14th March 2023 – (Mountain View) Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc, has introduced a suite of artificial intelligence (AI) tools for its cloud software, email, and collaboration platforms. The launch coincides with Microsoft’s plans to announce similar AI tools. These products include a “magic wand” tool for Google Docs, which allows users to draft text, such as a marketing blog or training plan, and then alter the tone according to preference. Google also revealed that its AI tools will be able to summarise message threads in Gmail, personalise customer outreach, create slide presentations, and take meeting notes, among other functions.
The integration of AI into these products is reflective of Silicon Valley’s trend of developing generative AI, which can learn from past data to create new content. Microsoft, Alphabet, and other tech companies are investing vast sums into building and deploying the technology, hoping that the benefits for office workers will outweigh the costs.
Google has chosen to release its new AI tools gradually to a select number of approved test users before making them widely available. The company did not disclose how much these upgraded tools will cost businesses and consumers. In addition to these tools, Google has also launched a range of generative AI tools for its cloud computing customers. The company previewed access to one of its most powerful “large language models,” called PaLM, which creates human-like text. Customers will be able to refine the AI model using their own data, while keeping the information and benefits proprietary.
Google also showcased how a fictional furniture business could use its new chatbot tool to create better customer service chatbots capable of generating images, as well as text. These chatbots could integrate with payment systems, allowing customers to purchase items directly through the chatbot. Google aims to transform the work of marketers, lawyers, scientists, and educators with its AI tools, which the company believes will revolutionise the industry.
Google has also announced a partnership with Midjourney, a prominent AI research lab. The partnership will involve Google providing cloud infrastructure, including its custom “TPU” chips. Microsoft’s generative AI rollout has outpaced Alphabet’s efforts, as Alphabet is more cautious about the potential societal harm and reputational damage from inaccurate responses, also known as “hallucinations.” A factual error made by Alphabet’s chatbot Bard in a demo last month contributed to a $100 billion slump in market value. However, Google remains committed to responsible AI, offering controls to customers and reviewing the proper use of its products.