Google Brings Automated Summaries to Workspaces

Google today unveiled a series of updates to its Workspace productivity apps aimed at easing the workflow of remote teams. Among the features announced at the company’s I/O event are automatically generated text summaries of chat conversations to help keep team members on the same page.

The summary feature was rolled out in February to Google’s Docs word processor, where it is used to generate an overview of the text in a document. The company today extended summaries to workspace “spaces,” chat rooms that enable conversations and file sharing for a specific purpose, such as a particular team or project.

Summaries in spaces select and highlight the most important information from a chat, and allow users to quickly jump to the right place in the chat history.

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Google has extended summaries to workspaces.

“You’ll be able to see a helpful digest of a space’s most relevant information, decisions and actions without having to read every missed message,” Drew Rowny, product manager for Gmail and Google Chat, said ahead of the announcement. “You can click to skip to the part of the conversation that’s most important to you, so you can easily dig into the details, stay on top of everything, and catch up quickly. »

The feature is expected to launch in the coming months for English-speaking Workspace customers using Business, Enterprise, Education, Essentials, and Frontline editions.

Google also plans to bring automated transcripts to Meet calls to allow team members to catch up on meetings they’ve missed. This feature is expected to release later this year, Google said. Summarization functionality in Docs and Spaces will also be applied to transcript text, although that won’t happen until 2023.

“The Google Workspace team delivers features that matter, that streamline communication and collaboration without getting in the way, and build a narrative that better communicates their efforts to deliver, in Google’s words, ‘collaboration fairness'” , said Wayne Kurtzman, director of research at IDC.

He said the Workspace updates show Google is focused on streamlining work, collaboration and communication for teams, while adding features that meet the expectations of tech-savvy workers.

“This is as true for internal teams as it is for working with partners, suppliers and customers – a rapidly growing need and expectation in doing business,” Kurtzman said.

Google’s AI technology is applied to Workspace apps in different ways. To improve call quality, new ‘Portrait Restore’ and ‘Portrait Light’ features use machine learning to counter common issues caused by poor connectivity and low light, while ‘Deverberation’ cancels automatically echoes that users encounter in certain rooms or spaces.

Portrait restoration will be available in Business Plus and Enterprise Plus subscriptions later this year; Portrait Light will be available in the coming months to Business Standard, Business Plus and Enterprise Plus customers. And Reverb will also be available on the Business Plus, Enterprise Standard and Plus, Education Plus, and Teaching & Learning Upgrade plans.

A live sharing function will allow interaction with different applications during a video call, such as YouTube and third-party platforms. Google did not immediately provide a timeline for when these third-party services would be available.

New security features are also on the way. The phishing and malware alert system currently available in Gmail will be extended to protect other Workspace apps, namely Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

It should be available later this year.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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