— Google (@Google) April 19, 2017
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.
AI Experiments is live.
— Google (@Google) November 16, 2016
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
— Google (@Google) November 18, 2016
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.
— Kyle McDonald (@kcimc) November 16, 2016
AI Experiments website:
Back in NY, just returned from an fantastic short break in Mexico with Steph. We stayed at the gorgeous Casa Malca in Tulum for 4-days. So beautiful and peaceful. Wish we could’ve stayed longer.
One of the highlights while we were there we catching an couple of electronic musicians, producers, and live performers from Córdoba, Argentina.
One made beats and played them with Ableton Live and a MIDI keyboard. The other jammed live with a chromatic harmonica & pedal FX. It was like deep space Vangelis. Perfect for the setting. Perfect for the vibe.
Needed the break after putting a shift in at work (see last few posts) but feeling recharged and inspired. Don’t spend your money on stuff. Spend it on experiences and memories.
In 2014 a few of us had been talking about future surfaces and interfaces. There’d been some conversations about text as interface and other stuff. We’d played with the idea of using the keyboard as a space to try a little hack. But nothing had bitten, so we put it away in the top drawer.
In 2015 another project we’d been working on inspired a few people to take a fresh look. They made a Spark Card (a one-page slide that summarizes an idea) for a Google powered keyboard and called it Gboard. We sketched design concepts. Made mocks and thew together a quick prototype. People were into it. So we made a shiny deck and site, put a bow on it, and gave the idea to Google.
We then paused everything to focus on creating a new brand system for Google. You can read more about that here – but it meant we were heads down and went dark for months.
During that time a team in Mountain View starting looking at making a keyboard for iOS. Google had a great keyboard for Android and wanted to make something for iPhone users. We started talking and soon a small team from Creative Lab were out on the West Coast for a design sprint.
In a few months we had builds ready for Teamfood, Fishfood, Dogfood and shortly afterwards a production build ready to ship. We got our final Apple approvals and on Thursday May 12th we flipped the switch…. Gboard was live in the AppStore.
Google announced it:
— Google (@google) May 12, 2016
Shared the videos on YouTube:
Press starting talking about the features:
And people seem to like it:
Google just put search, GIFs, and more into a really great keyboard—for iOS https://t.co/RDCtzIfQyz
— WIRED (@WIRED) May 12, 2016
— The Verge (@verge) May 12, 2016
— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) May 26, 2016
— Katie Jacobs Stanton (@KatieS) May 20, 2016
I can’t believe how much I love Gboard.
— Glenn Fleishman (@GlennF) May 16, 2016
— Levi Benton (@levibenton) May 15, 2016
If you haven’t done it yet, stop doing what you do and Install Google’s new iOS keyboard “Gboard” – Best thing since their Search Engine.
— Tobias van Schneider (@vanschneider) May 14, 2016
And the number of Google apps on my iPhone keeps growing: Just downloaded GBOARD pic.twitter.com/eXBeVfVk7m
— Mallory Johns (@mmsuperflyjr) May 14, 2016
Gboard team thought of all the things.
— Josh Williams (@jw) May 14, 2016
OK. Google’s swipe keyboard is amazing.
— Craig Mod (@craigmod) May 13, 2016
★ Gboard: https://t.co/16w6bRfJSt
— Daring Fireball (@daringfireball) May 13, 2016
The One Incredibly Important Gboard Keyboard Setting You Need To Turn Off Right Now! pic.twitter.com/rsxezth5yh
— mat honan (@mat) May 12, 2016
— darth™ (@darth) May 12, 2016
The fascinating thing about the Google keyboard is that it does what many bot apps aspire to do except much better.
— sean rose (@sean_a_rose) May 12, 2016
smart, low-hanging fruit for googlehttps://t.co/7AQ4tkqz1X
— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) May 12, 2016
Some very clever stuff possible with new Google Gboard keyboard, like this: pic.twitter.com/Vfer31ayT9
— Paul Kedrosky (@pkedrosky) May 12, 2016
— GIPHY (@giphy) May 12, 2016
Early results look good:
– #1 in App Store
– 4.5★ rating from 3,500+ reviews
– 350k downloads on day 1 in US
I’m happy with this one. A new product from beginning to end, and supporting launch comms. A small team with a wide skill set came together to make something great. Love that. It would’ve been impossible to get it done without an amazing team. You know who you are. Thanks for the big effort. And to everyone who’s still reading… download, install, enjoy, we hope you like it.
Get it now in the App Store in English in the U.S., with more languages to come.
I recently bought the new Leica Q from Ken Hansen (if you want great Leica dealer–I highly recommend him) and was lucky enough to be able to take it for a spin during a trip to Los Angeles.
This was the first time I’d used the camera, but wow, what an amazing piece of kit. There’s a lovely quote from Ken Hansen to Craig Cutler which I’ve pulled from the Leica Camera blog to share:
“These are the best lenses in the world, choose your f/stop, set your shutter speed, start shooting, and throw away the owner’s manual. It’s that simple.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Like a lot of people I totally fell in love with this camera. It’s next level no-compromise product design. But more importantly I had fun shooting with it–and am looking forward to throwing it my bag, taking more photos, and maybe even becoming a better photographer in 2016.
It’s also an absolute stunner.