Google Doodle remembers discovery of Egyptian Khufu Ship

The Khufu Ship is now preserved in the Giza Solar Boat Museum in Egypt. (Shutterstock)
Updated 26 May 2019

Google Doodle remembers discovery of Egyptian Khufu Ship

  • The ship is believed to have been built for Khufu, the second pharaoh of the fourth dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Egypt
  • Over 1,200 pieces were reassembled by the Egyptian Department of Antiquities in order to restore the ship

DUBAI: Today’s Google Doodle marks the 65th anniversary of the discovery of the Khufu Ship, one of the world’s oldest and largest boats, found in Egypt.

The ship, now preserved in the Giza Solar Boat Museum, is believed to have been built for Khufu, the second pharaoh of the fourth dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, who is entombed inside the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Unearthed in 1954 by archeologist Kamal El-Mallakh, remnants of the massive ship were found buried under a stone wall on the south side of the pyramid.

Over 1,200 pieces were reassembled by the Egyptian Department of Antiquities in order to restore the 143-feet long, 19.6-feet wide vessel. The whole process took over a decade to finish.

It’s still unclear what the ship was originally intended for – some experts say it was used to transport Khufu’s remains to his final resting place, while others believe it was placed at the location to transport him to the afterlife, according to Ancient Egyptian tradition.

Some experts suggested that the ship might contain clues to the construction of the pyramids, which still causes debate among scholars. 


Google CEO calls for regulation of artificial intelligence

Updated 20 January 2020

Google CEO calls for regulation of artificial intelligence

  • Sundar Pichai’s comments come as lawmakers and governments seriously consider putting limits on how artificial intelligence is used
  • Pichai’s comments suggest the company may be hoping to head off a broad-based crackdown by the EU on the technology

LONDON: Google’s chief executive called Monday for a balanced approach to regulating artificial intelligence, telling a European audience that the technology brings benefits but also “negative consequences.”

Sundar Pichai’s comments come as lawmakers and governments seriously consider putting limits on how artificial intelligence is used.

“There is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. The question is how best to approach this,” Pichai said, according to a transcript of his speech at a Brussel-based think tank.

He noted that there’s an important role for governments to play and that as the European Union and the US start drawing up their own approaches to regulation, “international alignment” of any eventual rules will be critical. He did not provide specific proposals.

Pichai spoke on the same day he was scheduled to meet the EU’s powerful competition regulator, Margrethe Vestager.

Vestager has in previous years hit the Silicon Valley giant with multibillion-dollar fines for allegedly abusing its market dominance to choke off competition. After being reappointed for a second term last autumn with expanded powers over digital technology policies, Vestager has now set her sights on artificial intelligence, and is drawing up rules on its ethical use.

Pichai’s comments suggest the company may be hoping to head off a broad-based crackdown by the EU on the technology. Vestager and the EU have been the among the more aggressive regulators of big tech firms, an approach US authorities have picked up with investigations into the dominance of companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon.

“Sensible regulation must also take a proportionate approach, balancing potential harms with social opportunities,” he said, adding that it could incorporate existing standards like Europe’s tough General Data Protection Regulation rather than starting from scratch.

While it promises big benefits, he raised concerns about potential downsides of artificial intelligence, citing as one example its role in facial recognition technology, which can be used to find missing people but also for “nefarious reasons” which he didn’t specify.

In 2018, Google pledged not to use AI in applications related to weapons, surveillance that violates international norms, or that works in ways that go against human rights.