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Hearing About Google Colab in 2020

Why did I not hear about it earlier?

I find it strange that I have not heard of Google Colab until recently. A fellow student at the MSc of Social Data Science told me about the Google Colab, and when I looked into it I was surprised that I had not heard of it earlier. Colaboratory, or “Colab” for short, is a product from Google Research. It is an online Jupyter notebook service open for collaboration with free access to computing resources. It allows the use to write and execute python code through the browser. It is also free to use! This article is some rudimentary information about Google Colab, based on looking at it for the first time and exploring what information is available online.

  1. You can store and share your notebooks on Google Disc (as can be done for Google Sheets or Docs).
  2. It is possible to upload existing Jupyter/IPython notebooks into Colab.
  3. Code is executed in a virtual machine — these are deleted when idle for a while.
  4. All Colab notebooks are stored in the open source Jupyter notebook format ( .ipynb).
  5. You can wait a day for quota limits to reset.
  6. Colab works with most major browsers, and is most thoroughly tested with the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Written by

AI Policy and Ethics at Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own.

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