Google Adds Generative AI Tools to Docs and Gmail
Google has introduced new generative AI tools to the Google Workspace suite of products, starting with Gmail and Google Docs. The new AI features will draft articles and emails based on written prompts and revise them to suit a preferred tone, a use case that’s become increasingly widespread among generative AI app developers.
Generative Gmail Docs
Google Docs users with access to the feature can write in a text box the kind of document they are writing and the AI will generate the rest as seen in the job description example above. The same goes for drafting messages or replies in Gmail. Once the AI has completed the draft, users can employ the generative AI to edit and change the way it’s written. They can lengthen or shorten the text, ‘formalize’ incomplete sentences into a coherent paragraph, or turn a text into a set of bullet points. There’s also an “I’m Feeling Lucky” button reminiscent of Google’s early search days that takes a chance on the AI coming up with something creative in a style that works for the task at hand. The new features are available only to Google’s trusted tester program for now, though the company plans to release them more widely soon.
“We’re now at a pivotal moment in our AI journey. Breakthroughs in generative AI are fundamentally changing how people interact with technology — and at Google, we’ve been responsibly developing large language models so we can safely bring them to our products,” Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian explained in a blog post. “More than 3 billion people already benefit from AI-powered features in Google Workspace, whether it’s using Smart Compose in Gmail or auto-generated summaries in Google Docs. Now, we’re excited to take the next step and bring a limited set of trusted testers a new set of features that makes the process of writing even easier.”
Augmenting writing and editing tools with large language models has rapidly become a mainstay of the industry. Last week, Grammarly released its new GrammarlyGO tools based on exactly that concept. OpenAI and rivals like Jasper have created APIs to further extend their offerings in the space. The new Notion AI assistant, website creator Wix, and graphic design platform Canva all count AI writing assistance powered by a mix of generative AI APIs among their features. Not to mention the writing-specific generative AI companies like Regie, But Google has a lot of users, and if people like what they’re providing on Workspace, it could represent a major new generative AI competitor.
“Workspace’s mission is to meaningfully connect people so they can create, build and grow together — and advances in generative AI are allowing us to deliver on this mission in new ways,” Google Workspace vice president of Product Johanna Voolich Wright wrote in a blog post. “When it comes to delivering the full potential of generative AI across Workspace, we’re just getting started. In the same way that we revolutionized real-time collaboration with co-authoring in Docs 17 years ago, we’re excited to transform creation and collaboration all over again in Workspace.”
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