❤ Google Workspace Labs more widely rolling out in Gmail and Docs
Following the Duet AI announcement yesterday, many more people who signed up for Google Workspace Labs are now seeing the generative AI features in Gmail and Docs that “Help you write.”
To tell if you have it in Gmail on the web, start composing an email, and you’ll see a new “Help me write (Labs)” button next to “Send” and formatting options in the bottom toolbar.
Afterward, a blue/purple-ish messaging field appears at the bottom of your screen for you to enter a prompt, with Google rotating through suggestions. It takes a few seconds for something to generate, and you then have the ability to:
- Formalize: Makes the draft more formal
- Elaborate: Adds details to build upon the text
- Shorten: Shortens the draft
- I’m Feeling Lucky: Updates draft with creative details
You can also ask Google to “Recreate,” while “Insert” will paste and let you make further edits. Google marks with brackets where you should delete and enter your name or other specifics.
In Google Docs, opening a new page shows a “Help me write” chip. It’s the same workflow as Gmail, but the “Help me write” button can be found to the left of your cursor on the edge of the page to access it again.
Before I/O, Google said it was expanding its Trusted Tester program by 10x. Generative AI features in Google Sheets and Slides (used to create images) are not yet live — and “sidekick” is further down the road — with today’s expansion continuing the public testing that started in March. We’re seeing it live on the web right now, but not on Android.
You can sign-up for Google Workspace Labs’s Gmail and Google features here.
Google branding generative AI in Gmail, Workspace as ‘Duet AI’
Google has been publicly testing features that help users write in Gmail and Docs over the past few weeks. Generative AI is now coming to Sheets, Slides, and Meet with a new name: Duet AI for Google Workspace.
“Duet” evokes a sense of contextual collaboration, which is how Google sees the relationship between users and generative AI. (If the name is familiar, Chrome used it for a redesign that never launched.)
In Gmail, Google Docs, and Slides, you’ll eventually get a Duet AI side panel, called “sidekick.” It can be launched next to your profile avatar in the top-right corner, and it analyze your email or document. In Google Slides, it can create speaker notes for each slide.
In Google Slides, generative AI will generate images from text prompts. You’ll get a “Help me visualize” side panel to enter what you want with the ability to choose a style: none, photography, illustration, flat lay, background, and clip art. You’ll get a grid of 6-8 designs with the ability to “View more.”
Duet AI in Google Meet can be used to create background images: “It’s a subtle, personal touch to show you care about the people you’re connecting with and what’s important to them. And you can change that visual with an equally stunning and original one — all in just a few clicks.”
Google Sheets is using gen AI for automatic table generation with a “Help me organize” field. An example prompt is “Client and pet roster for a dog walking business” with columns like dog, address, email, date, time, duration, and rate offered. You get a preview before inserting.
…simply describe what you’re trying to accomplish, and Sheets generates a plan that helps you get organized.
These three features are coming to Google Workspace Labs, with the Trusted Tester program expanding by 10x just last week. Since March, Google says it has had “hundreds of thousands” of such testers.
These features are hitting general availability later this year for business and consumer Workspace accounts. Check out labs.withgoogle.com in the meantime.