Google deploys new AI tool for COVID-19 vaccine research

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Google’s response to tackling misinformation about COVID vaccines has been to display resources from health authorities like the CDC in information boxes on search results pages.

But the coronavirus – and COVID-related scams and fake news – have crossed international borders and language barriers.

How is Google supposed to provide the same quality of information when people use search terms in foreign languages ​​that the algorithm might not recognize?

Enter: MOM. No, not someone’s British mother. It’s Google’s new AI tool, called Multitask Unified Model, which the company says will help the search engine answer complicated queries by (among others) extracting information from sources in “75+” languages. .

First announced at the company’s I / O developer conference in May, Google shared on Tuesday that it had put MUM into action for its first job: to escalate information about the coronavirus vaccine. .

MUM has information to share.
Credit: Google

Google says its analysis shows that there are more than 800 variant names for the coronavirus vaccine – like “Coronavaccin Pfizer” and “CoVaccine” – in different languages. Identifying names and assigning them information boxes is a process that he says would normally have taken “weeks”. However, MUM was able to do it in “seconds”. Google has validated that MUM’s analysis of search terms is accurate, and the technology is now being used for searches.

“This first MUM app has helped us deliver critical information to users around the world in a timely manner,” reads Google’s blog on the subject.

Google displays information from the CDC or the World Health Organization in its boxes. Google says it will also display information from “local health authorities, depending on where you’re looking from.”

The dissemination of vaccine information is a fairly small-scale example of some potentially significant changes under the hood of Google search. MUM needs fewer data entries to generate responses. Google search will therefore theoretically be able to adapt more quickly to new trends and information.

On the user side, MUM will be able to take the context of pages in multiple languages ​​to suggest more relevant search results in the user’s language. Google gives the example of a person visiting Mt. Fuji. It can use information from Japanese websites to provide a traveler with better results in English.

This is not all MUM can do. Google says it will eventually let people ask increasingly complicated Google search questions. It can also handle questions in multimedia formats; for example, he could answer a question, asked by voice, about the content of an image. You can read a more detailed explanation of how MUM works here. And don’t be surprised if you see more of MUM, soon.


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