Google to roll out AI tools for Gmail, Google Docs that automatically generate drafts

News & Politics

Google plans to unleash generative artificial intelligence tools for Gmail and Google Docs in the coming weeks that will automatically generate drafts, the Silicon Valley tech titan announced Tuesday.

“In Gmail and Google Docs, you can simply type in a topic you’d like to write about, and a draft will be instantly generated for you,” Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian wrote in a post Tuesday, announcing the new features.

The new features will be rolled out to a “limited set of trusted testers” in coming weeks on a rolling basis throughout the year before making them available publicly.

Harnessing the power of generative AI will make it possible for Workspace users to “create, connect, and collaborate like never before,” Google Workspace Vice President Johanna Voolich Wright said in a product announcement.

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Wright noted that building AI features demands “great care” and said that the company is “building safeguards against abuse, protecting the privacy of user data, and respecting customer controls for data governance.”

“AI is no replacement for the ingenuity, creativity, and smarts of real people,” Wright said, noting that AI can sometimes get things wrong and oftentimes requires guidance.

More than 3 billion people already use AI-powered features in Google Workspace, the company reports. Current AI-powered features include “Smart Compose” in Gmail and auto-generated summaries in Google Docs, for example.

In addition to Gmail and Google Docs, Google Workspace also includes Calendar, Meet, Chat, Drive, Slides, Sheets, and more.

Wright says the new AI features will include the ability to:

  • draft, reply, summarize, and prioritize Gmail (an email service)
  • brainstorm, proofread, write, and rewrite in Docs (a word processing app)
  • get auto-generated images, audio, and video for Slides (a presentation app)
  • go from raw data to insights and analysis in Sheets (a spreadsheet app)
  • enable workflows in Chat (a group communication and collaboration tool)

One of the AI tools to which users will soon have access involves the capability to assist with rewrites. Wright provided a few examples including adopting a more formal tone in an email and transforming a bullet-point list into a more narrative-like summary.

For a “playful voice,” users will be able to give the “I’m feeling lucky” option a try in Gmail.

The “I’m feeling lucky” button for Google’s search is among its oldest features. Hitting the button on a desktop search with Google will port you automatically to the search result Google calculates will be most relevant.

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