OP-Ed by: Johanna Voolich Wright, Vice President, Product, Google Workspace
For nearly 25 years, Google has built helpful products that people use every day — from Search and Maps, to Gmail and Docs in Google Workspace.
AI has been transformational in building products that have earned a valued place in people’s lives.
Across our productivity suite, advances in AI are already helping 3 billion users save more time with Smart Compose and Smart Reply, generate summaries for Docs, look more professional in meetings, and stay safe against malware and phishing attacks.
We’re now making it possible for Workspace users to harness the power of generative AI to create, connect, and collaborate like never before. To start, we’re introducing a first set of AI-powered writing features in Docs and Gmail to trusted testers.
As the world’s most popular and secure cloud-native communication and collaboration suite, getting this right — and at scale — is something we take very seriously.
We know from our deep experience in AI and productivity that building features with AI requires great care, thoughtful experimentation, and many iterations driven by user feedback. We do all this while building safeguards against abuse, protecting the privacy of user data, and respecting customer controls for data governance.
Making Workspace even more helpful
Workspace’s mission is to meaningfully connect people so they can create, build and grow together — and advances in generative AI are allowing us to deliver on this mission in new ways. Today, we’re sharing our broader vision for how Workspace is evolving to incorporate AI as a collaborative partner that is always there to help you achieve your goals, across Gmail, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Meet, and Chat.
As we embark on this next journey, we will be bringing these new generative-AI experiences to trusted testers on a rolling basis throughout the year, before making them available publicly.
With these features, you’ll be able to:
- draft, reply, summarize, and prioritize your Gmail
- brainstorm, proofread, write, and rewrite in Docs
- bring your creative vision to life with auto-generated images, audio, and video in Slides
- go from raw data to insights and analysis via auto completion, formula generation, and contextual categorization in Sheets
- generate new backgrounds and capture notes in Meet
- enable workflows for getting things done in Chat
Here’s a look at the first set of AI-powered features, which make writing even easier.
Starting with Docs and Gmail
Blank pages can stump the best of us. That’s why we’re embedding generative AI in Docs and Gmail to help people get started writing. Whether you’re a busy HR professional who needs to create customized job descriptions, or a parent drafting the invitation for your child’s pirate-themed birthday party, Workspace saves you the time and effort of writing that first version.
Simply type a topic you’d like to write about, and a draft will instantly be generated for you. With your collaborative AI partner you can continue to refine and edit, getting more suggestions as needed.
Generative AI in Docs helping to write a job description.
Finding the right tone and style can also be tricky at times. Perhaps you’re applying for a new job, or writing to a new supplier in a more traditional industry, and you need to adopt a more formal tone in your email. Or you’ve jotted down a few bullets on your phone from a recent meeting and want to transform them into a more polished summary to share with your team.
For these common scenarios and many more, we’re adding new generative AI capabilities to help you rewrite. And if you’re in the mood to let AI try out a new playful voice altogether, you’ll be able to hit the “I’m feeling lucky” option in Gmail.
Generative AI in Gmail formalizing notes into a polished email.
Keeping users in control
As we’ve experimented with generative AI ourselves, one thing is clear: AI is no replacement for the ingenuity, creativity, and smarts of real people.
Sometimes the AI gets things wrong, sometimes it delights you with something offbeat, and oftentimes it requires guidance.
With all this in mind, we’re designing our products in accordance with Google’s AI Principles that keep the user in control, letting AI make suggestions that you’re able to accept, edit, and change. We’ll also deliver the corresponding administrative controls so that IT is able to set the right policies for their organization.
The best is yet to come
AI-based capabilities get better with human feedback. We’ll launch these new experiences this month via our trusted tester program, starting with English in the United States. From there, we’ll iterate and refine the experiences before making them available more broadly to consumers, small businesses, enterprises, and educational institutions in more countries and languages.
When it comes to delivering the full potential of generative AI across Workspace, we’re just getting started. In the same way that we revolutionized real-time collaboration with co-authoring in Docs 17 years ago, we’re excited to transform creation and collaboration all over again in Workspace.
If your organization is not yet on Workspace, we invite you to get started today at no cost and join us in this new era of AI.