Google injects still more AI into Google Docs and other Workspace apps

Google injects still more AI into Google Docs and other Workspace apps
Durch: Mashable Erstellt am: Mai 15, 2024 anzeigen: 3

On Tuesday at Google I/O, Google's much relied-upon — but rarely loved — Google Workspace software suite got a major injection of additional AI features that are coming soon.

Gemini 1.5 Pro, from the language model family formerly known as Bard, is being plastered into the side panel in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides — not to mention Drive and Gmail. These applications are already interconnected, but this slate of features aims to automate those connections via a chirpy AI-powered assistant with the power to — in theory — teleport from app to app, doing work tasks that used to be labor-intensive. 

Google is clearly envisioning a more seamless and integrated experience across Workspace, enabled by the centralization of all the user's documents and data. With Gemini functionality perpetually available on the screen, users are being encouraged to ask the bot quotidian questions or request little favors. While in Docs, Gemini can dig up details found in emails, or organize lists into spreadsheets automatically. 

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Users also aren't required to specify exactly which applications they expect Gemini to use to perform the functions in question. In the demo, a user simply asks the AI assistant to help them organize, and it invents a system in which it will place files in a new folder, and organize the data from said files into a spreadsheet. 

Credit: Mashable screenshot from Google's presentation

If you're excited by the prospect of an AI-assisted workflow, it's worth pausing for a moment to consider data security. Last year, a New York Times report notes, there was a great deal of internal discussion at Google when the company attempted to rework its privacy agreement to begin mining users' publicly available Google Docs for AI training data. Google can now use such data according to its user agreement, but only chooses to incorporate data from users who opt into experimental Google features, the Times reported. 

It's also worth noting that we've only seen a demo so far. AI assistants have, thus far, been buggy, lying robots, seemingly rushed to the market way too quickly. With OpenAI nipping at Google's heels, Google's new AI-enabled glow-up for Workspace can't just be on trend. As the name implies, it has to work.

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