Google responds with an AI that writes for you

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We talk about it (very) regularly: the race for AI is frantic. Big tech companies flock to ads to showcase their tools. This time it is Google’s turn to inform us about the availability of APIs and tools for companies and developers through Google Workspace. The first two applications that take advantage of automatic text generation are Gmail and Google Docs, among others.

The Gmail logo with an emoji robot // Source: Frandroid

In its announcements blog post, Google spares no effort:We are currently at a pivotal point in our AI journey. Advances in generative AI are dramatically changing the way people interact with technology.This is certainly enough to promote the power of your presentation, but it testifies to an important trend. Gmail and Google Docs will take advantage of Google’s language model: a kind of ChatGPT to write your emails and other texts, and this, from now on, for Workspace users.

Google is also in the race for generative AI

While OpenAI announced GPT-4, a new major version of its language model, on March 14, and Bing had been using it for several weeks, announcements are raining down in terms of generative AI. In this race, Google is in the game, but for the moment it is in retreat. If the company introduced Bard, its own language model, is currently not available. Actually, we expect the biggest announcements from Google at its annual conference, Google I/O, which will take place on May 10.

On the other hand, by integrating generative AI into its office suite, Google is directly competing with Microsoft. We know that the Redmond firm is actively working on integrating similar functions for its Office suite. Word would allow you to type text, and Outlook to quickly reply to your emails, much like what Google Docs and Gmail will be able to do today.

GPT-4 designed by Midjourney // Source: Midjourney by Frandroid

Parallel to its presentation, the web giant specifies that other experiments with certain testers will be launched this month, for the moment in English and in the United States. If they prove conclusive, they will of course be extended to other countries and other languages.

Gmail and Google Docs and other Google apps are getting really smart

Until now, we have found in Gmail and Google Docs the Smart Compose or Smart Reply functions, which allow you to write automatically according to a context: a response to an email, the continuation of a sentence, etc. However, its capabilities are often limited to a few terms, not complete sentences. Google Workspace is announcing a suite of AI writing features on March 14. They are now available to Workspace users.

Automatic text generation in Google Docs // Source: Google

To facilitate the handling of these new tools, Google has imagined the uses that can be made of its AI. For example, you can “write, respond, summarize and prioritizeyour emails in your client. Google Docs now allows you to “reflect, reread, write and rewrite“: in other words, this will help some of the lazier students.

Generative AI in Gmail // Source: Google

In fact, when we want to write about a topic, all we have to do is type that topic to generate a draft. Eraser that can be edited to refine your writing. Beyond that, there is even the style and that can be modified: enough to formalize an email that is not professional enough. The AI ​​tool also allows you to lengthen or shorten a text, or put it in the form of a list

The different automatic text modification options in Gmail // Source: Google

From a more technical point of view, in Google Sheets, Workspace users will be able to pass “from raw data to insights and analytics through autocompletion, formula generation, and contextual categorization“. On the communication side, they will be able to generate funds and save notes in Meet, or even “enable workflowsin the chat. Finally, and this can be easily missed if you read fast, Slides, Google’s equivalent of PowerPoint, will automatically generate images, sound, and even video.

Google tries to reassure users

Faced with the controversies with LaMDA, its language model that would be endowed with sensitivity according to one of its former collaborators, an unreliable Google Bard, problems caused by conversational Bing or even with Snapchat’s My AI, Google tries to calm down. In its article, the web giant says that it pays close attention to its AI with “thoughtful experimentation and many iterations based on user feedback.“Keep adding to do all this”implement security measures against abuse, protect the privacy of user data, and adhere to customer controls over data governance.»

Also from a specific point of view, Google assumes that its AI may be wrong and says that it wants to give control to the allowing the AI ​​to make suggestions that you can accept, edit and modify.Also, because all of these features are currently reserved for Workspace subscribers, which in most cases are businesses, Google provides “appropriate administrative controls so IT departments can set the right rules for their organization.»

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