Google Bard may still be largely under wraps, but that’s not Google’s only AI venture. Google and its parent company Alphabet are working on a wide variety of AI products and they just announced several more — including AI upgrades to Google Docs and Gmail.
In a blog post (opens in new tab), Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian announced a slew of new AI products. While some of these are aimed at developers, such as the PaLM API and MakerSuite, the headline was a bunch of new generative AI features in Google Workspace, including the popular apps Google Docs and Gmail. This new generative AI will be rolling out to Docs and Gmail in the coming weeks according to Kurian.
Vice President of Product, Google Workspace, Johanna Voolich Wright (opens in new tab) further elaborated on just what exactly this new generative AI can do. At first glance, it looks a lot like Google’s existing Smart Compose feature, which uses machine learning to offer personalized suggestions to compose emails faster.
And in a sense, it is similar to that, but based on what Google is promising, it should be so much more. Google says that this new generative AI will allow users to draft documents and email replies in seconds, summarize existing email conversations and help you proofread and brainstorm, serving as a collaborative partner when working in either app.
In a demo, Google showed how the AI was able to generate an entire job description for a new position in seconds, nearly fully automating a tedious HR task. It also showed the AI taking existing notes and turning them into an email, which honestly feels super useful for those of us that sometimes don’t know exactly how to word what they’re trying to say in an email — an all too common problem. If you don’t like what the AI came up with, you can have it rewrite the email to change the tone used or more accurately describe your thoughts.
New AI features in Google Slides, Sheets, Meet and Chat
While this new generative AI is only rolling out in Google Docs and Gmail to start, it is slated to roll out to the rest of Google Workspace at a later date. Features will include the ability to auto-generate images, audio and video in Slides, which hints at multimodal functionality potentially similar to what Microsoft has promised is coming in OpenAI’s GPT-4 model.
Users will also get upgrades in other Workspace apps — from turning raw data into formulas and analysis in Sheets to creating new Meet backgrounds and taking notes during your Meet sessions. Google is even bringing new features to Chat, adding the ability to enable workflows for greater productivity.
Time will tell how these new features work, and whether they will be a step up from similar features promised by generative AI integrations in Slack and Grammarly. But if these AI features deliver on their promises, we may have plenty more time on our hands.