Google AI, artificial intelligence

Still not ready to pay attention to AI, or how artificial intelligence is about to revolutionize your life? Read on, friends.

First, some background: I’ve watched for years as news organizations tried to adapt AI to write commodity content. There have been efforts to replace rote tasks such as writing earnings reports and sports summaries for almost a decade now. (Yes, almost a decade, and the Associated Press was among the earliest to dabble.) 

Now the news: Google’s announcement this week is the “Holy Shit!” moment you’ve been waiting for — especially if you’ve kinda been paying attention to the whole artificial intelligence thing but weren’t ready to dig in. Now is your time because Google is about to take us way beyond the smart draft and smart reply tools we’ve been using for years in Gmail. 

A quick summary of the announcement:

  • Google is about to release “a first set of AI-powered writing features” in Docs and Gmail. Soon, the tools will be available across Workspace — in Slides, Sheets, Meet and Chat.
  • For Gmail, the tools will allow us to “draft, reply, summarize and prioritize.”
  • In Docs, you can “brainstorm, proofread, write and rewrite.”
  • In Slides, we eventually will have access to “auto-generated images, audio and video.”
  • In Sheets, users will be able to generate formulas (!) and access insights and analysis.

Something for everyone!

The announcement tells us busy HR professionals can draft job descriptions in Word as easily as busy parents can draft a Gmail invitation to their kid’s birthday party. Of course, the applications go well beyond what HR professionals and parents need, even if they are two of the busiest groups of people on the planet.

Still not convinced? 

Do you think people won’t use AI to actually write the email asking for a raise the same way they once Googled “How to ask for a raise?” when desperate for inspiration and guidance?

Do you think people won’t use AI to get started on research heavy projects?

Do you really think people won’t use AI in Google Slides to insert the perfect piece of artwork? Or at least give AI the first shot at picking the image. (You want to keep fiddling in Canva or drilling into Shutterstock? I won’t.) 

And do you really think this week’s news is it? ChatGPT from OpenAI and Microsoft are about to make big announcements, too.

It’s time to pay attention. Google’s ready to make these tools available to “trusted users.” It won’t be long until you see a new icon in your Gmail window. And that’s why this is game-changing news: When Google puts these tools into applications we’re already using multiple times every day, it removes any sense of AI being something foreign or only for the technically savvy. The tools become helpful, safe and even routine. 

This is no longer about a computer playing chess or an automated earnings report. 

This is about you and me.

To read more …

5 lessons learned after leaving journalism and starting a strategic communications business 

Why it’s good to be the guy with gray hair!

Content isn’t king and never was. Here’s why you need to do better

Kevin Whitmer is a strategic communications/digital media expert and President of Whitmer Consulting LLC. He spent more than 30 years managing large news operations and building digital audiences.