You may have been hesitant to dip your toes in the AI pool but worry not, the pool is coming to Muhammad. Google has been working on AI for years and was taking a cautious approach, looking to iron things out before coming to market with products.
That caution was thrown to the wind when they were caught by surprise by the rise of OpenAI and the launch of ChatGPT. So, it’s now all systems go at Google and anything that can have AI in it is getting AI.
Google mentioned the word “AI” over 140 times during its 2-hour keynote at Google I/O 2023. That tells you all you need to know about their thoughts on AI right now. Legend has it they are serving AI-powered coffee in their cafeteria now.
Beyond their coffee, Google has many products and services that we all use that could do with a fresh coat of AI paint and that’s what we are getting. Google is pumping AI into most of its popular services – everything from Gmail, Google Photos, Search and even Maps.
Gmail – Help Me Write
Google is using AI to improve the accuracy of spam filtering, to suggest relevant contacts when you’re composing an email, and to provide personalized recommendations for email apps and extensions.
That’s all good, but the show’s star is Help Me Write, which is in Beta right now. This feature uses AI to help you write emails. Not just contact suggestions but the actual emails themselves.
It can suggest topics, phrases, and even entire paragraphs for your emails. It can also help you with grammar and spelling.
People were using ChatGPT and other AI chatbots to help them write emails but with this Gmail integration, Google is making it so you don’t even have to leave Gmail to get help typing those emails.
To use this feature, start writing an email and click on the “Help Me Write” button. The AI will then generate a draft of the email based on your input. You can then edit and finalise the email as needed.
Help Me Write is still in Beta and will be rolling out in the coming months. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see it yet.
I’m afraid that at this point, we are moving beyond humans communicating, what we have now are AIs having conversations whilst humans sip coffee and spectate. If you use Help Me Write and I use it too, are we really talking to each other?
I guess that’s where WhatsApp comes in but who knows how long we have before even WhatsApp is writing messages for us.
I’m not much of a photographer, but with what Google is doing with Photos, that’s not going to be a problem going forward.
Google is using AI to automatically organize your photos, identify faces and objects in your photos, and create collages and animations from your photos. We have had these features for a while but what’s coming with Magic Editor is special.
We should start with Magic Eraser, which is available on the Pixel. I know, Samsung users, Galaxies have it too and it’s called Object Eraser. It is a photo editing tool that can remove unwanted objects and people from your photos.
We are kind of used to it now but it is amazing when you think about it. Photobombs are no longer a thing now. You can just circle around the thing (person) you want out of the picture and it will be like they never existed. People used to have to bring out the scissors and literally cut out exes from images. What a time to be alive!
Magic Editor takes it to the next level. It’s pretty much making everyone a Photoshop master. Today, anyone with a smartphone can manipulate pictures in ways that experts used to have to go to school to learn how to do.
In addition to removing unwanted objects from images, Magic Editor can change the colour of the sky.
You may finally have the chance to visit that exotic place you’ve always wanted to visit and have the pictures you take there gloomified by dark clouds. No worries, just a swipe and a tap and it could look like there was a bright sky on the day.
Then the crazy thing is being able to add new elements to pictures. Google says Magic Editor can add new elements to your photos, such as flowers, animals, or even text.
Not only that, you can play around with the picture as is, but move things around.
Google showcased Magic Editor transforming a photo of a woman in front of a waterfall. They moved the woman to the other side of the image and the editor automatically filled in the space where she once stood.
They also changed the overcast sky to a bright blue. The entire edit took just seconds.
We have already learnt not to trust any image we see out there in this advent of Photoshop but with such editing skills coming to everyone, a picture is going to mean very little going forward.
The other AI-infused products
Google Maps: Google is using AI to improve the accuracy of traffic predictions, suggest new places to visit, and provide personalized recommendations for restaurants and other businesses.
Google Search: Google is using AI to improve the accuracy of search results, provide more relevant information for your queries, and to personalize your search results based on your interests.
AI can improve search results by using various techniques to understand and match user intent, content quality, and relevance. Google claims that when this rolls out fully, it will improve roughly 7% of search queries.
Google Translate: Google is using AI to make Translate more accurate, faster, and more comprehensive.