The veil of secrecy surrounding Google's mysterious X lab may be getting pulled back later on today, as evident from new developments around the web in the last couple of days. The X lab, revealed by the New York Times a few months ago, could reportedly have engineers working on projects spanning from plates that post what you're eating on your social networks to driverless cars, robots, and things most of us have never even dreamt of.

Yes, project Majel, a "highly advanced artificial intelligence robot" that has the potential of turning Voice Actions into our own pocketable J.A.R.V.I.S. could very well be part of it too.

Today, we might find out what Google X is all about. Maybe. Depends on how much they want to reveal.

The Site

"Solve For <x>" website (wesolveforx.com), which belongs to Google (see whois info below), quietly went live.

DNS Admin
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View CA 94043
[email protected] +1.6502530000 Fax: +1.6502530001

Created on..............: 2012-01-05.

Interestingly, wesolveforx.com simply embeds an iframe containing http://www.thinkbelieveact.com/solveforx/, which isn't registered by Google but rather

TBA Global, LLC
535 N. Brand Blvd suite 800
Glendale, CA 91203

TBA Global is apparently a marketing agency that's probably helping Google set up what you're about to read.

Solve For <x> is in my opinion undoubtedly related to Google X and is going to be a conference or a series of talks likely similar to TED - just check out the description:


Solve for X is a place where the curious can go to hear and discuss radical technology ideas for solving global problems. Radical in the sense that the solutions could help billions of people. Radical in the sense that the audaciousness of the proposals makes them sound like science fiction. And radical in the sense that there is some real technology breakthrough on the horizon to give us all hope that these ideas could really be brought to life.

This combination of things - a huge problem to solve, a radical solution for solving it, and the breakthrough technology to make it happen - is the essence of a moonshot.

Solve for X is intended to be a forum to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and teamwork.

We can't wait to share what we discover.

And we can't wait to hear it.

After digging around the site a bit, I pulled the background image that is currently covered up by an annoying overlay - here it is:

Update: @Marlamin discovered another image with instructions for presenters.

image image

The YouTube Channel

The corresponding YouTube channel went live as well. It contains one video at the moment:

Richard DeVaul

And then we have Mr. Richard DeVaul with probably the most intriguing job title I've ever heard - Rapid Evaluator. Oh, and he works for Google (and formerly as Senior Prototype Scientist at Apple).

Why is he so interesting? Because it seems that Richard here is attending the "solve for x" conference that is already going on right now. It is apparently full of highly interesting topics, which we're about to hear about and see with our own eyes:

The "solve for x" YouTube channel and web site with all presentations will be up by Monday.

Yeah, that would be this channel. It's currently missing the "all presentations" part, but hey - Monday is only 2 hours old in Mountain View.

Here's what Richard had to say:

Attending a fascinating, invite-only gathering of global innovators called "solve for x." Big challenges, radical innovations, and real opportunities to make the world a better place.

The conference is driven by short, technology rich presentations on topics ranging from low-energy, low-cost water desalinization to stretchable silicon biosensors. This stuff is real.

I and other attendees have been tweeting under the #solveforx tag. Check it out.

The "solve for x" conference continues to be really interesting. Today we have had talks on transforming education, 5x improvements in agriculture through better decision support, synthetic biology and carbon-negative biofuels.

The "solve for x" YouTube channel and web site with all presentations will be up by Monday.

Update: Richard's Twitter account confirmed the videos are going up today:

As if that's not enough, 9to5google managed to dig up a photo of the event's logo:


Don't forget to fill out the form on the X site to find out when it goes live:


It's probably a good idea to also save the #solveforx search and subscribe to it on Twitter and Google+.

Yeah, today is going to be one exciting Monday by the looks of it. Stay tuned, folks.

Update: The first videos went live in the YouTube channel. Unfortunately (and kind of expected at this stage), none of them are about Majel (yet).

Source: 9to5google, thanks for the tip, @wiineeth!

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com Abhiroop

    Google's let's try everything attitude is really refreshing in today's narrow-minded pursuit of the IPO.

  • Jon

    This sounds like solutions to world issues, so I highly doubt project Majel is a radical solution to world issues. This is more like solutions to things like Global Warming, deforestation, and stuff along those lines. Sorry to burst any hopes of new voice controls.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      If the previous rumors were anywhere close to reality, there are things being worked on at Google X that are practical and fun in day-to-day tech life as well. Chances are the Android/AI bits won't be announced just yet, if they exist, my bet is Google is saving them for Google I/O. However, this is all highly exciting, and I'll be damned if I skipped it and it ended up being huge.

      • Jon

        It is exciting and should not be missed! I just am not thinking it's about Majel. :)

    • David Knowles

      If the Majel project is real and being actively developed for release to the public, most likely it already moved away from Google X and folded in Android or search units. An space at Google X Lab given over to something else.

    • Lucian Armasu

      Google has been working on AI smart enough that passes 93% of Turing tests (being indistinguishable from a human in a conversation). You think that wouldn't have an impact on the whole world?
      Even Watson I think will have huge implications in the medical world.

      However, I don't think Solve for X = Google X. This one seems like a public project, not an internal one.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/psycho_maniac_ Jerry Lange

    does this mean skynet is coming closer to real life? lol

  • Maurice

    TED competition ?

  • Marc Karasel

    If you mean the Google Skunk Works that is on the South Side of the Bay.

    I had a phone interview with them a few years back. It never came of anything, but the facility was located on the South Side of the Bay across the Dunbar Bridge.

    • myst123

      Hey Marc Karasel,

      can you tell exactly where that building is?

  • http://plus.ly/danieljames Daniel James

    Wow, I can't wait to see what's in store for these talks/videos!

    Speaking of Majel, I have a theory of my own: I believe (more like hope) that Majel will not only be used for Android, but also for Android@Home and Google's Self-driving cars. Wouldn't it be amazing to have a single voice feature that unifies all of Google's services?

  • http://Facebook.com/Numecca Jarod

    They are building a lab in Venice California. Apparently, non technical people can come in with an idea and they will put money and engineering power into. I know this because I'm from Malibu ca, and my friend's father's friend, Tony Greko, is working with them in some capacity on the real estate end.

    My friends dad told me this when I revealed that I was moving to Portland because I couldn't find anybody to partner with to make shit happen in LA, since everybody there is fucking joker with dumb ideas that don't matter, such as fashion and entertainment apps.