Google announces AI integration in Docs and Gmail

When it comes to artificial intelligence, Google is currently run in the village by Microsoft. Just days before Microsoft, along with its close collaboration partner Open AI, will likely announce ChatGPT integration in Word, Excel or PowerPoint at its Future of Work event, Google is sticking with its announcement. For the first time, selected testers are shown what the integration of AI functions in Gmail and Google Docs (part of the Wordspace services) might look like.

Until now, you could have generative AI write job postings or text summaries in Google Docs or Gmail. Now the new features should be added. “In Gmail and Google Docs, you can just type in the subject you want to write about and it will instantly generate a draft for you. So if you’re a manager with a new hire, Workspace saves you the time and hassle of writing your first welcome email. You can then refine or shorten the message, or make the tone playful or professional—all with a few clicks,” Google promises. The features will be available to early testers in the coming weeks.

In addition, developers should be able to work with the PaLM language model (short for “Pathways Language Model”) via an API. With 540 billion parameters, this language model is already clearly superior to Google’s previous LLM LamDA, as it was already used to give voice instructions to robots (more on that here). PaLM should be able to be integrated into your own applications via the API, and MakerSuite is also an application for developing prototypes quickly. There are also AI applications available through Google Cloud (more here).

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Race with Microsoft

But none of this is really ready to make a decision at Google – you either have to be on a waiting list or be accepted into the “Trusted Testers” program. Meanwhile, Microsoft already offers Open AI tools through the Azure cloud, which are already used by Austrian companies such as construction giant Strabag for construction site planning. On March 16, Microsoft CEOs Satya Nadella and Jared Spataro will show the world how to integrate artificial intelligence tools into internal business tools.

After Search and Cloud, this opens up another battleground between Google and Microsoft revolving around business software. Microsoft is undoubtedly the market leader with its Office offerings, although Google Docs, Gmail, and Co. are used by many (especially digitally savvy) companies. Accordingly, it will be interesting to see which companies bring which new offerings and whether they are strong enough to allow enterprise customers to move from A to B.

Although Google started with Docs and Gmail, further AI integration is planned with, for example, Slides (auto-generated images and videos), Sheets (auto-completion), Meet (automatic notes on calls) or Chat (automated workflows). “We’ll be launching these new experiences in the U.S. first this month through our English-language Trusted Tester program. From there, we will iterate and refine the experience before rolling it out to consumers, small businesses, corporations and educational institutions in additional countries and languages. In the first step, this means apps for Gmail and Documents.

Construction giant Strabag is already using Open AI in construction

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