Google adds AI summary feature to Workspace

Google adds AI summary feature to Workspace

Google will add an AI-based feature to Workspace that aims to boost employee productivity by making it easier to find relevant information.

The company plans to release AI-generated summaries in its chat program Spaces in the coming months, and in video conferencing app Google Meet next year. Google announced several Workspace features and news about Pixel phones, the Android operating system, and augmented reality (AR) at this week’s I/O Developer Conference.

Spaces’ automated summary feature aims to show employees the important parts of a chat discussion without forcing them to scroll through an entire conversation. If an operator wants to learn more about an item in the summary, they can click on it to go to the original chat message and view it in context. Google earlier this year introduced a similar feature that summarizes text documents into word processor documents.

Google will add summaries to Meet in 2023, having launched automatic versions of the app later this year. Google is playing catch-up with copying video calls, with competitors Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Cisco Webex already offering this capability.

Google said that automated summaries will reduce the amount of time employees need to find vital data. According to a report by consulting firm McKinsey, the average office employee spends about 20% of the work week looking for inside information. If AI can identify this information, it will free up time for more productive tasks.

Irwin Lazar, an analyst at Metrigy, said chat summaries can be particularly useful for globally distributed teams. Employees who work in a different time zone than the rest of the group may find a backlog of chat messages when they log in in the morning.

“It would be useful and a time saver to be able to quickly scan Spaces and see highlights of what happened overnight,” Lazar said.

Google also plans to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the video and audio quality of Meet this year. The app will automatically enhance the video in the cloud, and the vertical lighting feature will allow employees to add brightness to certain parts of their video feed. AI echo cancellation will help workers in large empty spaces hear more clearly.

Other I/O news from Google included:

  • A low-cost Pixel phone. Google Pixel 6a will be launched on July 28. The device is part of the Google series of phones, which are budget versions of the flagship Pixel line. The Pixel 6a will include many of the Pixel 6’s features, such as subtitles and live captions, but it’s smaller and has a less capable camera. The Pixel 6a will retail for $450, versus its premium counterpart’s $600 price tag.
  • Pixel 7. Google took a first look at the design of its upcoming flagship phone but didn’t provide many details. The company said the Pixel 7 will run on Google’s next-generation Tensor platform on a chip and start running Android 13.
  • Privacy features in Android 13. Google said the upcoming version of Android will have a unified page for all user privacy and security settings. Android 13 will force apps to get permission before displaying notifications and allow users to select the photos they share with apps. The operating system is currently in beta.
  • AR. Google showed a video in which people used a prototype of augmented reality glasses to translate their conversations in real time but they didn’t announce a new device. The company also announced an API that will allow developers to enhance augmented reality experiences in their apps by linking Google Maps data.
  • Share health data. Google and Samsung have partnered to launch Health Connect, a set of APIs that manage user health and health data collected by phones and smartwatches. APIs allow users to share their health data with multiple applications. Apple has made health monitoring a selling point for its watch, and Google and Samsung are looking to do the same for their Android smartwatches.

Mike Gleeson is a reporter covering unified communications and collaboration tools. Previously covered communities in the MetroWest, Massachusetts area for Milford Daily NewsAnd Walpole TimesAnd Sharon’s lawyer And Medfield Press. He has also worked for newspapers in central Massachusetts and southwestern Vermont and worked as a local editor at patch. He can be found on Twitter at @MGleason_TT.

2022-05-13 20:04:54

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