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What World Hearing Day means for this Googler

Tell us more about your background and job at Google.When I moved to the U.S in 1984, there were no transcription services. I wanted to change that, so I focused my work on optimizing speech and language recognition to help people who are deaf or hard of hearing.I eventually moved from academia to Google’s speech…

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Tell us more about your background and job at Google.

When I moved to the U.S in 1984, there were no transcription services. I wanted to change that, so I focused my work on optimizing speech and language recognition to help people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

I eventually moved from academia to Google’s speech recognition team in 2014. The work my team and I accomplished allowed us to create practical applications — like Live Transcribe and Live Caption.

How has your personal experience shaped your career?

I completely lost my hearing when I was one. I learned to lipread well so I could communicate with other students and teachers. My family was also very helpful to me. When I switched to a school where my father taught, he made sure I was in a class with children I knew so it was a smoother transition.

But in eighth grade, I moved to a math school with new teachers and students and was unable to lipread what they taught in class or communicate with my new classmates. I sat, day after day, not understanding the material they were teaching and had to teach myself from textbooks. If I had a tool like Live Transcribe when I was growing up, my experience would have been very different.

In what ways has assistive technology — like Live Transcribe — changed your experience today?

Technology provides tremendous opportunities to help people with disabilities — I know this firsthand.

I use Live Transcribe every day to communicate with others. I use it to play games and share stories with my twin granddaughters — which is life-changing. And just last week, I gave a lecture at a mathematical seminar at John Hopkins University. During it, I could interact with the audience and answer questions — without Live Transcribe that would have been very difficult for me to do.

I used to rely heavily on lipreading for day-to-day tasks, but when people wear masks I can’t do that — I don’t even know when someone who’s wearing a mask is talking to me. Because of this, Live Transcribe is even more important to me — especially when at stores, riding public transit or visiting a doctor.

What are you excited about when you think about speech recognition technology ten years from now?

My dream is to use speech recognition technology to help people communicate. As technology advances, it will unlock new possibilities — such as transcribing speech even as people switch languages, understanding people with all accents and speech motor skills, indicating more sound events with visual symbols and automatically integrating sign recognition or additional haptic feedback technologies.

Further in the future, I hope to see an experience where people are no longer dependent on a mobile phone to see transcriptions. Perhaps transcriptions will be available in convenient wearable eye technologies or appear on a wall when someone looks at it. There’s a variant of prediction that there will be no mobile phones since all devices around us — like our walls — will act as mobile devices when people need them to.

What do you want others to learn from World Hearing Day?

According to WHO, one in ten people will experience hearing loss by 2050. Still, a lot of people with hearing loss don’t know about novel speech recognition technologies that could help them communicate, and hearing people aren’t aware of these tools.

World Hearing Day is an opportunity to make everybody aware of the needs of people with hearing loss and the technology that everyone can use to have a tremendous impact on their lives.

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A milestone for King’s Cross: a local innovation hub

Over the last few years, King’s Cross has truly transformed, becoming a thriving hub of innovation and creativity. The transformation is a sign of the UK’s strengths, with its incredible local talent and strong history of leading technological and scientific progress. These strengths inspired us to invest here in King’s Cross, in one of our…

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Over the last few years, King’s Cross has truly transformed, becoming a thriving hub of innovation and creativity. The transformation is a sign of the UK’s strengths, with its incredible local talent and strong history of leading technological and scientific progress. These strengths inspired us to invest here in King’s Cross, in one of our most ambitious developments to date.

Today, together with local MP, Keir Starmer, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, leader of Camden Council Georgia Gould, and our building partners, we celebrated a major milestone in the construction of our new King’s Cross office – and in our long-standing commitment to the UK – as we placed the final beam on our new development.

Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party and MP for Holborn and St Pancras said:

“It’s fantastic to attend not only as the leader of the Labour Party and local MP but as a proud local resident of more than 25 years. Congratulations to Google on your magnificent new building, and for all it represents – a seizing of opportunity, harnessing of talent, the creation of good, sustainable jobs and an immense contribution to our community. You’re showing what can be achieved when forward looking local government partners with the ingenuity of the private sector.”

We have long believed that creativity is spurred by environments that promote connection and wellbeing. This is more important than ever as we adapt to a future of flexible, hybrid working. Our new King’s Cross building will be equipped with new workplace technologies to help global and remote teams collaborate more effectively, build relationships, learn from colleagues and dream up new ways to solve complex challenges.

It will also be a place for community and connection thanks to the ground floor retail and community spaces, which are being curated with — and for — the local community. In the coming weeks, in partnership with more than 30 youth organisations in Camden, we’re excited to open our doors to 500 local young people for a week of taster sessions to inspire school students and job seekers with careers in technology, as well as more than 100 local work experience students.

Innovation extends to the design of the building itself, which is playing an important role in helping us to achieve our goal of going carbon free by 2030. We’re pioneering new technologies that will make our King’s Cross office our most ambitious smart building to date, including a system of 13,500 interconnected devices that will work together to improve energy efficiency in real time.

While the doors of our new King’s Cross development won’t open until 2024, incredible work is already underway nearby. The neighbourhood is home to thousands of our engineers working on products like Android, Wear OS, Search and Google Business Profiles, which are used the world over. In fact, many of the team behind some of our newest products – to be released later this year – are based right here in King’s Cross. We look forward to growing these teams and being a part of the local community’s future growth and development.

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Protecting people’s privacy on health topics

Privacy matters to people — especially around topics such as their health. Given that these issues apply to healthcare providers, telecommunications companies, banks, tech platforms, and many more, we know privacy protections cannot be solely up to individual companies or states acting individually. That’s why we’ve long advocated for a comprehensive and nationwide U.S. privacy…

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Privacy matters to people — especially around topics such as their health. Given that these issues apply to healthcare providers, telecommunications companies, banks, tech platforms, and many more, we know privacy protections cannot be solely up to individual companies or states acting individually. That’s why we’ve long advocated for a comprehensive and nationwide U.S. privacy law that guarantees protections for everyone, and we’re pleased to see recent progress in Congress.

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Google and U.S. developers find agreement over Google Play store

Finally, we’ve heard developers want to understand more about how Google Play operates, which is why we’ve agreed to publish annual transparency reports. The reports will share information about the Google Play Store, including statistics such as apps removed from Google Play, account terminations, and other data regarding how users interact with Google Play. Source

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Finally, we’ve heard developers want to understand more about how Google Play operates, which is why we’ve agreed to publish annual transparency reports. The reports will share information about the Google Play Store, including statistics such as apps removed from Google Play, account terminations, and other data regarding how users interact with Google Play.

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