back to article Google Research opens machine intelligence base in Zurich

Google has announced a dedicated machine-learning research group in Europe, based in its Zurich office. Dubbed Google Research, Europe, the office in Switzerland will give its engineers and researchers "the opportunity to develop products and conduct research right here in Europe, as part of the wider efforts at Google." In a …

  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Zürich is an expensive place to be, I have found earlier this year, but no doubt Google should be able to afford it.

    I do note that given the language most used in Zürich, "großer Käse" would be more appropriate than "gros fromage" in the subtitle.

    </grammar nazi>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I do note that given the language most used in Zürich, "großer Käse" would be more appropriate than "gros fromage" in the subtitle.

      I'll raise you one pedant: the German variant spoken in Switzerland does not use the "ß" character so that would be "grosser Käse" (but I make no claim if this is the correct form, I've long lost track of that :) ).

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Actually...

        "D'r Appenzeller, d'r frisst den Chäs mitsamt d' Teller!" as my better half's relatives from Switzerland use to say. Not sure about Switzerland, but in Krautistan "großer Käse" is slang for "this is crap".

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Actually...

          Not sure about Switzerland, but in Krautistan "großer Käse" is slang for "this is crap".

          The more I learn, the more appropriate the phrase sounds :D

      2. Dr Who

        Re: Actually...

        The ch is the hardest sound for a non-native to get right, hence the time honoured test of asking someone to say "chuchi chaeschtli" which simply means kitchen cupboard but is damn hard to day if you didn't grow up saying it. When a Swiss says the ch it sounds OK. When a foreigner tries it, it normally sounds like they're about to deposit an enormous flob at your feet.

        Not mentioned in the article but must be part of Google's thinking is that on their door step in Zurich they will have the ETH - probably the best technical university in Europe.

    3. LionelB

      Zürich is an expensive place to be, I have found earlier this year, but no doubt Google should be able to afford it.

      No problem for staff, who will be taxed at Republic of Ireland rates.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Oor Nonny-Muss
    Boffin

    Why is there a picture of Lake Geneva...

    when Zürich is at the northern end of Zürichsee (aka Lake Zürich)?

    A bit like saying the river running through Cardiff is the Thames.

    1. Wensleydale Cheese

      Re: Why is there a picture of Lake Geneva...

      They've fixed that now with a piccie of the River Limmat in Zurich.

      Plus some unknown lass.

      1. The Nazz Silver badge

        Re: Why is there a picture of Lake Geneva...

        Unknown but for how long? That''s one pretty lass.

        The FWB* will be along shortly to campaign to have such women removed.

        *Don't ask.

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Why is there a picture of Lake Geneva...

        @Wensleydale Cheese

        Plus some unknown lass.

        When I saw the smaller version of the picture, I thought El Reg must be working on a "Geek's Guide to Switzerland" and had sent their model on a photo-shoot.

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/02/geeks_guide_to_britain_book/

  4. Vimes

    This is the same Switzerland that still has it's own Safe Harbour agreement in force. It was originally meant to reflect the situation at the EU level, but nothing has changed since the Schrems court ruling and it's still on the books.

    And the ICO refuse to do anything about UK data exported to the US without any legal basis with regards to UK/EU law if it's first exported to Switzerland first.

    https://twitter.com/patrickseurre/status/743111972703592448

    Just look at the games Deep Mind have already played with access to NHS patient data (without consent of the patients)

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/04/googles-deepmind-shouldnt-be-sucking-up-our-nhs-records-in-secret

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This is the same Switzerland that still has it's own Safe Harbour agreement in force. It was originally meant to reflect the situation at the EU level, but nothing has changed since the Schrems court ruling and it's still on the books.

      It's not quite that easy. There are a couple of changes afoot, but you must remember that Safe Harbor is a political fix, not a legal one. Switzerland is a direct democracy and such changes cannot be made without taking it to a public vote.

      I think, however, that the changes in progress may render Google rather less enthusiastic about Switzerland. The only absolute reason they're likely to remain is because the Zürich/Switzerland location puts them out of reach of most mass surveillance laws which makes me wonder just what the hell they're up to over there (as I don't trust them to be working on anything benign, that's not in their DNA).

    2. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      nothing has changed since the Schrems court ruling

      This is true. Data is still being shipped in bulk to a country with incredibly weak data protection laws for those who are not local citizens (if any) and noone is doing anything about it.

      Oh, you meant in Switzerland...

  5. russell 6

    The move makes sense

    With so many car and other automative industries on the continent it makes sense if you want to progress from 'machine learning' to 'machine teaching' I recently wrote that it won't be so long until PLC (Programable Logic Controller) will be able to be programmed by another computer with human input needed only to give the basic parameters of each station on a production line

    https://russellchapman.wordpress.com/2016/06/10/the-rise-of-the-machines-how-they-will-change-your-life/

  6. Uberseehandel

    Even Leberkäse (or allegedly Fleischkäse in CH)

    For me, there are 4 reasons to be in Zürich

    1. Good transport links

    2. ETH - one of the best Computer Science establishments anywhere

    3. Benign judicial environment

    4. The city is functional

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Even Leberkäse (or allegedly Fleischkäse in CH)

      These guys are calvinists.

      Back when I profited from the excellent Computer Science Department of ETHZ, there were the usual noise and protests from the corner of the boisterous youthful leftist out to anticapitalistically Change the World. Forces of the Law and Order always quickly put a lid on that (I vaguely remember that they were a bit overwhelmed by the rightists/trumpists and the "kurdish immigrants" though)

      I have to go back and visit that town again.

      As to Google, there wIll probably be a large, spooky building at "Tessier-Ashpool Strasse 1"...

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Even Leberkäse (or allegedly Fleischkäse in CH)

      Leberkäse. Usually an aquired taste.

      (About 17:45 min in. But the whole movie is good.)

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Even Leberkäse (or allegedly Fleischkäse in CH)

      And the coffee (Café Noir in Neugasse = my favourite).

  7. energystar
    Holmes

    Yea

    If wanting the work to be well done, need to keep a close watch.

    [I asked for FOUR entangled units!]

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