Four new AI uses set to change how we use Gmail and other Google apps 

2 mins read
The days when we used to write every word in an official email may soon seem antiquated, and at the annual Google I/O†event, company boss Sundar Pichai demonstrated how AI†can formulate an email for you with just a short input. Photo: Fabian Sommer/dpa

Mountain View, California (dpa) – Google is throwing AI smarts at all its apps, and Gmail, Search, Photos, Messages and Google Maps are all getting new features that have the potential to make various tasks much simpler.

The company’s AI chatbot (and its answer to the Microsoft-affiliated rival ChatGPT), Bard, is being rolled out in 180 countries around the world, while its ability to create content is also being integrated
into various apps.

Here are four ways in which Google is planning to use generative AI across its services, showcased during a flurry of unveilings at the company’s annual I/O summit.

1. Imagining the photo you should have taken

For those times when you accidentally crop some part out of a photo and wish you had framed things differently, AI may soon come in handy by being able to invent what is going on outside of the photo’s

In practice, that means that in Google’s Photos app, you will soon be able to not only remove unwanted objects and people, but also to add sections of the photo.

Google says you can do this if you want to change the position of your subject in the picture. Google showed a demonstration of how AI was used to imagine an extra section of the photo, so as to
reposition the subject more in the centre. 

2. Writing cooler text messages than you

In text messages, meanwhile, users will soon be able to use AI to get suggestions of alternatives ways to phrase a message with a feature called Magic Compose.

In practice, this means that AI can help you compose your message by turning a boring or straight-laced message into a more fun or friendly one.

Google’s demo gave options to rephrase the message “Wanna grab dinner?” in a more excited (”Hungry? [emoji] Let’s grab dinner!!”), chill, Shakespearean (”Prithee shall we dine tonight?”) or lyrical

3. Gmail will write the whole email for you

The days when we used to write every word in an official email may soon seem antiquated, and at the annual Google I/O event, company boss Sundar Pichai demonstrated how AI can formulate an email for you with just a short input. 

Bard responses are coming straight to Gmail, and Google’s AI, in just a few clicks, can handle the task of drafting an email to an airline asking for a refund after flights had been cancelled.

Rather than users composing entire official emails in future, Google expects more Gmails users to be tapping a “draft in Gmail” button to make final edits to emails that the AI drafts for them.

It’s not just formal letters that Bard can write, and for anyone writing a story, the software is supposed to be able to provide suggestions for further plot twists and automatically generate illustration ideas. 

4. Answering complex search questions

Showcased above all in its ability to answer complex questions, Bard is able to formulate complete sentences in response to queries while providing the usual internet links and sources for its information.

When searching for a bicycle, in addition to advice to pay attention to the suspension, for example, suitable offers from shops are also displayed. 

”What’s better for a family with kids under 3 and a dog,” was one of the sample questions put to Bard with reference to two US parks.

To this, Bard gives key information answering the question, links to further information, as well as follow-up questions about things like how much time to spend at certain parks. 

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