Google starts letting the public test generative AI in Gmail and Docs

Google starts letting the public test generative AI in Gmail and Docs
Written by Techbot

Google gave an overview of what generative AI features are coming to Workspace apps two weeks ago and is now beginning public testing in Gmail and Docs.

Today’s trusted test program spans consumer, enterprise, and education users (over 18) in the United States. This “small group,” invited to join by Google, must sign up and opt in, with the ability to leave the program at any time.

In Gmail, you can use generative AI to draft everything from a birthday invitation to a job cover letter. Users can also have Google take what they’ve written and make it more elaborate or shorten it, including down to bullet points. There’s also the ability to “Formalize” a message, while Google has shown off a whimsical “I’m feeling lucky” option that adds levity and makes other whimsical stylistic choices (e.g., emoji).

So far, Google has shared what the UI looks like in Gmail for Android, and we’ve spotted it in development. A floating action button (FAB) appears in the bottom-right corner of the Compose screen, revealing the options.

Similarly, AI in Google Docs can make text more detailed or rewrite it to be concise. It can also be used to draft blog posts or even write song lyrics. There will be a “Help me write” button on the web that expands when clicked to reveal a prompt input. Google then generates your request, with users able to thumbs up/down, generate/”View another,” and “Refine.” You can then “Insert” it into your current document and make edits.

Within Gmail and Docs, those enrolled in the test program will be able to submit feedback that Google will use to refine and iterate on the generative AI functionality. This will mark the first time that people outside of Google have access to these Workspace capabilities.

Google will be expanding availability “over time,” with those interested told to monitor a new landing page for opportunities to participate in the future. At the moment, there’s no Bard-esque waitlist to be joined.

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