New breakthroughs at Google and Baidu are breaking down the language barriers between countries and cultures. In fact, the new technology, called machine learning, doesn’t just make online translation services more accurate, it actually allows the computers to learn and improve. [...] improving translations is a major step forward in bringing the world closer together and helping people connect.

David Rothkopf talks with Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, Inc., who accepted this year’s Diplomat of the Year award on behalf of Google. The conversation at the awards dinner was centered on how the massive gains in connectivity are changing the landscape of diplomacy. Within just a few years, everyone on this planet may be connected to the internet. 

[W]hen Mr. Zhao, a Chinese tourist, arrived with his wife in September, they spent their first day wandering the humdrum suburban office parks that Facebook and Google call home. Joining a guided bus tour with a dozen other Chinese visitors, the two became part of the steady flow of Chinese tourists to Silicon Valley that represents — despite pervasive censorship and outright hostility from the Chinese government — the tremendous influence Silicon Valley wields in China.

On Sept. 15, film star and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio unveiled Global Fishing Watch for the public at the US State Department’s Our Ocean 2016 conference. [...] The goal? Get the public engaged in illegal fishing, which makes up 35 percent of the global wild marine catch, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

A yearlong digital training course for Irish high school teachers started in 2014. A fund to help European news outlets adapt to the web popped up in 2015. And in March, a virtual reality exhibition began at a Belgian museum to showcase a Renaissance painter. All these projects are aimed at supporting European culture and education, helping the region embrace the fast-changing online world. And all are financed by Google

Google’s video giant has become not just the Web's biggest petri dish for the funny, weird and astronomically popular. With its 1 billion viewers and cultural omnipresence, it now offers campaigns a breadth no hometown TV network can match.

Increasing Internet access will be a key component to boosting Cuban businesses, according to President Obama. In remarks made alongside Cuban President Raul Castro as well as a separate forum on Cuban entrepreneurship, the President emphasized the Internet’s role in improving and expanding the country’s ability to innovate.

Google said its grant would help to raise awareness, reduce mosquito populations and support the development of vaccines. "Today we have Google engineers working with Unicef to analyse data, to determine how to map and anticipate the virus," the company said in a blog post. [...] The company is also working with popular YouTube channels in Latin America to produce information videos about the virus.