Google just announced a massive suite of new AI tools that could change the way we use some of its most popular apps, including Gmail, Google Docs, and more.
In both an official blog post (opens in new tab) and video (below), the tech giant unveiled several new AI tools that will be coming to its most popular apps. The first will initially only come to a select group of testers in Gmail and Google Docs, but we’ve also gotten a tempting preview of those coming to Google Sheets, Google Slides, and Google Meet as well.
The move will most likely compete with competitors in the AI space such as Microsoft’s ChatGPT-powered Bing and Microsoft 365. Since AI has grown in popularity, Google has been trying to match its rivals’ moves in the market, even going so far as to make an announcement of its own Google Bard chatbot, which is still not open to the public. There was also a disappointing presentation where even the in-house employees rolled their eyes.
Still, the results of what we’ve seen in this demo look much more practical and promising than the AI tools Google has announced so far. They are integrated into Google Workspace, so users will soon be able to use generative AI in various writing functions. For now, only trusted testers can access these new tools, but after that they will be rolled out to all Google users.
So, in no particular order, here are the best AI tools coming to Google’s product line.
The 5 most useful AI tools coming to Google apps
1. Gmail: Instant summaries of long conversations
If you’ve ever opened your work email only to find an extremely long and confusing email chain, this tool might be for you. With this particular AI tool, you can quickly summarize long email conversations, extract the most relevant information and put it in a neat box.
From what we’ve seen of this demo, it even adds the names of those involved in the conversation, giving the summary even more context and clarity. And it compiles an answer based on all the information gathered. Of course, it remains to be seen how accurate this tool will be, as any missing information from that summary could be detrimental to your work.
Most likely it will use machine learning to improve the quality of work, which should mean it won’t skip important information as it is used more often.
2. Gmail and Google Docs: Time-saving concepts when you type a topic
Of all the AI tools shown in Google’s presentation, this AI writing and brainstorming feature seems to be the most promising. As demonstrated in the demo, a prompt that says “Help me write” followed by the request “Vacancy for a regional salesperson” results in an instant job posting.
From there, the human user would of course edit and refine the document, but creating a draft on the fly saves a lot of time and effort. You can also use the tool to add certain shades to your document depending on the situation, such as whimsical or formal.
There’s a lot of flexibility in this AI tool, and the fact that it works for both document drafting and emails should make it even more valuable.
3. Google Slides: AI-generated presentations with images
This is by far the most controversial of Google’s new suite of AI tools. At the core of the concept, creating slides for a presentation in Google Slides is a smart one that can save a lot of time and energy in creating layouts on the fly. Unlike the other tools that use text already written by you or colleagues, this tool creates images, audio, and video and then inserts them into your presentation.
But where does that media come from? A database collected by Google’s AI, of course. But where does the AI get the credentials to generate this content? That’s the problem and something Google probably needs to address.
As it stands, there has been a lot of abuse of this technology to the point of plagiarism, and it remains to be seen whether Google uses a personal database or pulls it from the Internet to create this content.
4. Google Meet: Capture notes via AI
This is another AI feature that can potentially save a lot of time and effort. This tool captures notes from conference calls and other meetings with audio, then takes “notes” from that meeting and summarizes key points in an easy-to-parse format.
Going by the demo, the most impressive part of this note-taking tool is the way it organizes the notes, using complex formatting like bullets, calendar icons to indicate an important date, headings, and more. Not only does it look incredibly organized, but it also works much faster than a human could.
This tool would give everyone time and energy to focus on the meeting itself and not have to dedicate someone to taking these notes. That means anyone can participate.
5. Google Sheets: Autofill data entry with AI
Data entry can be repetitive and boring at times, or even confusing when dealing with extremely large data sets. This AI tool would be especially useful in parsing large amounts of information and then converting that information into data graphs.
The demo showed the “Personalize messages for our client” command and then created a unique message for each of them next to each item, most likely as a mailing list. A task that would take a human being a long time to accomplish was done in an instant.
Of course, a human would have to edit each post to ensure quality, but having the drafts ready is an incredibly useful and time-saving first step.