As far as AI is concerned, Google is currently being driven by Microsoft. Days before Microsoft, together with its close cooperation partner Open AI, announce ChatGPT integrations in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint at the “Future of Work” event, Google insists on making its own announcement. For the first time, selected testers are shown what the integration of AI functions in Gmail and Google Docs (part of the Workspace services) can look like.
So far, you could have generative AI do the writing of job postings or text summaries in Google Docs or Gmail. Now new features are to be added. Google promises that in Gmail and Google Docs, you can just type in a topic you want to write about and it will instantly create a draft for you. So if you’re a manager onboarding a new hire, Workspace saves you the time and hassle of writing that first welcome email. You can then refine the message or shorten it, or make the tone playful or professional—all with just a few clicks. The functions will be rolled out to the first testers in the coming weeks.
Furthermore, developers should also be able to work with the language model PaLM (short for “Pathways Language Model”) via an API. This language model with its 540 billion parameters is already clearly superior to the earlier LLM LamDA from Google, as it was already used to give robots instructions by voice. PaLM should be able to be built into your own applications via API, and MakerSuite is also software for quickly developing prototypes. There are also AI applications that can be used via Google Cloud (more on this here).
Race with Microsoft
Seems like the Google AI tool is not that accessible yet – either you have to be on a waiting list or you have to be accepted into the “Trusted Testers” program. Meanwhile, Microsoft already offers Open AI tools via its Azure cloud. On March 16, Microsoft top managers Satya Nadella and Jared Spataro will show the world how AI tools will be integrated into the in-house working tools.
After Search and Cloud, this opens up another battlefield between Google and Microsoft that revolves around work software. Microsoft is of course the market leader with its Office offers, although Google with Docs, Gmail and Co. is also heavily used by many (especially digital-savvy) companies. Accordingly, it will be exciting to see which companies bring which new offers – and whether they are so strong that they allow corporate customers to switch from A to B.
While Google is starting with Docs and Gmail, further AI integrations are planned, for example with Slides (automatically generated images and videos), Sheets (auto-completion), Meet (automatic notes on calls), or Chat (automated workflows). “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,” stated Google.