Machine Learning for Google Chrome Set to Make Web Browsing Much Better


It’s pretty rare to be entirely satisfied with something, and there’s usually always little things that irk you when it comes to whatever it is. And all that despite being overall fairly satisfied with the experience of it. When it comes to web browsing, it is likely that most people will say it’s the pop ups that annoy them most, and for people who have health concerns that have connections to optic nerve overstimulation they can be more than just a nuisance.

There’s no getting around the need for revenue, so unfortunately pop ups and the like aren’t going anywhere. But the web development giants of the world have made the efforts to improve the experience when using their web browsers over the years. Real improvements haven’t been fast to arrive, and in many ways that’s because the imperfections of browsers like Edge, Firefox, and Chrome are tolerable in the big picture of everything.

So with that understood we can assume that anything that does make news when it comes to an improved web browsing experience has to be something rather big and significant. And it is here with Google making it clear that they are now making real strides implanting machine learning into the function of their flagship Chrome browser. A browser that – as many of you will know – is far and away the one of-choice for most people around the world.

And here at 4GoodHosting we’re like most good Canadian web hosting providers in that we feel similarly, and we’re like anyone anywhere for whom a more enjoyable and tailored web browsing experience is going to sound plenty good. So let’s dig into this here today as it’s something that likely all of us are going to benefit from in the more long-term picture around this.

Specific Task Focuses

It was in a recent blog post that Google announced the rolling out of new features to Chrome via ‘on device’ machine learning. Improving a person’s browsing experience is the goal, by adding several new ML (machine learning) models that will focus on different tasks this will be made possible. For starters, ‘web notifications’ will be handled differently, and we may well be presented with a better and more adaptive tool bar too. Google states these new features will promote a ‘safer, more accessible and more personalized browsing experience’ and one that is better for all different types of users.

Another big plus is that having models run (and stay) on your device instead of in the cloud will promote better privacy, and maybe we can go so far as to think it may eventually keep certain people from feeling they have to go with Duck Duck Go or something similar.

But let’s stick with the indicated changes for web notifications first. What we’re going to see in upcoming versions of Chrome is an on-device machine learning structure that will examine how you interact with notifications. If and when it finds you are routinely denying permissions to certain types of notifications then it will put a stop to you receiving that type in the future. Nearly everyone will be thankful to not have to click ‘dismiss’ every time they pop up, and as a lot of us know they pop up way too often.

Good intentions, sure, but it will be nice if the browser is able to see the pattern and realize that permission is never going to be approved and then stop requesting for it. However, you’re still able to override Google’s prediction if in fact you don’t want to continue having the choice for yourself.

Responsive to Behaviour Patterns

Another aim that they’ve focused on where is to have Chrome change what the tool bar does based on your past behavior. One example would be where people like to use voice search in the morning while on public transit, or more likely when a person is prone to sharing a lot of links. For either scenario Chrome will then anticipate your needs and add either a microphone button or ‘share’ icon in the tool bar to simplify the process for the user.

Customizing it manually will be possible as well, but as of now whether or not this functionality will appear on other platforms is not known. We do know that any time proprietary interest aren’t involved that most other developers will follow suit if the changes to the technology end up being well received.

Google has also been quick to tout the work machine learning is already doing for Chrome users. Even with the current version when you arrive at a web page that page is scanned and compared to a database of known phishing or malicious sites. In the event of a match you are provided with a warning, and you may already be familiar with it – a full-page, all-red page block, that has been standard since March of this year. Google states that it is a reflection of how Chrome is able to now detect 2.5 times more malicious sites than it could before.

Some – Not All – In Next Release

Apparently the smart silencing of notifications will be part of the next release of Chrome, but we may have to wait for certain other offerings that are part of Google’s greater incorporation of machine learning into the flagship web browser. Another question people are asking is if these improvements will be for mobile only, and some people are wondering if overall browser performance might decline by this. Google has said that the adaptive toolbar is one feature that won’t be in the next roll out

This will be an interesting development to keep an eye on, and in large part because as mentioned when improvements are proven positive and well received other tech giants tend to follow suit with regards to their products. And given how much time nearly all of us spend web browsing it’s something that most will have a good level of interest in.

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