Following the arrival of Bard Googlethe tech giant’s answer to the smart internet of the moment ChatGPTGoogle is bringing a new AI-powered feature to Gmail on Android devices: the ability to have an AI write an email for you.
The way it will work is quite simple: a new icon (a wand with sparkles, because the AI is just Magic) will take you to a text box, where you can type a short prompt for Gmail’s generative AI to use to produce an email. If your prompt is too short, Gmail will offer to “Continue writing to create a preview”. Once the bot is happy with your prompt, you can click “Create” and boom, your email is written.
Google is also working on a “Refine my message” option, which will let you ask the AI assistant to edit an email you’ve already written. For example, you can ask him to shorten a message for the sake of brevity, or to “formalise” it automatically with more professional language. Amusingly, there are also plans for an “I’m lucky” option, which, um… I don’t know why you would want to randomly generate an email to someone, but sure.
With ChatGPT is coming to Microsoft 365 after its initial integration into Microsoft Bing search engine, Google is clearly worried about being behind in the AI arms race. As such, Bard will also be coming to Docs – although it looks like Google is taking a slightly more cautious approach than Microsoft, which may be a good idea given how badly Bard’s first screening went.
If you want to test Bard for yourself, you can register to take it for a test drive. Unlike ChatGPT, Google’s chatbot is currently in semi-open beta, so you’ll have to sit on the waiting list for a bit before you can get started.
Opinion: It’s not necessary, and it’s infuriating that Google doesn’t seem to care
If you’ve read any of my other articles lately, you probably know that I’m a bit skeptical about AI. The subject of AI is already very controversial, and the rise of powerful tools like GPT-4 threatens to cost people their jobs. Here’s the thing, though: I sincerely believe that there are use cases for machine learning software. We’ve seen the AI do amazing things, like help the blind to see And eliminate plastics from our oceans (opens in a new tab).
Using AI for creative purposes is much more of a gray area. If we push AI technology to produce more and more content for entertainment, be it writing, art or videos, we run the risk of flooding the internet with content. generated by the AI and create a feedback loop with diminishing returns.
Is email a creative business? Kind of. You must be able to write; I’m sure many of us shook our heads in exasperation upon receiving a horribly written and poorly formatted email from a business contact. The arrival of Gmail’s AI assistant on Android might finally banish bad email from our inboxes – but that might create entirely different problems.
In our hands-on time with Google Bard, we were impressed with its abilities but had to question its accuracy and lack of citations. This could be the tip of the iceberg; if we all start having Gmail’s AI write our emails for us, we could find ourselves in a rabbit hole of chatbots responding to chatbots, a situation almost guaranteed to cause conversational devolution leading to poor communication, confusion and upheaval.
That’s my real concern, and I think it’s valid. We have already seen the AI flawsand how human users can and will abuse it. But that wasn’t really my first thought when I saw this news. The very first thing I thought of was, why the hell do we need AI to write us emails? !
It’s rant time, guys. I mean, Go on. Are we really so lazy and incapable as a species that we desperately need a machine to help us Talk to each other? How long does it take to write an email? ! Even if you plan to write a long missive that the AI could produce much faster, it just means that you’re probably going into detail about something important and you’ll have to spend your precious time carefully crafting that prompt. to make sure nothing is left out!
I’m sorry, but that’s just stupid. No one really needs a chatbot to write emails to them. Go to sea, Google.
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