Google Chrome will use machine learning to make browsing less awful

Google has revealed plans to use machine learning to simplify web browsing.

The company said(Opens in a new window) it already uses machine learning to enable certain features, such as flagging potentially malicious websites or grouping browsing history by specific topics, in Chrome. But it plans to introduce additional features based on machine learning in the future.

It starts with annoying permission requests from websites. You have certainly encountered them before. It often seems like every other site you visit is asking for permission to send notifications, know your location, or access something on your device.

“To help people browse the web with minimal disruption,” Google explains, “Chrome predicts when permission prompts are unlikely to be granted based on how the user has previously interacted with it. similar permission prompts, and silences these unwanted prompts. In the next version of Chrome, we’re releasing an ML model that makes these predictions entirely on-device.”

This feature shows how Google can use machine learning in a reactive way. On the proactive side, the company says future versions of Chrome will use the technology to enable a toolbar that can automatically change to match user behavior.

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Google says it wants to “make sure Chrome meets you where you are, so in the near future we’ll be using ML to adjust the toolbar in real time – highlighting the most useful action to that time (e.g. share link, voice search, etc.).” (The company says Chrome users will still be able to customize the toolbar manually, so this feature shouldn’t be too disruptive.)

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