Google’s plans for Brazil: submarine cables, AI and… Gil

Google’s plans for Brazil: submarine cables, AI and… Gil

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced a few days ago that he will invest US$1.2 billion in Latin America over the next five years — strengthening its digital infrastructure in a strategic market for Google. Big Tech.

Today, Google gave the details of how it intends to spend part of that money in Brazil.

In an event called Google for Brazil, the company presented projects ranging from a new engineering center to a digital collection by Gilberto Gil; from yet another submarine cable to an artificial intelligence capable of talking over the phone.

Below, the main insights of the event.


Google said it will create a new engineering center within the Institute of Technological Research (IPT), which is part of USP.

With 7,000 square meters, the center will have capacity for up to 400 employees and will be used to develop technologies in strategic sectors globally, including privacy and online security.

This will be Google’s second R&D center in Latin America. Since 2006, the company has been headquartered in Belo Horizonte that is focused on developing technologies for its search engine — led for many years by Berthier Ribeiro-Neto, today Google’s director of engineering for Latin America.

The Google office will be built in a historic IPT building, which dates from 1936. The center is expected to open its doors by the end of 2024.

Eduardo Tejada, Google’s senior director of engineering, said the center will “bring us closer to the academic research environment and closer to the main technologies on the market.”


Another relevant investment by Google will be the construction of another submarine cable to reinforce its cloud in Brazil.

The cable firmina (a tribute to Brazilian novelist Maria Firmina dos Reis) will be the largest in the world, linking Brazil with the United States and extending to Argentina and Uruguay.

The infrastructure, under development for two years, should come into operation next year.

Google said undersea cables allow fast, low-latency access to both everyday products like YouTube and its streaming services. cloud.

The cable is added to three others that Google has already built in Brazil in recent years: the Junior, which runs from Rio to São Paulo; O Tannat, which runs from Santos to Maldonado, in Uruguay; it’s the Monetwhich goes from Boca Raton, in Florida, to Santos, passing through Fortaleza.

Since 2017, Google has invested BRL 1.6 billion to reinforce its cloud in the country.


Duplex, an artificial intelligence technology that uses natural language processing to do everyday tasks, is coming to Brazil.

Google said the technology is already being tested in three roles: making calls to update information about store and restaurant opening hours; automate tasks on the internet, such as buying movie tickets; and consultation of polling places, in an initiative together with the TSE.

Since it started testing the technology in Brazil, more than 50,000 Brazilian companies have received a call from artificial intelligence; today, Google is making 200 calls a day.

At the event, CEO Fabio Coelho showed a video of an AI conversation with one of its customers. The ease with which Duplex responded to the interlocutor using expressions such as “hmm” and “aham” made the audience laugh.


Google for Startups wants to reduce the deficit of black programmers. For this, Google’s startup accelerator created a program that offers scholarships to blacks interested in starting a career in programming.

The goal is to train 200 low-income black developers in the next 12 months, and then help them to enter the market.

Google for Startups already had an initiative to help black entrepreneurs: the Black Founders Fundwhich has already invested $5 million in startups founded by blacks.


As not only technology lives Google, the company said it will launch a digital exhibition in honor of the life and work of Gilberto Gil.

Hosted on the Google Arts & Culture platform, the show will bring together a collection of more than 41,000 images distributed in 140 sections, in addition to 900 videos and historical recordings that have been digitized.

The exhibition will also bring to life an unpublished album by Gil, recorded in 1982 in New York and which was only discovered two years ago. The album had been lost on Gil’s return to Brazil and has unpublished recordings by the composer.

This exhibition “allows new access and the possibility of reprogramming all this work,” said Gil, the author of Parabolicamará, who in 1990 was already talking about digital disruption. “It creates a new sharing dimension of my work.”

Source: Brazil Journal

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