Atwood, Pallavi Baljekar, Peggy Chi, Tulsee Doshi, Tom Duerig, Vittorio Ferrari, Akshay Gaur, Victor Gomes, Yoni Halpern, Gursheesh Kaur, Mahima Pushkarna, Jigyasa Saxena, D. Sculley, Richa Singh, Rachelle Summers.
Promoting diversity in the workplace isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also good for business. Diverse teams are proven to be more innovative and creative, not to mention the tangible financial benefits it brings. Despite the clear benefits, the industry still has a long way to go.
So what can you do to ensure you’re promoting diversity in your agency too?
Build a diverse team
The first step is to seek out different mindsets. To create advertising that resonates with the vast diversity in the marketplace, we need to seek out and hire talent that truly understands different cultures. So, we asked our partners how they ensure diversity in their agencies and found that 31% focus on embracing diverse voices and leadership. After all, agencies with diverse talent can generate around 30% higher revenue per employee (Deloitte Insights).
Diversity is not just about being colorblind or gender neutral - agencies need to start looking beyond educational backgrounds, age, and portfolios too. The focus should be on the raw talent in front of them instead.
It’s important to work on creating an industry that nurtures a culture of voice, where everyone feels comfortable speaking up. There’s little point in hiring diverse talent and then asking them to act like everyone else. By embracing different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, marketers are in a better position to gain valuable insights that can help them tell more inclusive stories.
The hiring process is just the beginning. Far too often the boardroom chairs are occupied by men, and we need to start asking what we can do to change that. It is on us to always ask questions and ensure that we are striving for equality for all, at all levels.
Culture of empathy, not sympathy
Inclusion and diversity have to be more than just a once-a-year initiative. Diversity is an action, but inclusivity is a culture, and an agency’s culture is shaped by the people at the top. It’s important to strive for diversity across all levels, especially leadership. Having different experiences and ideas in the room naturally leads to more creative and diverse solutions, and a culture of empathy and inclusion.
A culture of empathy is the ultimate goal, and the company’s culture is defined by its leadership. It is therefore paramount to have diverse leaders and mentors for people to turn to for guidance. Agencies must strive to create a sense of belonging and an environment where everyone feels comfortable. That’s the only way to truly embrace different ways of thinking, and understand the value of the insights that brings to the table.
Make diversity an integral part of your business and create actionable, good habits to harness the power of diversity. Make it a habit to show your employees you appreciate their efforts, and that their ideas are valued. This will help transform your workforce into an environment where everyone respects and appreciates the different styles, mindsets, and ideas. After all, a culture where diverse thinking is celebrated attracts talent, improves team morale and employee retention.
Tell relatable stories
We care about stories that represent who we are and where we come from more than ever before. 85% of women say that ads don’t represent their real lives because more often than not, they are portrayed in stereotypical roles. To create stories that tap into this underrepresented culture, agencies need to have a deeper understanding and empathy for the audiences they are trying to reach. Brands that represent different kinds of people in a realistic way can make meaningful connections with people that rarely feel a campaign has been made for them.
Hold yourself accountable
If truly multicultural marketing is our goal, agencies have to hold themselves accountable. As you continue to work towards a more inclusive culture, here are three tenets to help you stay on track:
Commit - Diversity of talent must be at the core of everything you do. You must commit to striving for diversity every single day, and when your efforts fall short -- ask why. Not only is diversity in the workplace a moral obligation, it also has immense economic value to businesses (McKinsey).
Measure - Data speaks louder than words, so be loud and proud about how diversity is making a positive difference in your agency. Once others see tangible proof and the impact diverse talent can have, they’ll follow suit.
Talk - Diversity must be at the core of every hiring decision. Keep the conversation going about your efforts across all levels, and keep asking if you’re hiring talent that will push your creative talent to the next level.
Most importantly, agencies must be upfront when they’ve made a mistake and learn from it. Diversity is more than just an HR function, so agencies must take time to analyze their mistakes, so they know what they need to do moving forward.
Marketers are in a unique position to reshape the way we think and create positive change. The change won’t happen overnight, but every little step towards where we want to be is a step in the right direction.
Check out the video below to find out what other steps you can take to begin your journey to a more inclusive and diverse agency culture.
Posted by Tulsee Doshi, Product Manager, Google AI
The release of large, publicly available image datasets, such as ImageNet, Open Images and Conceptual Captions, has been one of the factors driving the tremendous progress in the field of computer vision. While these datasets are a necessary and critical part of developing useful machine learning (ML) models, some open source data sets have been found to be geographically skewed based on how they were collected. Because the shape of a dataset informs what an ML model learns, such skew may cause the research community to inadvertently develop models that may perform less well on images drawn from geographical regions under-represented in those data sets. For example, the images below show one standard open-source image classifier trained on the Open Images dataset that does not properly apply “wedding” related labels to images of wedding traditions from different parts of the world.
Wedding photographs (donated by Googlers), labeled by a classifier trained on the Open Images dataset. The classifier’s label predictions are recorded below each image.
While Google is focusing on building even more representative datasets, we also want to encourage additional research in the field around ways that machine learning methods can be more robust and inclusive when learning from imperfect data sources. This is an important research challenge, and one that pushes the boundaries of ways that machine learning models are currently created. Good solutions will help ensure that even when some data sources aren’t fully inclusive, the models developed with them can be.
The three geographical distributions of data in this competition. Competitors will train their models on Open Images, a widely used publicly available benchmark dataset for image classification which happens to be drawn mostly from North America and Western Europe. Models are then evaluated first on Challenge Stage 1 and finally on Challenge Stage 2, each with different un-revealed geographical distributions. In this way, models are stress-tested for their ability to operate inclusively beyond their training data.
For model evaluation, we have created two Challenge datasets via our Crowdsource project, where we asked our volunteers from across the globe to participate in contributing photos of their surroundings. We hope that these datasets, built by donations from Google’s global community, will provide a challenging geographically-based stress test for this competition. We also plan to release a larger set of images at the end of the competition to further encourage inclusive development, with more inclusive data.
Examples of labeled images from the challenge dataset. Clockwise from top left, image donation by Peter Tester, Mukesh Kumhar, HeeYoung Moon, Sudipta Pramanik, jaturan amnatbuddee, Tomi Familoni and Anu Subhi
The Inclusive Images Competition officially started September 5th with the available training data & first stage Challenge data set. The deadline for submitting your results will be Monday, November 5th, and the test set will be released on Tuesday, November 6th. For more details and timelines, please visit the Inclusive Images Competition website.
The results of the competition will be presented at the 2018 Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, and we will provide top-ranking competitors with travel grants to attend the conference (see this page for full details). We look forward to being part of the community's development of more inclusive, global image classification algorithms!
Acknowledgements We would like to thank the following individuals for making the Inclusive Image Competition and dataset possible: James Atwood, Pallavi Baljekar, Parker Barnes, Anurag Batra, Eric Breck, Peggy Chi, Tulsee Doshi, Julia Elliott, Gursheesh Kaur, Akshay Gaur, Yoni Halpern, Henry Jicha, Matthew Long, Jigyasa Saxena, and D. Sculley.
Tiffany’s mother was born in Hong Kong. Her father was born in Vietnam. She is proud to be Chinese, Asian, and American.
Aerica’s mother is Japanese from Kyoto, Japan and her father is Black, from College Station, TX. She identifies as Black and Japanese.
Together, we are the chairs of the Asian Google Network (AGN), whose mission is to support the diverse and multicultural Asian community at Google and beyond. Founded in 2007, AGN is open to all Googlers and provides an annual mentorship program, opportunities for civic and community engagement; leadership development; and curriculum to advance racial justice for all.
We celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month every year in service to that mission. And for the 40th anniversary of AAPI Heritage Month, it was important to us to convey the diversity of the Asian experience in America. For example, Asians at Google trace their roots to more than 20 countries, are multiracial, multiethnic, and speak dozens of languages. And when Asian ethnicities are disaggregated, the data shows that there are wide chasms in access to education, income, and representation. That means that issues that impact AAPIs are broad as well.
As part of this year’s AAPI celebrations, we created an internal curriculum for Googlers on Asian narratives called “We Are Many and One: Gathering Asian Narratives,” where participants share stories and find both common themes and differences within the Asian American Pacific Islander community at Google. Across the country, AGN chapters also put on events for their local communities, such as the exhibit organized by AGN Ann Arbor, which uses timelines, Supreme Court cases, poetry, and the stories of local Googlers to tell the history of Angel Island, the entry point for many Asian immigrants coming to the United States.
To recognize the AAPI community outside of Google, we partnered with Google Expeditions to feature tours of “Hokule'a's Worldwide Voyage” and “Kamehameha: Unification of the Hawaiian Islands.” YouTube created a playlist of AAPI artists. Google Assistant embedded 10 new AAPI facts activated by the question, “Hey Google, what’s up?” And just today, the Doodle team created a Doodle celebrating Chinese-American cinematographer James Wong Howe.
In the spirit of celebrating our diverse community, we also spoke with several members of AGN to hear about why they participate in AGN, what this means to them, and who inspires them.
Why does AGN matter to you?
AGN provides a safe space where Googlers can share more about their own backgrounds, cultures, challenges they face, and help each other excel at Google and outside of Google.
As an American-born child of Vietnamese immigrants, I have the "neither-here-nor-there" feeling of straddling two cultures. I have learned to embrace this state, and it's wonderful to meet fellow Googlers who share the same feelings!
Tell us about your heritage. What makes you proud to be who you are?
I still remain connected with my family's roots in India and make it a point to visit every year. I’m proud that India is a country of many different cultures and people that came together to form an identity. From Bollywood movies and music to colorful curries, elements of Indian culture are becoming popular across the world, and I am proud to share this with people in America and around the world.
I am Native Hawaiian & Japanese, and I am incredibly proud to belong to an indigenous American culture. My father descends from Chief Kahekili, who was the last King of Mau'i until the Hawaiian Islands were unified in 1810. My mother's side brings in Japanese, as her grandparents migrated to Mau'i over 100 years ago for job opportunities following the Islands' agricultural boom.
Who in the AAPI community inspires you?
I have a lot of heroes in the AAPI community—Yuri Kochiyama, Grace Lee Boggs, Helen Zia. They are activists who strived to build coalitions with other communities of color and also give visibility and voice to the issues impacting the AAPI community.
We hope you’ll join us this AAPI History Month in learning more about the AAPI community and working toward a more just and inclusive world.