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‘Next Generation’ AI is Coming to Google Cloud, Gmail, Docs, and More


After slightly misfiring with its own AI-powered chatbot, Google is now bringing the capabilities of generative AI to developers and businesses via Google Cloud and MakerSuite. Better still, the technology giant is also introducing a raft of features designed for the general public through Workspace applications such as Google Docs, Gmail, Sheets, and Slides. Google announced the big news on Tuesday via a blog, revealing how it plans to “harness the power of generative AI to create, connect and collaborate.”

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The meteoric rise of OpenAI’s ChatGPT has been a cause of concern for many tech companies, including Google, which is certainly feeling like an underdog desperately trying to catch up to the competition. The company’s decision to now bring generative AI to its suite of applications and deploy AI on a massive scale seems like an attempt to grab the market leader position and it doesn’t fail to impress.

According to the internet behemoth, the new AI-powered features in Google Workspace include unique ways to “draft, reply, summarise, and prioritise” emails. Here’s how Google has described the features of each format:

  • Slide – Will “brainstorm, proofread, write, and rewrite” text documents, autogenerate images, audio and video
  • Sheets – Will go from raw data to insights and analysis via auto-completion, formula generation, and contextual categorization
  • Chat – Will “automate transcription notes in Google Meet and “enable workflows for getting things done”.
  • Docs and Gmail – To help users write better and faster, Google said it’s going to integrate AI in Docs and Gmail that “quickly gin up additional text” after you type a few words regarding the topic you want to write about.

Basically, this means that Docs will be able to whip up a bunch of sentences using the context provided by you, which can later be modified and edited to better meet your needs. However, currently, Google plans to make these features available to a “limited set of trusted testers” in the US sometime this month. For developers and businesses, Google is introducing the PaLM API as a safe and easy way for developers to build on top of its best language models. The API includes the MakerSuite tool, which lets users prototype their ideas.

Google
Image: Google

Later down the road, MakerSuite will offer synthetic data generation, custom-model tuning, and prompt engineering features, which will all be “supported by robust safety tools.” Developers who want to build and customize their own models and apps using generative AI can access Google’s AI models, including PaLM, on Google Cloud.

Google is introducing generative AI capabilities to its Cloud AI portfolio to help developers and organizations access enterprise-level safety, security, and privacy. While these features definitely seem like a major overhaul, it’s important to note that AI tech is far from perfect. The tech is still in its nascent stages, where errors and blunders are a pretty common sight. In its press release today, Google reiterated the same, stating, “Sometimes the Al gets things wrong, sometimes it delights you with something offbeat, and oftentimes, it requires guidance.”

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Google | Image: Edho Pratama
Google | Image: Edho Pratama

That said, the AI rush isn’t looking to slow down any soon and Google’s next-generation of AI for developers and Google Workspace is a clear indication of the company doubling down on AI and its commitment to bettering the lives of consumers via its AI-enabled suite of products. However, the company remains cautious in its approach and is of the opinion that AI isn’t a replacement for humans but more of a helper that aims to make things efficient and smooth.

“AI is no replacement for the ingenuity, creativity, and smarts of real people,” Johanna Voolich Wright, VP of Product at Google Workspace, wrote in a blog. “Sometimes the AI gets things wrong, sometimes it delights you with something offbeat, and oftentimes it requires guidance.”

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Gmail generative AI | Image: Google
Gmail generative AI | Image: Google