Google adds AI Digest to Workspace

Google adds AI Digest to Workspace

Google will add AI-powered functionality to Workspace to boost employee productivity by making it easier to find relevant information.

The company plans to launch AI-generated summaries in chat software 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. Earlier this year, Google introduced a similar feature that summarizes text documents in the Docs word processor.

Google will add summaries to Meet in 2023, after launching the app’s automatic transcription later this year. Google is catching up to copy video calls, with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Cisco Webex already offering this capability.

Google said automated summaries will reduce the 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.

Erwin Lazar, an analyst at Metrigy, said chat summaries can be especially useful for teams distributed around the world. 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 cloud video and the vertical lighting feature will allow employees to add brightness to parts of their video stream. AI echo cancellation will help workers in large empty spaces hear more clearly.

Other I/O news from Google included:

  • Pixel phone at a lower cost. Google Pixel 6a will be launched on July 28. The device is part of the Google A-series 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 has taken a first look at the design of its next flagship phone, but it hasn’t given 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 next 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 limit 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.
  • Health data exchange. Google and Samsung have teamed up to launch Health Connect, a set of APIs that manage users’ fitness and health data collected by phones and smartwatches. Application programming interfaces (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 journalist covering unified communications and collaboration tools. Previously, he has covered communities in the MetroWest, Massachusetts area for Milford Daily NewsAnd Walpole TimesAnd Sharon is a lawyer And Medfield Press. He has also worked for newspapers in central Massachusetts and southwestern Vermont. He worked as a local editor for patch. He can be found on Twitter at @MGleason_TT.

2022-05-15 00:34:15

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