At the I/O conference, Google unveiled several features for its office and collaborative suite, Workspace. Among them, there is the possibility of creating summaries in spaces, of transcribing video calls, of improving the visual and auditory quality of videos.
Developer conferences are often an opportunity for companies to show their know-how in several areas. This is the case of Google during its I/O event by multiplying the announcements as for example on the databases. The Wokspace part has not been forgotten with the arrival of several features within the office and collaboration suite. The objective is to facilitate work in hybrid mode.
Summaries in Spaces
Among the featured features are text summaries automatically generated from chat conversations to keep team members on an even keel. Deployed in February in the Docs word processor, this summary function generates a preview of the text in a document. This time, Google has transformed the summaries into Workspace “spaces”, a sort of chat room where employees can exchange and share files around a specific project or with members of a particular team.
Automated summaries in Workspace ‘Spaces’. (Credit: Google)
In Spaces, summaries select and highlight the most important information from a chat, so users can find it quickly in the history. “Spaces provides a digest of the most relevant information, decisions and actions without having to read every missed message,” said Drew Rowny, product manager for Gmail and Google Chat, ahead of the announcement. “The user can click directly into the chat portion to easily access their content and get up to date with whatever is most important to them,” he added. The feature is expected to launch in the coming months for English-speaking Workspace customers using Business, Enterprise, Education, Essentials, and Frontline editions.
Automatic call transcription is coming
Google also plans to automatically transcribe Meet calls, another way for team members to catch up on meetings they’ve missed. This feature should be available later this year, according to Google. The summarization feature in Docs and Spaces will also be applied to transcribed text, but that will have to wait until 2023. “The Google Workspace team delivers important features that streamline communication and collaboration without hampering workflow and deliver what Google calls ‘collaborative fairness,'” said Wayne Kurtzman, research director at IDC.
Automatic transcription of Meet meetings will be available later in 2022. (Photo credit: Google)
According to him, the updates to Workspace show that Google is always looking to optimize the work, collaboration and communication of teams, while adding features that meet the expectations of tech-savvy people. “This applies to internal teams as well as partners, suppliers and customers, who also have high expectations in this area,” Kurtzman said.
Lighting, sound, image: AI is gaining momentum on video quality
Google’s AI technology is found at different levels in Workspace applications. For example, machine learning is used to improve call quality: features called “Portrait Restore” and “Portrait Light” are able to improve the user’s image even in the event of a poor connection and poor conditions. lighting, while the dereverb function automatically suppresses echo that may exist in certain rooms or spaces. The “Portrait Restore” feature will be available later this year with Business Plus and Enterprise Plus subscriptions, and the “Portrait Light” feature will be available in the coming months for Business Standard, Business Plus and Enterprise Plus customers.
The Portait Restore function aims to improve the quality of the image during a video. (Photo credit: Google)
The De-Reverb feature will also be available to Business Plus, Enterprise Standard and Plus, Education Plus and Teaching & Learning Upgrade subscribers. Finally, a live sharing function will allow interaction with different applications such as YouTube and third-party platforms during a video call. At this time, Google has not specified when these third-party services will be available. Security services are also provided. The phishing and malware alert system currently available in Gmail will be extended to protect other Workspace apps, namely Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This feature should be generally available later this year.