Ink pen feather quill standing in a pot of black ink.
Image: ©

Google rolls out new AI features to help workers with writing tasks

14 Mar 2023

Google Workspace users may soon be able to rely on generative AI tech to help them compose emails and documents, thanks to these new features.

Hot on the heels of Microsoft’s AI feature announcement for enterprises recently, Google has decided to bring out its own generative AI tools to Workspace, its suite of products aimed at workers.

New AI capabilities are being launched today (14 March). Initially they are only being made available to “trusted testers” on a “rolling basis throughout the year” but the company will make them publicly usable eventually.

US users in English will be the first to try out the new tech, meaning other countries and languages could face a longer wait.

That’s according to a blog post by Google Workspace’s VP for product, Johanna Voolich.

Voolich said that Google’s plan to bring generative AI features to its users would make Workspace “even more helpful.” She added that the new tools would complement previous AI-related updates Google has made, such as adding automated ‘chips’ to Docs to make collaborating and editing documents easier.

Docs and Gmail will be among the first Workspace products to benefit from the latest AI updates. Voolich said Google is embedding generative AI in Docs and Gmail “to help people get started writing”.

“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.”

She added that the tool could potentially benefit everyone from busy HR workers to parents writing birthday card invitations.

In Gmail, users will be able to use AI to help them pick the most appropriate tone and writing style for whatever email or document they are drafting.

Gmail will include an ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button that will let people use AI to “try out a new playful voice altogether”.

Voolich said that all product launches will be subject to rigorous testing and feedback from human users.

“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.”

She added that all of the new updates will be made in line with Google’s AI Principles “that keep the user in control, letting AI make suggestions that you’re able to accept, edit, and change.”

In a separate blog post announcement, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said that the tech giant would be making it easier for developers to use generative AI to build and customise their own models and apps with Google’s AI models.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

Loading now, one moment please! Loading