Google is testing AI functions in Gmail and Docs, among othersBack
Google is testing AI in its Workspace apps, including Google Docs, Gmail, Sheets, and Slides, with a limited set of users in the United States.
AI is used in these apps to generate text, summarize and brainstorm (in Google Docs). It can generate emails in Gmail from point-by-point bullet points, and can add images, audio, and video to presentations. AI can also expand or rewrite texts in Google Docs. To this end, there will be a button 'Help me write', with a field for entering a command (the prompt). You can then regenerate text or insert it into your current document and edit it.
According to Google, AI will be used in the future for the following functions:
- Compose, reply, summarise and prioritize emails in Gmail
- Generate ideas, proofread, write and rewrite in Docs
- Generation of images, audio and video in Slides
- Analyze data, categorise and generate formulas in Spreadsheets
- Generate new backgrounds and take notes in Meet
- Deploy workflows in Chat.
Of course, Google is using these innovations to catch up with the competition in the AI race, which has been raging since Microsoft integrated ChatGPT into Bing last February.
Writing tools in Docs and Gmail
The writing and brainstorming tools in Docs and Gmail seem most useful. In an example demo, the prompt, “Vacancy for a regional sales representative” led to the full job description in seconds. This way you can quickly draft a job description, cover letter or invitation to a birthday party.
You can also rewrite or expand texts. A few short notes about a meeting can be expanded into a summary or report in Google Docs, where you can also specify the tone-of-voice (for example 'loosely' or 'formal'). As an example, Google shows AI being used to write personalized marketing messages for customers, turn a bullet point into an email, and summarize the content of a long email chain in Gmail.
Google vs Microsoft, Slack and others
Microsoft is rumored to be building similar features into its Office suite, including Word, Teams, and Outlook. It seems that the two companies are also competing with each other in the field of office software. And Slack also recently announced that it will use ChatGPT to create discussion summaries.
The fact remains that the rush to deploy AI also brings its dangers. Texts generated by AI programs are notoriously unreliable, often 'hallucinating' fabricated information or bogged down in prejudices and presenting them as the truth.
This can lead to big problems. What if AI misattributes a quote or idea? Or if an AI marketing email generates new customers or products, or costs a user money?
So now a group of ‘trusted testers’ will be given access to the AI writing tools in Docs and Gmail. It is not yet known when the other features will become available to testers or when the features will be rolled out generally.