Selling Higher – Changing Our Selling Motions for Better Customer Outcomes

If you attended this year’s Partner Summit, live or virtually, you might have heard Wendy Bahr talk about the need for Cisco and our partners to focus more on our customers’ business outcomes and own the opportunity together. At face value, it sounds simple. What she’s really talking about is an evolutionary change in how […]

TrustSec: The Cybersecurity Enforcer

So many newsworthy hacks in recent years have had a staggering impact on literally millions of consumers and businesses. While these hacks have perhaps made us numb to their effects, the reality is these breaches represent the new normal in today’s digitized world. And given that attackers are growing in number, sophistication and intensity, many […]

Cisco Email Security is Top Solution

Billions of corporate messages flow back and forth on a daily basis. And with over 90% of breaches starting with an email, organizations today face a daunting challenge when choosing the best email security solution to stop emails with phishing links or malicious attachments that unleash ransomware, phishing or business email compromise attacks. Securing the […]

Identifying credible content online, with help from the Trust Project

Every day approximately 50,000 web pages filled with information come online—ranging from the weird, the wonderful and the wacky to the serious, the subjective, and the spectacular.

With a plethora of choices out there, we rely on algorithms to sort and rank all this information to help us find content that is authoritative and comes from credible sources. A constantly changing web means we won’t ever achieve perfection, but we’re investing in helping people understand what they’re reading by providing visual signposts and labels.  

We add clear labelling to stories in Google News (e.g., opinion, local, highly cited, in depth), and over year ago we launched the Fact Check tag globally in Google News and Search. And just recently we added information to our Knowledge Panels to help people get a quick insight into publishers.

Today, we’re announcing a move toward a similar labeling effort by the Trust Project, which is hosted at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. The Project, which is funded by Google among others, has been working with more than 75 news organizations from around the world to come up with indicators to help people distinguish the difference between quality journalism and promotional content or misinformation.

In a first step, the Project has released eight trust indicators that newsrooms can add to their content. This information will help readers understand more about what type of story they’re reading, who wrote it, and how the article was put together.

These eight indicators include:

  • Best Practices: Who funds the news outlet and their mission, plus an outlet’s commitments to ethics, diverse voices, accuracy, making corrections, and other standards.
  • Author Expertise: Details about the journalist, including their expertise and other stories they have worked on.
  • Type of Work: Labels to distinguish opinion, analysis, and advertiser (or sponsored) content from news reports.
  • Citations and References: For investigative or in-depth stories, access to the sources behind the facts and assertions in a news story.
  • Methods: For in-depth stories, information about why reporters chose to pursue a story and how they went about the process.
  • Locally Sourced: Lets people know that the story has local roots, origin, or expertise.
  • Diverse Voices: A newsroom’s efforts to bring in diverse perspectives.
  • Actionable Feedback: A newsroom’s efforts to engage the public in setting coverage priorities, contributing to the reporting process, and ensuring accuracy.
1
The publishers involved in this work include the BBC, dpa, The Economist, The Globe and Mail, Hearst Television, Mic, La Repubblica, La Stampa, The Washington Post, the New York Times and more. (Photo courtesy of the Trust Project.)

News publishers embed markup from schema.org into the HTML code of their articles and on their website. When tech platforms like Google crawl the content, we can easily parse out the information (such as Best Practices, Author Info, Citations & References, Type of Work). This works like the ClaimReview schema tag we use for fact-checking articles. Once we’ve done that, we can analyze the information and present it directly to the user in our various products.

Our next step is to figure out how to display these trust indicators next to articles that may appear on Google News, Google Search, and other Google products where news can be found. Some possible treatments could include using the “Type of Work” indicator to improve the accuracy of article labels in Google News, and indicators such as “Best Practices” and “Author Info” in our Knowledge Panels.

We believe this is a great first step for the Trust Project and look forward to future efforts as well.

How girls see the world: Girlgaze and Pixel 2

Girlgaze is a multimedia company that highlights the work of female-identifying creatives and is dedicated to closing the gender gap by providing paid job opportunities for its global community.

Girlgaze’s inaugural zine, out today, was created primarily using Pixel 2, and today we’re also releasing a collection of Live Cases featuring Girlgaze photographers. We spoke with the creator of Girlgaze, Amanda de Cadenet, about the origins of the initiative and their work with Google.

The Keyword: Tell us about why you started Girlgaze. Why is it important to you to have more women represented behind the lens, not just in front of it? 


Amanda: When we began the #girlgaze initiative we realized quickly how many girls were eager to have a platform to share their perspective on the world. Within a matter of a few months we had close to 1 million submissions. When there is a need for something—in this case, a community for girls to connect on activism, creativity, and the challenges young women face—it will grow quickly. We’ve now had over 2.8 million submissions of images.

We felt it was our responsibility to not only draw attention to how the female perspective is so underrepresented in media, but also try and create a solution. It’s not enough to say, “Yes, the female perspective is hugely marginalized in these creative industries.” We also wanted to create a platform where we could showcase the incredible talent that is out there and create tangible jobs for our global community.

How did you get involved with the Pixel team? 


Girlgaze’s audience is made up of digital natives—they’re mostly Gen Z. With the launch of our inaugural zine—which is 100 percent digital—it was a natural fit to partner with Google.

Tell us about how you used Pixel for the new Girlgaze zine. What was different about this project?

Well, this being our inaugural issue of the zine makes it unique from any other! But also, shooting it almost entirely on the new Google Pixel 2 was pretty extraordinary for us. Although our community is very in-tune with using smartphones day-to-day, shooting industry-standard work on a smartphone was a first for us. We’re thrilled with the outcome!

Has the internet opened up new opportunities for women 
photographers/creators to gain more visibility? If so, in what way? 


The fact that we all have our phones on us at almost every moment, giving us access to technology to take and edit images at a whim, gives everyone a platform, without necessarily having studied or trained to become a photographer.

And social media has created a global platform for photographers around the world, some in very remote areas, to create and exhibit their work. In an industry that is heavily dominated by men, the internet has given the opportunity for female-identifying photographers to create their own community to share their point of view.

Tell us a little a bit about the Live Cases. How did you select which photos to turn into 
cases? Was there a particular aesthetic or theme you wanted to express?

We selected images from girls in our community whose work translated well to the wallpaper format, but not necessarily in a traditional sense. We wanted the imagery to be uniquely Girlgaze, images that strongly conveyed how our girls see the world.

  • GirlGaze_1.jpg
    Photographers: Aditi Mayer (left), Amanda Picotte (right)
  • GirlGaze_2.jpg
    Photographers: Viviana Illanes (left), Ashley Kickliter (right)
  • GirlGaze_3.jpg
    Photographers: Arielle Vey (left), Stephanie Pia (right)
  • GirlGaze_4.jpg
    Photographers: Peyton Fulford (left), Ashley Kickliter (right)
  • GirlGaze_5.jpg
    Photographers: Thais Vandanezi (left), Erin Rivera (right)
  • GirlGaze_6.jpg
    Photographers: Tarryn Hatchett (left), Stephanie Pia (right)

What advice would you give to women who are interested in pursuing a creative career? 


Surround yourself with a good support system and community and utilize those you connect with to help you in your pursuit. I’ve always had an incredible female support network to see me through not only the struggles but also to celebrate the achievements. And the more you help those around you, the more you will realize how willing people are to help you. So don’t be afraid to reach out.

Google Maps gets a new look

The world is an ever-evolving place. And as it changes, Google Maps changes with it. As roads close, businesses open, or local events happen in your neighborhood, you’ll see it on Google Maps. When you schedule an event using Google Calendar, get a reservation confirmation in Gmail, or add a restaurant to your “Want to Go” list, Google Maps reflects that too. Now, we’re updating Google Maps with a new look that better reflects your world, right now.

First, we’ve updated the driving, navigation, transit and explore maps to better highlight the information most relevant to each experience (think gas stations for navigation, train stations for transit, and so on). We’ve also updated our color scheme and added new icons to help you quickly identify exactly what kind of point of interest you’re looking at. Places like a cafe, church, museum or hospital will have a designated color and icon, so that it’s easy to find that type of destination on the map. For example, if you’re in a new neighborhood and searching for a coffee shop, you could open the map to find the nearest orange icon (which is the color for Food & Drink spots).

1

We’ve created a cheat sheet of the new colors and icons to help you get acquainted with the new look:

  • legend_color.jpg
  • legend_01.jpg
  • legend_02.jpg
  • 3
  • 6
  • legend_05.jpg

You’ll see these changes over the next few weeks in all Google products that incorporate Google Maps, including the Assistant, Search, Earth, and Android Auto. Over time, the new style will also appear in the apps, websites and experiences offered by companies that use Google Maps APIs as well. 

1

So no matter how or where you’re using Google Maps, you’ll have the same consistent experience.

Defending access to lawful information at Europe’s highest court

Under the right to be forgotten, Europeans can ask for information about themselves to be removed from search results for their name if it is outdated, or irrelevant. From the outset, we have publicly stated our concerns about the ruling, but we have still worked hard to comply—and to do so conscientiously and in consultation with Data Protection Authorities. To date, we’ve handled requests to delist nearly 2 million search results in Europe, removing more than 800,000 of them. We have also taken great care not to erase results that are clearly in the public interest, as the European Court of Justice directed. Most Data Protection Authorities have concluded that this approach strikes the right balance.

But two right to be forgotten cases now in front of the European Court of Justice threaten that balance.

In the first case, four individuals—who we can’t name—present an apparently simple argument: European law protects sensitive personal data; sensitive personal data includes information about your political beliefs or your criminal record; so all mentions of criminality or political affiliation should automatically be purged from search results, without any consideration of public interest.

If the Court accepted this argument, it would give carte blanche to people who might wish to use privacy laws to hide information of public interest—like a politician’s political views, or a public figure’s criminal record. This would effectively erase the public’s right to know important information about people who represent them in society or provide them services.

In the second case, the Court must decide whether Google should enforce the right to be forgotten not just in Europe, but in every country around the world. We—and a wide range of human rights and media organizations, and others, like Wikimedia—believe that this runs contrary to the basic principles of international law: no one country should be able to impose its rules on the citizens of another country, especially when it comes to linking to lawful content. Adopting such a rule would encourage other countries, including less democratic regimes, to try to impose their values on citizens in the rest of the world.

We’re speaking out because restricting access to lawful and valuable information is contrary to our mission as a company and keeps us from delivering the comprehensive search service that people expect of us.

But the threat is much greater than this. These cases represent a serious assault on the public’s right to access lawful information.

We will argue in court for a reasonable interpretation of the right to be forgotten and for the ability of countries around the world to set their own laws, not have those of others imposed on them. Up to November 20, European countries and institutions have the chance to make their views known to the Court. And we encourage everyone who cares about public access to information to stand up and fight to preserve it.

Developing for the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge at Microsoft Connect(); 2017

Today we’re kicking off Connect(); 2017, one of my favorite annual Microsoft developer events, where over three days we get to host approximately 150 livestreamed and interactive sessions for developers everywhere — no matter the tools they use or the platforms they prefer. Today at Connect(); 2017 I’m excited to share news that will help…

The post Developing for the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge at Microsoft Connect(); 2017 appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Quill.org: better writing with machine learning

Editor’s note: TensorFlow, our open source machine learning library, is just that—open to anyone. Companies, nonprofits, researchers and developers have used TensorFlow in some pretty cool ways, and we’re sharing those stories here on Keyword. Here’s one of them.

Quill.org was founded by a group of educators and technologists to help students become better writers and critical thinkers. Before beginning development, they researched hundreds of studies on writing education and found a common theme—students had a hard time grasping the difference between a run-on sentence and a fragment. So the Quill team developed a tool to help students identify the different parts of a sentence, with a focus on real-time feedback.

Using the Quill tool, students complete a variety of exercises, including joining sentences, writing complex sentences, and explaining their use and understanding of grammar. The tool relies on a huge depository of sentence fragments, which Quill finds, recognizes and compiles using TensorFlow, Google’s open source machine learning library. TensorFlow technology is the backbone of the tool and can accurately detect if a student’s answers are correct. After completing the exercises, each student gets a customized explanation of incorrect responses, and the tool learns from each answer to create an individualized testing plan focused on areas of difficulty. Here’s an example of how it works:

More than 200,000 students—62 percent from low-income schools—have used Quill. They’ve collectively answered 20 million exercises, and Quill’s quick, personalized writing instruction has helped them master writing standards across the Common Core curriculum.

Teachers have also benefitted from introducing Quill in their classrooms. Each teacher has access to a customized portal, allowing them to see an individual student’s progress. Plus, by using machine learning, teachers have been spared hundreds of hours of manual grading. Laura, a teacher at Caswell Elementary School in California said, “Quill has been a wonderful tool for my third graders, many of whom are second language learners. We especially love the immediate feedback provided after each practice; it has definitely made us pay closer attention to detail.”

Quill’s most recent update is a “multiplayer” feature, allowing students to interact with each other in the tool. They can see their peers’ responses, which fosters spirited classroom discussions and collaboration, and helps students learn from each other.

While students aren’t using quills (or even pens!) anymore, strong writing skills are as important as ever. And with the help of machine learning, Quill makes it fun and engaging to develop those skills.

New tools to make your job search simpler

To help the millions of people who turn to Google to start their job search, we worked with leaders across the industry to introduce a new experience earlier this year. Since then, we’ve seen 60 percent more employers showing jobs in Search and connected tens of millions of people to new job opportunities.

Now, based on feedback from job seekers, we’re introducing some new features to help make the process more efficient. Directly in Search, you can access salary information for job postings, improved location settings, job application choices, and in a couple of weeks, the ability to save individual jobs.

Salary is an important factor in finding the right job—but by our estimate, this information is missing from over 85 percent of job postings in the U.S. today. So to provide this essential information, we’re showing estimated salary ranges right alongside many jobs, based on the specific job title, location and employer. These are drawn from sources across the web like Glassdoor, PayScale, LinkedIn, Paysa and more. For those jobs that do have a salary listed, we’ll show a comparison to the estimated range for that job, if available.   

salary

Many job seekers tell us they want more control over the geography Google uses to find matching jobs for a search. To help, we’re now adding an easy way for you to tell Google what search area to use when finding jobs that match your query. Just click the “Location” filter, and you’ll see a range of distances, from two miles up to 200 miles or “anywhere” if you’re a bit more flexible. Once you select the distance that works for you, we’ll display postings only from the area you’re interested in—whether that’s walking distance from your home, or across the whole country.

location

Once you find a job you’re interested in, we want to make it easy for you to apply. However, jobs are often posted in multiple places on the web, and most job seekers have a preference for where they apply. If you’ve already put in the time to build out your professional presence or profile online (on Monster or CareerBuilder, for example), you might prefer to apply to future jobs on that same site. Now when we find the same job in multiple places on the web, we’ll give you a choice of which site you’d like to visit to view the job.

apply

Finally, finding the right job for you can take time. That’s why in a couple of weeks, we’re adding the ability to save jobs right inside Google Search. With a bookmark button alongside each posting, saving is as simple as a single tap. Then that job will appear in your “Saved jobs” tabs on Google, which is accessible across any of your devices.  

saves

We all know the job hunt can be stressful, so Google is here to help. We review every piece of feedback we receive (to submit click the “Feedback” button beneath the feature), and we’ll continue to add tools to help make the job search easier for you.  

Strengthening our culture of inclusion

Three years ago, we began a journey to evolve our culture at Microsoft, and in so doing redefine our relationship with employees, customer and partners. This journey started by grounding our aspire-to culture in a growth mindset focused on three attributes: Obsessing over our customers; Operating as a unified company (One Microsoft); and Becoming a…

The post Strengthening our culture of inclusion appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.