Mar 16, 2023, 5:14pm EDT

How AI bots are going to change Gmail, Word, Google Docs, and Excel

A screenshot showing Microsoft's new 365 Copilot features

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The News

Tech giants Microsoft and Google each announced this week that they plan to integrate artificial intelligence services into their flagship products like Microsoft Word, Excel, Gmail, and Google Drive.

Both are aimed at increasing productivity for users and automating tedious and complicated tasks.

Here’s a breakdown of how everyday users will be able to take advantage of the new tech.

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The View From Google

Google announced Tuesday that it was bringing AI to Google Workspace, which encompasses, Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Sheets.

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian wrote in a blog post that “you can simply type in a topic you’d like to write about, and a draft will be instantly generated for you.”


For example, hiring managers can ask the AI bot to write a job post or craft an email to onboard a new employee. They could then edit or tweak the style. Users will be able to do the same in Google Docs, giving the bot a prompt for something they want to write.

The bot can also summarize long email threads in Gmail and easily convert email messages to documents and presentations in Google Slides. In Sheets, it can automatically analyze data and generate formulas.

For now, Google said they’re only rolling out the new services to a select group of testers.

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The View From Microsoft

On Thursday, Microsoft announced the “365 Copilot,” an AI assistant for Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Teams.

It was a more in-depth debut than Google’s, but with many similar services. Users will be able to generate emails, documents, and presentations simply by telling the AI bot what they want, and can provide tweaks and customization. Copilot can also analyze and visualize data in Excel.

Microsoft also announced “Business Chat,” a bot that can access a user’s calendar, emails, documents, and contacts to answer broad business and productivity prompts like: “Tell my team how we updated the product strategy.”

The company said it plans to unveil the new services in the coming months.