Menu
Google reports strong profit, says it's 'rethinking everything' around machine learning

Google reports strong profit, says it's 'rethinking everything' around machine learning

Google's products will use that form of AI even more in the future

It's already sorting your email and translating your voice searches, and machine learning will play a bigger role in Google's services moving forward.

Google's parent company, Alphabet, reported its quarterly financial results with revenue and profit both up from a year earlier. New Google CEO Sundar Pichai took part in his first earnings call, and in between discussing the numbers he revealed how important Google thinks machine learning is to its future.

"Machine learning is a core, transformative way by which we're rethinking everything we're doing," he said.

He was putting the spotlight on a branch of artificial intelligence that's getting more attention lately. It involves using computer algorithms that can "learn" over time. A common example is its use in email, where machine learning figures out from watching users' behavior which emails are spam and which should be let through.

At Google, it's long been used for voice search and language translation, and Pichai said the technology has progressed quickly, particularly in the past two years.

"Our investments in machine learning and artificial intelligence are a priority for us," he said. Microsoft, IBM and Facebook are investing in similar areas, and machine learning is showing up in apps for business.

"We're thoughtfully applying it across all our products, be it search, ads, YouTube, or Play," Pichai said. "We're in the early days, but you'll see us in a systematic way think about how we can apply machine learning to all these areas."

He didn't give examples, but it's not hard to imagine where it might turn up. He mentioned machine learning in the context of mobile, for example, where machine learning could determine if a user is at work, at home or in their car, so that their phone can deliver information accordingly.

Thursday was the first time Google's results were reported by Alphabet, the holding company it formed earlier this year, of which Google is just one part. Creating the holding company was a way to separate Google's core businesses -- areas like search, advertising and YouTube -- from longer term bets in areas like self-driving cars.

Next quarter, Alphabet will break out financial results for each division. The goal, it says, is to give more visibility into how the core businesses are performing. For each division, including Google, Alphabet will break out the revenue, net profit and capital expenditures, said CFO Ruth Porat.

On Thursday, though, it was business as usual, and the results last quarter were largely good. Google's overall revenue climbed 13 per cent from a year earlier to $US18.7 billion, while net profit jumped 45 per cent to $US3.9 billion.

Much of the growth came from mobile search, Porat said. Last quarter, the number of searches on mobile devices passed the number on desktops for the first time. India was a particularly strong area for mobile growth.

Revenue from YouTube also grew at a "significant rate," she said, and Google's programmatic advertising business -- real-time, automated purchasing of ads -- was strong.

And Google for Work grew at "a tremendous rate," Porat said. Google Drive for Work passed one million subscribers last quarter for the first time, she said.

Speaking of Google's cloud services for businesses, which compete with Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, Pichai said Google is "investing a lot and playing for the long term"

Not all was rosy, though. Aggregate paid clicks -- the number of times Google made money when a user clicked on an advertisement -- increased 23 per cent from a year earlier, but the amount of money Google received for each click dropped by 11 per cent, continuing a downward trend from the past several quarters.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleIBMMicrosoftAlphabetmachine learningartificial intelligenceFacebook

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honoured its top performing partners across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, recognising innovation and excellence on both sides of the Tasman. Revealed under the Vivid lights in Sydney, Intalock claimed the coveted Partner of the Year 2017 (Pacific) award, with Data#3 acknowledged for 12 months of strong growth across the market. Meanwhile, Datacom took home the New Zealand honours, with Global Storage and Insentra winning service provider and consulting awards respectively. Dicker Data was recognised as the standout distributor of the year, while Hitachi Data Systems claimed the alliance partner award. Photos by Bob Seary.

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners
Show Comments