Google has been making the headlines as they have been behind breakthroughs in cellular connectivity and in the field of artificial intelligence.
First of all, Google have now released Project Fi to the public, after a ten month trial that was available to only those with an invite. It is a connectivity project which seeks to provide a cheaper mobile service that doesn’t rely on radio waves all the time.
When using Fi, people will, theoretically, be able to connect through multiple networks. As you move about, the signal that you have will get weaker depending on the strength of the signal between you and the radio tower.
Different mobile services cover different areas in different ways, so a user of Three may get a perfectly good signal in an area that a Giff Gaff user gets no signal at all.
Project Fi is the attempt to work around this, by letting the phone swap networks, connecting to “a network of networks”, depending on which has the strongest link.
Furthermore, if there is a WiFi router handy, then phone calls and text messages will be routed through that, using the internet rather than trying to seek out a network which may have patchy reception in comparison to WiFi.
So far, Fi is only available in America, and only to those who have a Google Nexus 6, 5X, or 6P. It can also only use mobile networks from T-Mobile and Sprint, limiting its applications, but the fact remains that it exists, and it could be pointing us in the direction that mobile connectivity will take in the future.
Meanwhile, one of Google’s subsidiaries has developed an AI that has managed to beat the world champion at Go.
Go is a board game which has a history of several thousand years of play in China, and is considered to be much more convoluted than chess, due to the sheer amount of possible moves that can be played.
It is said that there are more possible combinations of a 19×19 Go board than there are atoms in the universe, a stat which doesn’t seem to compute in our minds.
The AI, called AlphaGo, was created by DeepMind, which was bought by Google in recent years. They developed an AI that could learn from its mistakes, pitted it against players to learn, and then duplicated the code and pitted it against itself, so it could continue to learn at a much faster rate.
AlphaGo is now taking on the world champion of Go, South Korean Mr Lee Sedol. They will play the best of five games, over five days.
AlphaGo won the first match.
Mr Lee said that he made a minor mistake early on, but that the computer was relentless and that that mistake hampered him until his eventual defeat.
Google are one of the largest and most innovative companies in the world, and they are definitely at the forefront for shaping the future of tech.