Google Puts AI To Work Editing Photos And Yelling For Refunds

There has been a lot of talk about the impact AI could have on society, the economy, and the job prospects of billions of people. At Google I/O 2023, the tech giant decided not to focus on that and opened with a few ways its AI could make your life easier instead. The company's Gmail service will soon have a new feature entitled "help me write," which is capable of composing lengthy and professional-sounding emails based on a brief prompt.

If you've missed out on many a refund due to an inability to tap into your inner Karen, Google's AI may change your life. While it may not spew as much sass as the average bored individual ranting at a minimum-wage worker, it still looks very functional. The example given during the presentation revolved around a refund request for a canceled flight.

The feature is a progression from Smart Reply, which offers short responses you can use to quickly reply to messages, and Smart Compose, which attempts to finish your sentences for you. In Google's example, a very simple prompt was used: "Ask for a full refund for this canceled flight." The AI then used details from previous emails in the chain to issue a brief, but perfectly useful, draft of a response.

You no longer need Photoshop skills

People struggling to write emails aren't the only ones who are in for an easier time thanks to Google's AI. While Photoshop has been used to make drastic edits to photographs for years, there is a bit of a learning curve and significant costs associated with that software. Google Photo's new AI editing tools are free and can do some pretty amazing things with minimal input.

The examples Google showed us revolved around an updated version of Magic Eraser called Magic Editor. The tool allowed a user to digitally remove a bag someone had strapped across their shoulder from a photo, then shift that person to the right so it looked like a waterfall was pouring into their hand. The tool also moved a child on a bench further along so he was in the center of the shot.

The AI filled in the missing parts of the child's balloon bunch. You can also do other things like remove clouds or make the sky look brighter. A change in this area is reflected in the overall lighting of the photo, so it feels like it fits instead of making the shot look inconsistent. These are just some of the areas where Google's AI is removing barriers to entry and making somewhat complex tasks incredibly simple.