Forget that last search: Google announces new privacy features


Google has introduced new privacy features for its various services, allowing you to delete your search query history for the past 15 minutes.

In addition, you’ll be able to set up password-protected folders in the Photos app, in case you want to make sure others don’t see sensitive files.

These were two of numerous announcements made at Google’s annual I/O developer summit, held online this year amid the ongoing pandemic.

Unlike online events from Apple and other tech companies, the presentation was not pre-recorded but broadcast live on Tuesday from a small stage on the grounds of the company’s headquarters.

Google put a special focus on its progress in the development of machine learning and artificial intelligence, touting its new Lamda software, which can hold a more nuanced conversation with a human being.

Google demonstrated two quirky examples of a dialogue: The software first slipped into the role of the planet Pluto and then of a paper aeroplane.

The program could answer random questions like whether there were already visitors on the planet Pluto or how far the paper aeroplane could fly.

The answers are not predetermined, but are generated by the program on the basis of existing information, Google boss Sundar Pichai said.

Pichai said that the dialogue technology is still being researched, but over time it should be incorporated into various products such as the Google Assistant.

In the coming weeks, the developer conferences of Facebook and Apple will follow, also in an online format. For the tech giants, the annual events are traditionally an important opportunity to give an insight into their strategy to an audience of thousands of developers. – dpa

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