Archive for Google

Google discovers ChatGPT training data flaw

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 30, 2023 by itnerd

On the one year anniversary of ChatGPT going public comes these recent findings by Google researchers on ChatGPT’s training data.

The researchers successfully prompted ChatGPT to disclose parts of its training data using a novel attack technique, which involved asking the chatbot’s production model to repeatedly echo specific words indefinitely.

Anurag Gurtu, CPO, StrikeReady had this to say:

The exposure of training data in ChatGPT and other generative AI platforms raises significant privacy and security concerns. This situation underscores the need for more stringent data handling and processing protocols in AI development, especially regarding the use of sensitive and personal information. It also highlights the importance of transparency in AI development and the potential risks associated with the use of large-scale data. Addressing these challenges is critical for maintaining user trust and ensuring the responsible use of AI technologies.

This is not a good look for AI in general and ChatGPT specifically. Clearly people behind AI products need to get a handle on this sort of thing quickly or these sorts of issues will simply multiply.

UPDATE: Kevin Surace, Chair, Token adds this:

The attack was incredibly simple and some of them still work as of now. It is an absolute disaster for any model to reveal its training data – IP-wise, legal, integrity and so on. Certainly, OpenAI and others must put in more stringent safeguards to keep this from happening again.

Update Chrome ASAP As There’s A Flaw That Is Actively Being Exploited

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 30, 2023 by itnerd

If you are a user of the Chrome browser, you should update it ASAP to stop a flaw in said browser from being used by threat actors as an attack vector to pwn you.

The details of the flaw can be found here. The flaw allows an attacker to execute code and pwn you. Which is of course bad. What’s worse is that this exploit according to 9to5Mac is actively being exploited. Making this a today problem for you.

Time to update all the things Chrome related.

Google Canada Reveals The Top Searched Gifts This Holiday Season

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 16, 2023 by itnerd

Shopping habits have significantly shifted over the years as Canadians become increasingly digitally savvy shoppers. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner, Google Canada is revealing new insights around how Canadians plan to shop this holiday season, and the top searched products under a number of categories. 

Whether Canadians are looking to revive cargo pants, up their hair and nails game or contemplate whether the iconic Mattel hunk is truly “Kenough” for gifting this holiday season, Google Canada’s has the top searched items for holiday shoppers along with additional insights on how Canadians are shopping this season here.

Here’s what Canadians are searching for leading into Black Friday/Cyber Monday*:

Top trending toy searches
Dune Lego
Blox Fruits Plush
Pomni Plush
OVO BearbrickToddler Balance Bike
Wood Play Kitchen
Marvel Action Figures
BarbieTrain Set
Top trending apparel searches
Carhartt beanie
Vessi shoes
Birkenstock Clogs
Cargo pants
Ugg slippers
Nike Air Force 1
Patagonia Fleece
Lululemon Bag
Top trending consumer electronic searches
Dyson headphones
Bose soundbar Remote car starter
Xbox 360
iPhone 15 Pro Max
Nintendo Switch Games
Garmin Forerunner 45 Watch
Sonos speakers
Sony Alpha Camera
Top trending beauty searches
ELF lip oil
Dior lipstick
Clinique black honey
Nail stickers
Bubble moisturizer
Press on nails
Aquaphor lip balm
EOS body lotion
La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5
Maybelline vinyl ink

Source: Google Search Trends.*

Google Canada reveals winners for inaugural Google Search Honours Awards

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 3, 2023 by itnerd

Today, Google Canada is announcing the winning Canadian advertisers and agencies selected for the inaugural Google Search Honours Awards, celebrating those who are using AI-powered advertising to propel their business forward. 

There are plenty of awards that recognize flashy brand campaigns, but Search marketing doesn’t get the same recognition despite its impact on driving business results. The Google Search Honours Awards were created to celebrate brands and marketers using Google’s AI-powered ads to reach new audiences, maximize their spends and push the boundaries of what their campaigns can achieve.

On September 14, Google announced the shortlist, and six winners were announced at the awards celebration on Thursday November 2.

Reach Expansion The Reach Expansion category recognizes work that leverages AI-powered Search tools to efficiently connect with a wider audience.Rising StarWinner: Simplii Financial Shortlist: BMO | KINESSO; Desjardins | Glassroom; Hyundai | INNOCEAN
Best in ClassWinner: Canadian Tire Shortlist: Hudson’s Bay; lululemon athletica; RBC Insurance | WebAgency
Value Impact The Value Impact category celebrates AI-powered work that uses smart bidding strategies to get the most out of Search advertising investments.Rising StarWinner: Shopify Shortlist: Destination BC | Noise Digital; Scotiabank; WestJet Airlines Ltd. | Touché! 
Best in ClassWinner: Toyota Saatchi & Saatchi Shortlist: Air Canada; Jewlr; QuickBooks Online
AI Innovation The final category is AI Innovation, which shines a light on those who are pushing the boundaries and breaking new ground with AI-powered Search campaigns. Agency of the YearWinner: Mindshare Shortlist: PHD; Saatchi & Saatchi/Synergize; Starcom
Marketer of the YearWinner: QuickBooks Online Shortlist: Canadian Tire; lululemon athletica; TD Bank

Demand Gen will now roll out to all Google Ads customers around the world

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 10, 2023 by itnerd

The news is out from Google this morning Demand Gen will enter global general availability for all advertisers.

YouTube & Google announced the beta for Demand Gen back at Cannes – unveiling it as a new ads campaign type for social marketers. Since then, global brands and agencies like Samsung Germany and pHd Media have used this solution to uplevel their approach to social.

Their findings: Neither Google nor YouTube are markedly social platforms but the interconnected networks provide performance and results that are better for social buyers. It’s because of the unparalleled reach (read: billions of users a month) across multiple surfaces and screens, plus thecontent that viewers seek out, and the singular nature of how this ecosystem is where consumers turn to first to engage during critical moments of consideration – from brand letters in Gmail to creator recommendations on YouTube and Shorts.

More details can be found in this blog post.

FINALLY! TD Bank Provides Google Wallet Support For Its Cards

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 5, 2023 by itnerd

Two years ago, I wrote about TD Bank not having support for Google Wallet and only having support for Apple Wallet. This angered users and sparked a petition to encourage TD to provide this support. I guess that this worked as 9to5Google is now saying that TD now has Google Wallet support:

The last major bank in Canada that didn’t support Google Wallet, TD Bank, has this week finally launched support for NFC payments on Android phones.


Last year, TD Bank announced the shutdown of its own mobile payment service. Customers were reminded of the change via email, with TD then going on to announce that it would open up support for Google Pay and, in turn, Google Wallet on Android devices starting this week.

The email reads:

In October, TD informed customers of its decision to discontinue the TD Mobile Payment service. 

We recognize that mobile payments have become a part of our everyday lives and we are committed to offering a variety of payment solutions for our customers. 

Today, we are happy to announce the launch of Google Pay; customers now have the option to add their TD Access Cards and eligible TD Credit Cards to their Android devices. To start using your mobile phone today, add your TD Access Card or eligible TD Credit Card(s) to Google Pay, if you have not done so already.

I really don’t understand why it took so long for TD to support Google Wallet. It’s almost as if they didn’t want to provide this support, and ultimately were forced to support it for whatever reason. This really reflects poorly on TD. But I am sure that Android users who are TD customers are happy about this development.

Google Canada Economic Impact Report explores how AI could boost the Canadian economy by $210 billion

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 26, 2023 by itnerd

Today, an Economic Impact Report was released, revealing that Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, Google Cloud and Google Advertising tools delivered over $45 billion of economic activity for Canadian businesses, non-profits, publishers, creators and developers in 2022.

The report, published by Public First, also offers a future-looking perspective on how AI-powered technologies are set to provide the country with an economic boost, whether that’s helping people to work more efficiently, making careers more accessible or unlocking new ways of learning digital skills. Some of the report’s key findings include:

  • Generative AI has the potential to increase Canada’s economy by $210 billion –  that’s the equivalent of 8% of Gross Value Added (GVA)
  • Generative AI could save the average Canadian worker over 100 hours a year
  • It’s estimated that Google Cloud is saving 120 million business hours for the Canadian economy each year – that’s equivalent to at least $7.5 billion a year in business time savings for the Canadian economy.

 Google’s blog post has more information about today’s announcement and you can read the full report here

Google Unveils YouTube Ads Creative Guidance Tool

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 11, 2023 by itnerd

Today, YouTube ads unveiled Google-AI powered solutions that will allow advertisers to effectively unlock creativity on their platform.

The new creative guidance tool in Google ads will auto detect if uploaded campaigns are up to the standard of YouTube’s creative best practices – providing them with input on what is most effective on the platform. This means advertisers will have data-backed input on their campaign impact on the platform – straight from the source. 

This feedback is then made immediately actionable with advertisers ability to then access more AI-powered tools including the ability to add voiceover, perfectly edit their ads for length or orientation, and/or create new immersive and effective ads by adding their creative assets to new templates

Once advertisers have the ideal ad, they can trust our campaign types to then place their campaigns, through AI, in the most relevant context for the multi-format, multi-screen experience that is YouTube.

Read more on the blog here.

Google Is Now Tracking Your Every Move Online To Make Money

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 10, 2023 by itnerd

Earlier this week, I posted this story about Google’s new Privacy Sandbox feature. But there’a dark side to this announcement that ARS Technica is highlighting:

Don’t let Chrome’s big redesign distract you from the fact that Chrome’s invasive new ad platform, ridiculously branded the “Privacy Sandbox,” is also getting a widespread rollout in Chrome today. If you haven’t been following this, this feature will track the web pages you visit and generate a list of advertising topics that it will share with web pages whenever they ask, and it’s built directly into the Chrome browser. It’s been in the news previously as “FLoC” and then the “Topics API,” and despite widespread opposition from just about every non-advertiser in the world, Google owns Chrome and is one of the world’s biggest advertising companies, so this is being railroaded into the production builds.

Google seemingly knows this won’t be popular. Unlike the glitzy front-page Google blog post that the redesign got, the big ad platform launch announcement is tucked away on the page. The blog post says the ad platform is hitting “general availability” today, meaning it has rolled out to most Chrome users. This has been a long time coming, with the APIs rolling out about a month ago and a million incremental steps in the beta and dev builds, but now the deed is finally done.

Well, I don’t use Google Chrome as my main web browser. But this is a few steps too far. And not only won’t I be using Chrome on any of my computers, but I will encourage others not to use Chrome as well. The other thing that this does is make my trust level with Google as a company drop to zero.

If you’re looking for alternatives, Firefox and Safari on the Mac would be my choices. Neither of those browsers have shown blatant disregard for their user base that Google Chrome has.

Google Says That Privacy Sandbox Has Reached General Availability On Web

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 7, 2023 by itnerd

Today, Google announced a new update to Privacy Sandbox for the Web, reaching  “general availability” on Chrome for the relevance and measurement APIs, a significant step on the path towards a fundamentally more private web. 

Google first introduced the Privacy Sandbox initiative across the web and Android in 2019, collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders — including publishers, developers, adtech providers, consumers, and more

What’s new? 

  • The general availability of the Privacy Sandbox APIs will enable advertisers and developers to scale usage of these new technologies within their products and services
  • Google has also rolled out new Ad privacy controls in Chrome that allow people to manage how the Privacy Sandbox technologies may be used to deliver the ads they see. These controls allow users to tailor their experience by customizing what ad topics they’re interested in, what relevance and measurement APIs they want enabled, and more. 
  • General availability means the Privacy Sandbox technologies are in a stable state, and ready for scaled use by advertising solutions to support key business use cases. Having reached this stage after extensive industry feedback, Google does not plan to make any significant changes to the API interfaces ahead of third-party cookie deprecation. Companies integrating the Privacy Sandbox APIs into their solutions can now scale their deployment and testing to assess readiness for the planned deprecation of third-party cookies in Chrome in the second half of 2024.
  • Starting in Q4 of 2023, Google will enable the industry to bolster their testing efforts with the ability to simulate the deprecation of third-party cookies for a percentage of their users. Then, in Q1 of 2024, Google will turn off third-party cookies for 1 percent of all Chrome users, further establishing the environments necessary for testing the effectiveness of the Privacy Sandbox APIs. 

You can learn more about the announcement in the blog post here