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3 Lessons From Google Next 18

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3 Lessons From Google Next 18


SAS recently spent a few eventful days in London at Google Next 18 - an event which promises to connect big thinkers and even bigger doers. So, what did we learn?


Google hosted its Next 18 London event on the 10th and 11th of October, inviting tech innovators from all over Europe to come together to focus on digital innovation. Naturally, we here at Software Advisory Service eagerly packed our bags and jumped on the first flight down south.


With more than 14,000 business customers across Europe, Google Cloud were looking to showcase the many ways their customers use cloud technology to enhance digital transformation across industries. The opening speech was held by Diane Green, CEO of Google Cloud, who hoped that the event would be a space “where we can learn from one another how the cloud can transform how we work and power everyone’s successes (...) it’s such an incredibly powerful tool -  essentially it lets businesses supercharge their data”.


During a few jam-packed days in London, we had the opportunity to emerge ourselves in everything from accessible machine learning to new advancements in cloud security. Our dedicated team of cloud specialists gladly took the opportunity to fine-tune their skills by joining professional Googlers in breakout sessions, interactive labs and hands-on bootcamps. Needless to say, it was a highly inspired (although slightly exhausted) SAS team that returned to Glasgow friday morning.


Did you miss out on the event? No worries - we have listed 3 of the epic lessons we picked up at Google Next 18.


AI is everything

Artificial Intelligence, AI for short, is definitely here to stay. From Amazon’s Alexa to self-driving cars, AI is something that no longer belongs in science fiction - rather, it’s turning into an ubiquitous part of our everyday lives. The field is developing quickly, and here’s 5 exciting ways AI was being showcased at Google Next 18:


  • Computer Vision: Computers now have the power to see what is happening in images and videos, meaning that AI can detect specific objects in an image, read text through character recognition, and describe scenes at a high level of accuracy.

  • Speech Recognition: Did you know that modern speech recognition systems, such as Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa, have almost reached human parity with less than 6% word error rate? And the best of all: these systems get better by the day.

  • Natural Language Understanding: Previously, AI would process text without really understanding the meaning behind the words. This is all changing as deep learning enables machines to overcome this by training neural networks in environments with similar relationships.

  • Generative Modelling: Adversarial training allows neural networks to imitate experts and develop imagination to generate synthetic data. This means that AI is no longer all about recognizing objects!


  • Reinforcement Learning: While it does sound like something from a Philip K. Dick novel, reinforcement learning takes a computational approach to learning by interaction. This means that RL systems can tackle a bunch of unsolved problems, covering everything from supply chain optimization to drug discovery to name a few.



The cloud is the future


Diane Greene was clear in her predictions: “Countries are really starting to get to grips with the potential of their data, and the cloud is the way forward”.


Again, this does not come as a great surprise to us, as we see more and more of our clients migrating to the clouds. And why shouldn’t they? Cloud providers, such as Google Cloud Platform, can free businesses from the overhead of managing infrastructure, provisioning servers and configuring networks.


The next generation of highly scalable, high performance databases are easy to set up, maintain and manage. The layers of security are nearly unbeatable, and there’s no longer any doubt: the future is in the clouds.

Work smarter, stay safe


As more businesses are moving to the clouds, their data is now being accessed from a wide variety of apps, devices and networks - leaving their secure data vulnerable to attacks. In fact, a recent report revealed that 98% of the Fortune 500 were affected by malware in 2017.


In other words, threats are becoming harder to manage as the number of security attacks is on the rise. Luckily, Cloud providers, such as Google Cloud, has the capability to protect businesses at every cloud entry point. Are you looking for intelligent and flexible security? You’ll find it in the clouds.


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