#Google #adds #Digest #feature #Workspace
Google will add AI-powered functionality to Workspace to increase employee productivity by making it easier to find relevant information.
The company plans to launch AI-generated summaries in its Spaces chat program in the coming months and in the Google Meet video conferencing app next year. Google announced various Workspace features and news about Pixel phones, the Android operating system, and augmented reality (AR) at its I/O Developer Conference this week.
Spaces’ automated summary feature is designed to show employees the critical parts of a chat discussion without forcing them to scroll through the entire conversation. If a worker wants more information about a summary item, they can click it to navigate to the original chat message and view it in context. Earlier this year, Google introduced a similar function 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 on video call transcription, as competitors Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Cisco Webex already offer the capability.
Google said automated summaries would reduce the time employees need to find vital data. According to a report from consulting firm McKinsey, the average office worker spends about 20% of the work week looking for internal information. If AI can identify this information, it would free up time for more productive tasks.
Chat summaries could be particularly useful for teams spread across the globe, said Irwin Lazar, an analyst at Metrigy. 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 will be helpful and a time saver to be able to quickly scan Spaces and see the highlights of what happened overnight,” Lazar said.
Google also plans to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve video and audio quality in Meet this year. The app will automatically enhance cloud video, and a vertical lighting feature will allow employees to add brightness to parts of their video stream. An AI echo cancellation feature will help workers be heard more clearly in large, empty spaces.
Other Google I/O news included the following:
- A Pixel phone at a lower cost. The Google Pixel 6a will launch on July 28. The device is part of Google’s A-series phones, which are budget versions of its flagship Pixel line. The Pixel 6a will pack a lot of features from the Pixel 6, like live subtitles and translation, but it’s smaller and has a less capable camera. The Pixel 6a will retail for $450, as opposed to its premium counterpart’s $600 price tag.
- pixel 7. Google gave a first look at the design of its next flagship phone, but didn’t provide many details. The company said that the Pixel 7 will run on the next generation of Google’s Tensor system on a chip and will launch with Android 13.
- Privacy features in Android 13. Google said that the next version of Android will have a unified page for all of a user’s privacy and security settings. Android 13 will force apps to get permission before showing notifications and will allow users to limit the photos they share with apps. The operating system is currently in beta.
- ARKANSAS. Google showed a video of people wearing prototype AR glasses to translate their conversations in real time, but didn’t announce a new device. The company also announced an API that allows developers to enhance AR experiences in their apps by linking data from Google Maps.
- Share health data. Google and Samsung have partnered to launch Health Connect, a set of APIs that manage user health and fitness data collected by smart phones and watches. 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 with Android smartwatches.
Mike Gleason is a journalist who covers unified communications and collaboration tools. Previously, he covered communities in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts for the Milford Daily News, Walpole Times, Attorney Sharon Y medfield press. He also worked for newspapers in central Massachusetts and southwestern Vermont. and served as local editor for Patch. He can be found on Twitter at @MGleason_TT.