Google started as a research project--and research has remained a core part of the companies culture till date. Peter Norvig, Director of Research, Slav Petrov, Senior Research Scientist and Alfred Spector, vp of research and special initiatives, recenlty published a paper, "Google's Hybrid Approach to Research" to shed more light on Google's approach to research.
In the paper, "we describe our hybrid approach to research, which integrates research and development to maximize our impact on users and the speed at which we make progress. Our model allows us to work at unparalleled scale and conduct research in vivo on real systems with millions of users, rather than on artificial prototypes," wrote Alfred.
"This yields not only innovative research results and new technologies, but valuable new capabilities for the company--think of MapReduce, Voice Search or open source projects such as Android and Chrome."
"Breaking up long-term research projects into shorter-term, measurable components is another aspect of our integrated model. For example, Google Translate is a multi-year project characterized by the need for both research and complex systems, but we've achieved many small objectives along the way--such as adding languages over time for a current total of 64, developing features like two-step translation functionality, enabling users to make corrections, and consideration of syntactic structure," Alfred explained.
You can read the full paper here.
In other Google news, the company on its official blog highlights, its fifth GoogleServe 2012 Global Week of Service--an annual tradition in which Googlers around the world join together in community service projects.
"Overall, more than 5,000 Googlers helped serve their communities across 400+ different projects as part of GoogleServe this year," Google posted.
This year, inspired by Billion+ Change and Reimagining Service as well as industry research, we focused on incorporating more skills-based projects. "With that in mind, our software engineers developed code to help make math formulas accessible to blind students with Social Coding 4 Good; with the Student Veterans of America recruiters led resume and interviewing skills workshops with veterans; and with the Branson Centre in South Africa sales and business development professionals trained entrepreneurs in online tools to grow and optimize their small businesses," added Google.
Also, Google today posted finding of Boston Consulting Group, revealing that American consumers who researched products online last year spent almost $2,000 actually purchasing those products offline. That's almost $500 billion that went directly to main street retail.
"We're proud to be part of such a dynamic industry, and we're committed to helping make the web work for American businesses. In fact, in 2011, Google's search and advertising tools helped provide $80 billion of economic activity for 1.8 million advertisers, website publishers and nonprofits across the U.S. You can see the state-by-state breakdown on our economic impact website," Google stated.
Until today, most debate about online piracy was driven by emotion, not hard data. Now, Google with the UK copyright collective PRS for Music and BAE Systems Detica published a report, where they examined hundreds of websites cited by rightsholders as the main online pirates.
"For each, it analysed - amongst other things - the number of unique visitors, IP addresses, the main sources of funding, and preferred audio-visual formats. The results suggest that the most effective weapon to tackle piracy is to follow the money - to squeeze the pirates' financing," Google wrote.
"A close look at pirate financing shows why following the money could be so effective. Some 86% of advertising on the pirate sites surveyed by Detica comes from networks that have failed to sign up with the UK's self-regulatory bodies or commit to strong codes of conduct," posted Theo Bertram, policy manager, UK.
The upshot? Even though revenue from compact discs fell, the music industry's overall market value grew by 2.7%.
Here is the full report: