2018 so far: A collection of projects and things

Usually, I would take a moment to write up some of the ways we approached the work. How we made a thing. Also, how it went. Yet, the first half of 2018 was a little crazy on the number of things we made. We delivered 15 projects. About ten went out into the wild. About five are internal for now. But, if we did our job right, you may start to see them shaping a few things in the future.

I also went on a Twitter hiatus to cut down on noise. To focus on work. But if you want to see more details, I tried to favourite a few work-related tweets on Twitter.

There’s something like 750+ tweets, all chronological.

I’ll come back to everything here later and details. E.g. more videos, links to sites, and more of the work that went out. But for now – here are a few shiny things to press play on.

A huge shout to the Creative Lab team, and our partners.

Waymo 360º Experience

iPhone People Talking Pixel

Draw to Art Installation

NSynth Super

مهارات من Maharat min Google: Digital skills for Arabic speakers, everywhere

Google I/O: Opening Keynote and AI Experiments

Make Google Do It

#GrowWithGoogle: Google Digital Garage: __ Yet

At Google, we use design to…

AIGA, the professional association for design, recognized Google as an exemplary company modeling design’s potential to delight users, inspire visionary products and services, fuel innovation, and improve our world. Google received the AIGA Award at the AIGA Awards Gala on April 20, 2018 in New York City.

We made a video to say thank you. It has a bunch of work by me, my friends at Creative Lab, and across Google.

Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” And we believe design plays a big part in making things accessible and useful for everyone. Find out more at https://g.co/design. And check out the description below the video for a list of projects featured.

World Refugee Day 2017

Something new.

Since September 2015, Google has been working with humanitarian organizations to respond to the refugee crisis. On World Refugee Day, we made 2 films to help share an update on a few ongoing initiatives.

You can read the full Google blogpost here.

NetHope: Providing Internet access to refugees

Refugee.Info Hub: Providing vital information to refugees

Really proud of these ones.

Speak to Go: A WebVR Experiment

Something new.

WebVR Experiments

Something new.

Sideways Dictionary

Something new.

Sideways Dictionary is a collection of fun, easy-to-understand analogies that help explain complicated technology terms. Use it to look up tech terms of all kinds, vote for the definitions you like best, and even add your own.

Creative Lab helped our friends at Google Jigsaw bring this project to life by writing, art directing, and producing two short animations. One to introduce the project, and a second to help people get in the right mindset to write and contribute analogies of their own.

Creative:
Hana Tanimura
Justin Li

Animation:
NOMINT

Sound design:
Jungle Studios

Words by Hana.

AI Experiments

AI Experiments is live.
https://aiexperiments.withgoogle.com

There’s a bunch of amazing experiments on the site; but this one below is the one I spend the most time with during its early development phase.

Honestly; I never felt more out of my depth on a project than at the beginning of this one. Sat in the kickoffs with Alex, Kyle and Yotam who were deep in the weeds talking about t-SNE, dimensionality reduction, hi-dimensional space, convolutional neural networks, and supervised vs un-supervised learning. Was a full-on nose-bleed, crash course, in ML. But so worth it. Do not fear this stuff. It’s a different world to start; but after a few weeks it starts to take. So please enjoy….

The Infinite Drum Machine
https://aiexperiments.withgoogle.com/drum-machine

Sounds are complex and vary widely. This experiment uses machine learning to organize thousands of everyday sounds. The computer wasn’t given any descriptions or tags – only the audio. Using a technique called t-SNE, the computer placed similar sounds closer together. You can use the map to explore neighborhoods of similar sounds and even make beats using the drum sequencer.

Here’s the explainer video:

For an extra sneak peak into the development process; here’s a video showing an earlier prototype. This one has around ~40k short samples from Freesound! For the final version we licensed ~17k.

This is one of the last projects I started working on in New York, so it’s great to see it out in the real world. Mad props to Alex, Catherine, Manny, Yotam, Eric, Jonas, Kyle, Gene and bunch of other very smart people.

And yea…. what Kyle said.

AI Experiments website:
aiexperiments.withgoogle.com