Google launches a PaLM API and injects AI chatbot tech into Workspace

The news: Google unveiled several generative AI tools this week.

  • Google is releasing generative AI features in Workspace, including in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Gmail for select enterprise customers who’ll be testing the upgrades, per The Verge.
  • The tech giant says the AI will be able to draft an entire document or create images, video, and audio from prompts. In Sheets, the AI will produce formulas, offer analysis and insights, and categorize data.
  • Google is also giving developers access to an API for its advanced multimodal PaLM AI model, expanding support for generative AI in its Vertex AI platform, and launching a Generative AI App Builder platform.

A flurry of activity: The announcements coincide with a wave of new products from other AI companies, like OpenAI’s release of its GPT-4, Quora’s paid-tier access to its GPT-4-powered Poe, Duolingo’s GPT-4-powered AI tutor, and Google-funded Anthropic’s Claude bot debut.

  • Google is trying to beat Microsoft’s OpenAI-powered productivity offerings.
  • Despite the search giant’s latest announcements, it has yet to offer a release date for its rival Bard AI chatbot.
  • One of the downsides to being late to the commercial generative AI party is that an influx of competing products can overload consumer attention.
  • Google’s market advantage is that apps like Gmail and Docs are already widely used.

Watch for performance and privacy: Although Microsoft has a head start in the generative AI market, Google could still have a favorable outcome if it nails product performance. Part of its plan to achieve that is to collect customer input data to make improvements during testing.

  • With several organizations restricting ChatGPT access over concerns about confidential data exposure through employee prompts, Google could avoid similar bans of its tools by making privacy commitments a focal point.
  • Google has a Big Bard chatbot in the works. It will provide richer, human-like responses but is also more prone to swearing, illustrating that high performance doesn’t always equal fewer issues for generative AI.
  • Colorful bot responses may provide entertainment value, but they also create content moderation headaches and could detract from productivity.

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