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Machines are getting smarter all the time, but could they ever attain the quintessentially human qualities of creativity and introspection?

Demis Hassabis – chess wunderkind, games designer and one of Google’s artificial intelligence whizzkids – thinks so.

He made a rare public appearance this week, speaking on a panel of philosophers and neuroscientists at the London School of Economics, to debate whether the brain is a “predictive machine”. Read more

On Friday we reported that the European parliament is threatening to break up Google. More precisely, it is likely to approve a draft motion calling for the European Commission to consider the “unbundling” of search engines from other commercial services as one possible solution to Google’s dominance.

But would this even work in practice? The short answer is, it’s not clear.

The German MEP Andreas Schwab, a long-time Google critic who is sponsoring the draft motion, told the FT that the practicalities had still to be looked at. Read more

Google faces a lot of questions on Europe’s new right to be forgotten ruling.

Should it notify a news website that it taking down links to one of its stories in its search results? Can famous people remove links to information about them created before they began to make headlines? Should those who fail to understand Facebook’s privacy settings be able remove information held in their social network profile from Google’s search results?

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At London swing of Google's advisory council hearings on #rtbf. Unlike the search engine, lots of questions, few answers

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These were among tricky dilemmas put today to Google’s “advisory council”: a group of independent experts advising the company on how to implement the European Court of Justice’s controversial decision in May. The court gave people the right to ask internet search engines to remove sensitive or embarrassing links to websites for queries that include their name. Deluged with hundreds of thousands of such takedown requests, Google wants the council to help develop policies to deal with the most difficult of cases.

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If Google Glass didn’t exist, guys in Silicon Valley would be having affairs or buying unsuitable motorbikes – or so claim the “White Men Wearing Google Glass” Tumblr and Twitter feeds, which mock the device’s associations with unfashionable male geekery.

Now Google’s flagship wearable is a step closer to shedding its unflattering image: high-end online fashion sites Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter have started selling Glass to UK shoppers, the first third-party retailers to do so. Read more

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Smart watches, TVs and cars featured prominently on Wednesday as Google laid out its plans for pushing its Android smartphone software into new fields. At its annual I/O developer event in San Francisco, “wearables” had pride of place, with news that the first smartwatches based on Android Wear are now on sale – before Apple unveils its much-anticipated iWatch. With Android TV and Android Auto, on the other hand, Google was playing catch up with Apple. The event pointed to how the battle for the next big tech markets beyond the smartphone will be fought. Richard Waters and Tim Bradshaw were at the Moscone Center for this round. 

Sarah Mishkin

Google’s first ever public report on its diversity is out, and the numbers are not hugely shocking. Women make up less than a third of its workforce globally, while 5 per cent of its US staff are black or Hispanic.

More notable: The fact that Google admits it was in the wrong not to have released this data earlier. Read more

While older industries still struggle with the digital transition, those one step ahead are toiling with the mobile one. Read more

Richard Waters

It is nearly two years since Google took the wraps of Glass, its ambitious smart glasses project, and said it was aiming to put them on sale by the end of 2013. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Ray-Bans via Instagram

Google has been working hard lately to dampen the constant, rumbling criticism of Glass. First, it issued guidelines on etiquette for its pioneering wearable gadget, warning early adopters: “Don’t be a glasshole.”

Then last week, it decided that the people buying its $1,500 headset weren’t glassholes after all, trying to dispel ten “myths” about the prototype product: Glass really isn’t a “distraction from the real world” or “the perfect surveillance device”, it insisted in a blogpost.

The ground suitably prepared, Google has now made a much more meaningful step towards mainstream acceptance: it is partnering with the maker of Ray-Ban and Oakley frames to make Glass fashionable. Read more

Robert Cookson

Google has fired off a new salvo in its campaign to convince the world that Glass is cool rather than creepy.

A month after telling early adopters of the wearable technology how to avoid becoming a “Glasshole”, Google is now attempting to win over the public with a Buzzfeed-style list of “The Top 10 Google Glass Myths”. Read more

Here are some figures to back up the mad race to monetise mobile by tech giants such as Google and Facebook. Read more

Are we seeing the emergence of a grand alliance between Google and Samsung for Android mobile devices, similar to the Microsoft-Intel alliance for Windows personal computers? It looks like that from events this week:

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Eric Schmidt (c) Getty Images

On Thursday Eric Schmidt gave a fascinating talk on technological innovation, in which he warned that broad range of jobs that once seemed beyond the reach of automation are in danger of being wiped out by technological advances.

I raised two questions to neither of which in my view did I receive a good answer.

First, we see IT everywhere, except in the productivity statistics. It is really quite hard to reconcile the idea of a dramatic technology revolution with stagnant or near-stagnant productivity in high-income countries.

What is going on? Is most of the revolution in household production? Or is GDP even more mis-measured than usual?

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Hannah Kuchler

Yahoo has lost its chief operating officer who was in charge of steering the internet company’s advertising business, as it continues to lose share in the digital ad market.

Henrique de Castro is leaving swiftly after reports he fell out with Marissa Mayer, who poached him from her former home Google as part of her turnaround plan for the purple-plastered companyRead more

The internet search startup, which went on to resemble a media company with its content services, is becoming all about the hardware these days. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

In an interview on Monday afternoon, Nest’s co-founder and chief executive Tony Fadell told the FT that he sold the “smart home” company to Google because he wanted to focus on new product innovations, not worry about managing the behind-the-scenes infrastructure that handles all the data generated from its “Learning Thermostat” and “Protect” smoke alarm, and to ensure the company stays ahead of mounting competition. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Google will double its investment in a new data centre it is building in Taiwan as internet use in Asia rockets beyond what the US internet group predicted a few years ago when it first planned the site, one of its first two data centres in Asia.

The search company already invested $300m in the massive centre on a flat plain outside a city in central Taiwan, and says it will double that in the next stages of the data centre’s development. Read more

So this is it. Google’s revised offer to settle the European Commission probe into its search business has been described extensively in the press. But the actual text and screenshots of how new Google searches will look under the proposal were not published, much to the annoyance of the complainants asked for confidential feedback. One of the parties has decided to revolt and set the documents free. We’re publishing them here in full.

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The three-year Brussels probe into Google’s search business seems to be meandering towards a thundering anticlimax. With every legal twist, revised settlement offer and procedural shuffle, the case is losing the zip that made it a cause célèbre in the antitrust world. The opposing camps, meanwhile, appear ever more entrenched and polarised. Nobody is satisfied.

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Richard Waters

First, for Google’s opponents, let’s look on the bright side.

The company’s tentative deal with European regulators in April to head off a formal anti-trust complaint was, according to critics, worse than useless. In the words of Silicon Valley lawyer Gary Reback: “They were Nowheresville”.

Tuesday’s revised deal at least fixes the most glaring flaws. Whether it will do anything meaningful to change the competitive situation is another matter. Read more