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George Williams
I see the future online.
I see the future online.

George's posts

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A very special place...
What's it really like to venture deep into the heart of polar bear country and see polar bears in the wild? At ground level. This Hudson Bay Odyssey video will introduce you to one of the rarest adventures on the planet. #polarbears #polarbear #adventuretravel #wildlifephotography #HudsonBay #Canada #travel  

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Today is International Polar Bear Day! Good for polar bears. Good for mankind. ~ Photo courtesy of Matthias Breiter. Thank you Matt! #polarbearday #polarbears #globalwarming #climatechange  

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+Columbia Sportswear Directors of Toughness Lauren Steele and Zach Doleac were at  Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge last fall testing the Arctic Heatzone TurboDown™ Hooded Jacket among #polarbears , #wolves and #northernlights . Here's what happened.Thanks Zach! Thanks Lauren! #TestedTough

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Yep, the "Veracity" Thingy

Veracity is a bit of a bugbear in semantic search because of the frighteningly large computational load required for even relatively mundane tasks. 

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"Artificial intelligence is the future of Google Search, and if it’s the future of Google Search, it’s the future of so much more."

Great +Cade Metz piece in Wired, and the perfect second act to +David Amerland's piece yesterday on machine learning (

Bonus: Metz does a great job of putting RankBrain in context.

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More very interesting things to think about regarding Google and the future from +David Amerland 
Everything is About to Change

Everything we do in the framework of search depends upon connectivity, access and internet speeds. Google is re-imagining all this on a grand scale that may succeed in bringing the entire planet online. 

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Good luck +Richard Bangs!
Got a few exciting trips lined up for 2016. They could be the perfect opportunities to put this mantra to the test. #TravelBoldly #WanderlustWednesday.

Pic: Jetsetter

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A must read for SEOs by +David Amerland. #SeeTheFuture
AI Masters a Game Only Humans Could Play

Go ( is a fiendishly difficult game of strategy which, unlike Chess, depends upon specific choices that players make which in turn can overturn an expected (and computable) outcome to something entirely different.

It's non-linear nature made it one of those games which many thought computers would struggle at. Yet, like everything we see and do, it is also governed by patterns and patterns, however obtuse and intricate, are subject to analysis which means they too can be computed.

Google, in collaboration with MIT managed one of its fabled sleight-of-hand moves putting together a hybrid system that uses Machine Learning in some of the process to deliver an AI that can actually play

This is really important, not least because it also signals an acceleration of pattern recognition (and prediction) in search. It marks clearly Google's advantage in this area (the company is at least ten years ahead of everyone else in its research) and it also indicates the increased importance AI plays as we move into the future.

Google's development is important for one other reason: Facebook. Zuckerberg also announced Facebook's intent to fashion an AI capable of playing Go ( Facebook's Founder is, rightly, focused upon AI research and has made it his personal mission this year:

Facebook's announcement could not be more different than Google's and it also marks the deep differences between the two companies: Google used its data and engineering excellence plus its connection with academia to crack the problem. Facebook intends to. Viewed against its track record with M ( this raises some questions regarding its capability to actually do so, particularly seeing how Facebook still has not managed to produce a search function worth its name (though what they now have is miles better than what they used to have).

Search is key because it is like a questing brain. It forces programmers and engineers to actually work hard with the materials they have and the limitations they face to produce a coherent, clear-cut result that makes sense to a human. It is this which gives Google a distinct advantage in its approach.

Will Facebook ever get near? It remains to be seen. A little real competition might be good not just for Google but also the rest of us. :) 

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Nice to see my September 2013 article that predicted Google ‪#‎RankBrain‬ more than two years in advance (Read here: ) validated by the latest round of Google ‪#SEO‬ algorithm changes. And I was implementing it for at least two years before that, until I finally got tired of people telling me I was wrong and wrote the article. I'll have to update it again now, or write a new article that includes the additional real time data crunching. For the believers, adjust your SEO strategies accordingly :) And make sure to read +David Amerland's book, Google Semantic Search, as a primer.

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Penguin 4.0 is Finally Here

It appears the much-dreaded Penguin 4.0 update is finally being rolled out worldwide. Google is again looking at quality but this time across the real-time web where the challenge presented by the 4Vs of semantic search (Volume, Velocity, Variety and Veracity) present an even greater challenge.

Because data in the real-time web is fresh there is a certain amount of rawness associated with it which makes it hard to judge its quality. Google is looking to address that. This will affect websites as usual, particularly as social media links that have a spammy signature begin to affect website rankings despite the fact that they usually tend to be transient in nature and effects.

The G+ stream will most probably be filled with horror stories over the next few days. Cue for "Brace Yourselves..." memes. Oh, and in case you're wondering "what should I do?" well, if you've been following my posts you know already" "Be Yourself" (I am not going to bother explaining that one more, here :) ). 
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