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Google talks up AI, security for cloud

Google unveiled a series of AI-centric features for its various cloud offerings, with security in particular being a focus

Google has showcased a host of new, recent, and planned updates for its Cloud offering.

Speaking at the web giant's 2023 Cloud Next conference, a team of execs lead by Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian explained how AI and security will be key areas of focus with Cloud going forward.

"All of our new products provide breakthrough performance at the highest levels," Kurian said in his keynote address.

Among the new offerings in the AI space will be Vertex, a set of developer tools the Google believes will help its cloud offering better attract those looking to integrate AI functions into their apps.

The features in Vertex are said to include new and updated large language models, both from third parties and from Google's own AI efforts. Among those will be PaLM, which will now sport specialized sets for both the data and security fields.

The updates will also include the introduction of a feature to identity and watermark AI-generated images.

Kurian noted that this was something that is particularly difficult to do with conventional techniques such as meta-data (which can be manipulated after the fact) or by marking pixels (which can change the presentation of the video or image.)

For those running Google's productivity suites, Google said that the updates to its Duets AI will bring integration with the Workspace service allow users to automate tasks such as taking notes or pulling images and data from various sources.

The company also showcased a similar integration for Duet into Google Cloud, designed for tasks including simple code composition as well as data and security analysis.

On the hardware side, Google brought out Nvidia founder and head honcho Jensen Huang, who talked up the ways Google AI would be integrating with his company's own hardware, including the recently-announced Grace Hopper chip.

Not surprisingly, security was one of the major themes of Google's opening presentation. Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia took the stage to big up how that's units own threat intelligence services will help to provide the knowledge base for AI security offerings.

"At Google and Mandiant we are on the front lines responding to incidents. We are learning new and novel way attackers are getting around security," Mandia said.

"Front line intelligence makes you situationally aware, you have to know what you are up against in order to respond to it."

The hope is that this will translate into the AI space, allowing for tools such as Duet to better perform analysis and suggest responses to emerging threats.

"Currently, security analysts are overwhelmed," Mandia explained.

"This is like adding thousands of security experts to your team overnight."