Google Is Baking AI Into Gmail, Docs, And Other Workspace Apps - Here's What It Can Do

Users of Google's workspace products will be getting a high-tech helping hand soon. The California-based tech company has announced it will be adding AI to its suite of Workspace apps. This means users of Gmail, Docs, and other Google programs will soon have a powerful new tool at their disposal. 

According to a statement from Google, "you can simply type in a topic you'd like to write about, and a draft will be instantly generated for you." An example Google gives involves an onboarding email a manager is writing for a new employee. 

Google doesn't expect you to simply copy and paste the AI-generated response and send it. Instead, it recommends you edit the AI's suggestions. The company also points out that you can edit the copy to be "more playful or professional," which suggests the AI will write its output in a fairly neutral tone.

Google has also made a couple of other AI-related announcements, though these aren't going to affect anywhere near as many people. The company says it is bringing "generative AI capabilities" to Google Cloud — which will allow developers to build and customize their own AI models based on Google's PaLM, and its other AI language models. 

PaLM API has also been announced, along with MakerSuite, which allows developers to "quickly prototype ideas" when working with Google's language models. MakerSuite is still in development, but Google says its features will include "prompt engineering, synthetic data generation and custom-model tuning" in the future.

Google's last AI reveal didn't go smoothly

AI has been all over the news in recent weeks, thanks in part to the hype surrounding ChatGPT — a large language model AI chatbot that was released by Google's rivals (OpenAI and Microsoft). Google responded to the news that Microsoft's Bing would be getting a ChatGPT-based update by unveiling its own AI. Google Bard was shown to the world via a tweet, but unfortunately, the unveiling didn't go as well as Google would have hoped.

The unveiling centered around a GIF showing a "user" asking Bard a few questions. Unfortunately, as many people spotted, not all of Bard's answers were accurate. Bard gave several answers, but one answer in particular was wildly inaccurate. The AI claimed that the telescope took the first pictures of a planet outside of our solar system. However, this feat was actually achieved by the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope back in 2004. 

Google issued a statement shortly after the incident saying it will incorporate the feedback along with that from its tester program to ensure that "Bard's responses meet a high bar for quality, safety and groundedness in real-world information." Still, this error, along with one made by Bing chat, and many others, show that while AI has made amazing strides — it's still far from perfect. So, if you're using AI to help write your emails and word docs, you should probably give it a thorough proofread afterwards.