Gboard, like many keyboard apps, provides users with suggestions on how to complete their words, phrases, or even sentences. It recently adopted federated learning, sampling anonymous user data to serve up-to-date autocomplete results featuring very new terms in our fast-moving human culture. Of course, some phrases aren't particularly suited for a wide audience or are just plain offensive. And with active, constant discourse surrounding the novel coronavirus, Google is reportedly rushing to ban some words and phrases from appearing in the Gboard autocomplete bar. Read More
So, the last couple of weeks have not been good ones for the Google Maps team. First some public-spirited Android fans decided to prove their pride with a bit of digital vandalism, using the Map Maker tool to show the Bugdroid mascot pissing on an Apple logo somewhere in Pakistan. That little mishap led Google to disable Map Maker submissions altogether. Then earlier this week, users found that searching for certain racist terms in Google Maps would lead to results for the White House, among other similar combinations.
Amazingly, this is not the least classy part of this story.
Google is sorry. Read More