05 Sep 2023

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Exploring Google Duet AI for Workspace
Published: September 4, 2023
Rebekah Carter
Google Duet AI for Workspace is now officially available to all commercial customers. Part of Google’s evolving collection of tools powered by artificial intelligence, Duet AI promises to boost the efficiency and productivity of Workspace users.
Though Google might have initially lagged behind in the generative AI race, the company has begun doubling down on its innovative efforts. Just as Google’s Contact Center AI solution assists customer-facing agents with their work, Duet AI will support all kinds of backend employees.
Embedded into the entire Workspace suite, this handy tool will give every staff member access to their own gen-AI assistant to help them write, organize, visualize, and collaborate.
Let’s look at what Duet AI for Workspace can do.
Announced during Google’s I/O 2023 event, Duet AI for Workspace builds Google’s latest innovations in generative AI capabilities into the brand’s comprehensive productivity suite. Google said Workspace was specifically created to help people collaborate and innovate seamlessly.
With the addition of Duet AI, Google is offering team members an opportunity to collaborate with AI and their colleagues. The solution is built into Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, and Meet and is packed with various exciting features.
Google notes Duet AI for Workspace builds on the company’s vision in March 2023 to make the cloud-based platform more powerful and intuitive for everyone. Initially, the solution rolled out in “test” mode for several users and earned several positive responses.
According to Google’s team, Duet AI has helped people improve client outreach emails, plan projects more efficiently, and align with distributed teams. Now, the solution is generally available, and you can even access a free trial to put the features to the test before paying anything.
With over 3 billion users and 10 million paying customers, Google Workspace has become one of the most popular productivity tools in the world. Duet AI aims to take the Workspace experience to the next level while ensuring you retain control over your digital data.
The name “Duet” reflects Google’s vision for the future of generative AI. Just as a duet features two singers, Google wants its tools to be a “partner” for Workspace users.
The solution is powered by generative AI and a comprehensive large language model known as “PaLM 2”. This is the same LLM that powers all of Google’s Gen-AI services, including the Bard bot. With this technology, Duet AI can generate text and images, summarize information, and help users organize their data more effectively.
If you’re familiar with AI chatbots like ChatGPT, you should know how it all works. Users interact with the Duet AI bot using natural language prompts to complete various tasks. Plus, since everything is built into the Google apps you already use, there’s no need to switch tabs.
Like many companies investing in generative AI, Google’s focus with duet is on improving efficiency, productivity, and creativity for workers. The idea is to provide every user with an AI assistant they can use to streamline repetitive tasks, like writing emails or planning a project.
Google has already provided insights into what Duet can do across the Workplace portfolio, sharing unique capabilities for each app, such as:
The “Help Me Write” feature in Google Docs and Gmail uses Google’s large language model to generate documents and email responses based on prompts. Within Docs, users will see a magic wand button they can click to load the Duet AI interface.
All you need to do is tell the bot what you need, such as an essay or an email, and the algorithm will do the rest. It can even help refine your existing documents or improve your grammar. If you’re writing content from scratch, you can ask for new versions using the “recreate” button.
Plus, users can fine-tune generated content with the “formalize,” “elaborate,” “shorten,” or “I’m feeling lucky” buttons. There are even intelligent chips you can click to modify critical pieces of information, such as a product name or customer name.
When announcing the general availability of Duet AI for Workspace, Google also revealed users can now use the “Help me write” feature on mobile. The initial mobile release will soon be followed by “contextual assistance.” That means you can craft replies to messages that automatically include names and other relevant information.
Within the Google Slides app, Duet AI can help you create new presentations or update your existing documents with text, charts, and images. The experience works similarly to “Midjourney”. Users enter a prompt after clicking on the magic wand button; then, the algorithm creates 6 to 8 images.
This means you can choose the best option for every presentation. You can also select an image and refine it further with additional prompts. Duet AI can visualize entirely new concepts from scratch, so the opportunity for creating unique images is limitless.
Moreover, if you need help finishing up your presentation, Duet AI can generate text too. It can create speaker notes for your slides to help guide you through your presentation. You can even implement data from Gmail and other environments into each slideshow.
Organizing and analyzing data can be time-consuming, even with an app as convenient as Google Sheets. Fortunately, Duet AI is here to help. In Sheets, Duet AI for Workspace can automatically classify data and create custom plans for your business.
All you need to do is describe what you want to accomplish, and the algorithm will get to work. It can understand the context of data in a cell, assign labels, and summarize input. It automatically creates custom plans for tasks, projects, and activities.
Google says whether you’re analyzing the sentiment of user feedback or summarizing input from interviews, you can save time with this quick organization function.
Time to upgrade your meetings? Duet AI for Google Meet could be the perfect solution. The new Workspace function has various tools to help make meetings more effective. It can help ensure you look and sound your best with studio lighting, studio look, and studio sound.
Plus, you can leverage dynamic tiles and face detection if you struggle to ensure everyone is seen and heard in meetings. This gives everyone in a meeting room their own distinct tile. Google also announced the arrival of automatically translated captions in 18 languages.
The Meet system will automatically detect when another language is spoken and display real-time translations. Additionally, Duet AI helps remove the burden of note-taking during conferences. The solution can capture real-time notes, video snippets, and action items.
Users click the “Take notes for me” button, and the AI app will automatically send a summary to attendees after the meeting. It can even help people arriving late to a meeting to get up to date with a “summary so far” snapshot of everything they’ve missed.
Users who don’t attend a meeting can benefit by using the “attend for me” button. This allows the AI tool to join the discussion on a user’s behalf and share their messages.
Not every conversation requires a formal meeting. Duet AI for Workspace Chat is making messaging simpler for teams who prefer to collaborate asynchronously. The tool comes alongside a complete refresh to the Google Chat interface.
Google Chat now features enhanced search, new shortcuts, and the option to talk to Duet AI, ask questions, get summaries of documents, and catch up on missed conversations. Plus, when users need to talk in real time, there’s the “huddles in Chat” feature.
This allows users to instantly switch to a voice conference within the collaboration tool they’re already using. Google positions “huddles” as audio-first, impromptu conversations. Powered by Meet, they allow users to share thoughts in real time without a scheduled meeting.
You can even draw up to 500,000 participants into a huddle with Google. The company also brings Duet AI to email with an enhanced “smart reply” feature in Gmail.
The “Help me Write” feature isn’t the only thing coming to Docs from Duet AI. Google is also introducing a handy “building blocks” feature. This enables businesses to create personalized content in minutes, such as job descriptions with customizable smart chips.
These smart chips act as placeholders for information like location, name, or status and variables for elements you might want to customize later on. Google also noted its upgraded neural models for grammar are there to help everyone improve the quality of their content.
You can access assistance with proofreading, tone, and style, presented in a “suggestion pane” alongside your document. Google is even tackling users’ issues by crafting custom prompts from scratch. The AI solution can give prompt suggestions by analyzing document content.
Since March, Google has allowed hundreds of thousands of trusted testers to experiment with Duet AI for Workspace via its “Workspace Labs” program. Their feedback has helped to drive the evolution of the generative AI solution in recent months.
Notably, Google is also maintaining its open and collaborative approach to the future of the Duet AI app. Google is already working with other companies, like Jasper and Typeface, to help marketers use generative AI within Workspace more efficiently.
One point worth noting is Google’s approach to security with the Gen AI app. Google’s team pointed out that all interactions with Duet AI in Workspace will remain private to the user. No other users can see your input or data. Additionally, Google doesn’t use company data to train models without customers’ express permission.
Google’s AI principles are laid out to ensure every user maintains complete control over their content and experience. Additionally, the company has recently announced various new capabilities within the Google ecosystem to help prevent cyber threats.
Google Workspace users can now leverage zero-trust controls, better support for digital sovereignty, and customizable policies for security.
Google Duet AI for Workspace is now generally available for all users worldwide. You can test the functionality yourself by signing up for a no-cost trial. However, a long-term subscription for Duet AI will come with an additional fee.
Like Microsoft Copilot, Google will offer Duet AI to users for a monthly fee of $30 per user. Unfortunately, the solution isn’t included as standard in existing Workspace subscriptions.
Still, despite its hefty price tag, the Duet AI solution could be a powerful resource for today’s companies. If your team already uses Workspace regularly, and you want a way to turbo-charge their performance and productivity, Duet AI for Workspace could be an ideal investment.
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