Google Meet now lets you create AI-generated backgrounds — here's how it works

Google Meet AI-generated backgrounds
(Image credit: Google)

You can now create custom background images in Google Meet that have been created by AI. Yes, it's official: Skynet has finally taken over. Before we start contemplating Terminators making custom backgrounds for us though, there's a slight catch with this new Meet feature. 

First spotted by eagle-eyed Twitter user ‘Artem Russakovskii’ (thanks, XDA Developers), Google Meet now sports a seriously smart feature that lets you make custom backgrounds generated by AI through simple prompts.

Access to these bewitching backgrounds isn't currently available to everyone, though. To take advantage of this new Google Meet feature, you must first sign up to the Google Workspace Labs; a tester program that lets users try out new AI features via invitation.  

The trouble is, participation in this program is limited, and at time of writing, it’s only available in select regions in the U.S.  

I tried testing Google Meet’s new AI-generated backgrounds on both my custom-built Windows 11 desktop and a powerful gaming laptop. Sadly, I was unable to access the new AI features on either machine upon clicking Meet’s ‘Apply visual effects’ button. 

Google Meet new AI backgrounds explained  

Google Meet AI backgrounds

(Image credit: Google)

If you have access to Workspace Lab features, the process of generating AI-made backgrounds in Google Meet looks to be fairly straightforward.

Once you’re in the Effects menu, click the ‘Generate a background’ button, whereby you’ll be prompted to type a phrase and select a genre — the official tutorial shows off photography, sci-fi, fantasy, 3D animation, illustration and monochrome categories. 

The example phrases shown are ‘spaceship cockpit’ and ‘an illustration of a magical forest’; but seeing as we’re dealing with AI, the number of recognized phrases is likely vast. Once the AI has generated an image based on your phrase and style, it will create multiple backgrounds for you to choose from. 

It’s worth noting that this is still an experimental feature, and it’s yet to be seen what final form it may take when it finally rolls out of its invite-only Workspace Labs phase. 

This is certainly a cool feature that potentially opens the doors to boundlessly inventive backgrounds for Google Meet sessions. If I can ever get the feature to work on my devices, dinosaurs will most definitely be involved… actually, ‘dinosaurs in space’.

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Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.