DuetAI: Google's AI-powered service that promises to improve Gmail, Docs experiences

That may just be all that the company has to offer right now.
Ameya Paleja
Google's office in Seattle
Google's office in Seattle


Google's I/O event which is currently underway is the platform for the company to showcase how it plans to take on the might of Microsoft in the next frontier of technology, artificial intelligence (AI). What the company's loyal followers seem to have gotten is a rebranding of its AI tools for Docs and Gmail, The Verge reported.

With the demonstration of its Bard AI in February throwing up some blunders, Google was immediately put on the back foot when it came to showcasing the tricks up its sleeve. It appeared that instead of competing with Microsoft on an ongoing basis, Google was reserving the biggest reveal for its annual event, Google I/O.

New name for AI assistant

CEO Sundar Pichai spent no time getting to the point of the conference as he showcased AI-powered search for users while also speaking about how AI could write an entire email when prompted through "Help me write" in Gmail.

Regular users of Google's service would have noticed that this is an upgrade of the existing feature "Smart Compose". However, Pichai also had a lot of features to showcase at the event such as generating images within Google Slides, organizing complex projects in Google Sheets, and AI building blocks and proofreading in Google Docs.

Central to all these announcements is that they are now bundled under Duet AI, a response to Microsoft's Co-pilot. While that is great from a marketing point of view, the real question is when and how Google plans to roll out these features and that's where one seems to hit a roadblock.

None of the features are available to users right away. Interested users need to sign up for Google's Workspace Labs and join a waitlist to get access to them. Apart from the "Help me write" feature in Gmail which is available now, other features are expected to be rolled out later with the timelines ranging from "later this month" to "in the coming months", as per The Verge's report.

This effectively means that an AI-based features war between Microsoft and Google is unlikely to happen anytime soon and it might be a few months before we get to view Google's real capabilities as the AI-centric company that it now needs to be.

Users on the other hand, only have a rebranding of the AI to talk about in the meantime. The markets, however, were buoyant about Google's prospects, and the stock of the parent company Alphabet rose five percent, adding $56 billion to its valuation.

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