Google unveils generative AI tools for email, docs, cloud software, Microsoft to get in race

Google’s moves reflect how ChatGPT has caused a stir in Silicon Valley and AI takes centrestage

Google on Tuesday unveiled a flurry of artificial intelligence (AI) tools for its email, collaboration and cloud software.

Google’s parent company Alphabet unvelied a ‘magic wand’ AI too for its Google Docs software that can draft a marketing blog, training plan or other text, then revise its tone at users’ discretion.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is looking at ‘reinventing productivity with AI,’ and will showcase its competing Word processor, reflecting how ChatGPT and generative AI have taken centrestage in Silicon Valley innovation,

Alphabet also said its AI will be able to summarize message threads in Gmail, craft slide presentations, personalize customer outreach and take meeting notes as part of its upgrade to its Google Workspace suite.

The tech giants are hoping the business they win from speeding up writing and creative tasks for office workers will far outweigh the costs of production and research, as the world shifts to AI.

Alphabet is giving approved test users access to new Workspace features on a rolling basis throughout the year, before a wider launch, similar to its Bard chatbot as well as Microsoft’s Bing chatbot.

Customers can fine-tune Google’s AI model with their own data, while keeping the information and benefits proprietary.

Microsoft’s generative-AI rollout has gone ahead of Alphabet, which has been a bit more cautious regarding the societal implications of AI, as well as its own pre-eminent position in the world of information and search.

Inaccurate responses known as ‘hallucinations’ have thus far proven to be an Achilles heel for up-and-coming generative AI applications, as tech giants seek to iron out the kinks.