Although the Google I / O Developer Conference is not exclusively dedicated to the digital workspace, there are enough workspace technology announcements to make it worth checking out. dive deeper, which will be the focus of our news release this week.
Google has made a number of announcements this year that serve as great additions to any organization operating in Google environments, especially for those operating in a hybrid environment. So without a doubt, five workplace-related messages come out of Google I / O, ranging from the practical to the ambitious.
1. Summaries come to Workspace ‘Spaces’
One of the nods to the more flexible and asynchronous way people now work is the extension of its auto-generated listings to Workspace ‘Spaces’, Google’s chat app for discussions and file sharing. .
Like many announcements this year, the listings are especially for those who work in hybrid teams and may have missed something while offsite or offline. Google first introduced summaries to Google Docs in February.
At the time, Google explained summaries as a way to automatically distill the contents of a longer document into a short synopsis – a Cliff Notes digital workspace, if you will.
With its entry into Spaces, the feature will select and highlight a chat’s most valuable information and allow users to jump to the most relevant chat history content, which theoretically allows them to catch up on the neglected much faster than analyzing a long trade.
Summaries are expected for Business, Enterprise, Education, Essentials and Frontline editions in the coming months. Google also plans to bring transcripts to Google Meet later this year. Print summaries are not expected until 2023.
2. Google AI for jobs
All of this is driven by Google’s ongoing work on machine learning and artificial intelligence. Google’s work on artificial intelligence has had its fair share of problems, though they are shared across the industry. Problems with AI language models, for example, have led to gender and racial biases and sometimes inaccurate or questionable conclusions. Google is trying to solve these problems in part by opening its AI work to select researchers for testing through its new AI Test Kitchen.
AI Test Kitchen is an app where a select few can experiment and provide feedback on some of Google’s latest AI technologies. The company has not finally determined who will be able to access the app, but suggests that it will be a program that can only be invited. According to Google, its goal is to improve Google’s AI development.
Although Google is slowing down its AI language models, it still sees AI as a solution to some of the common problems encountered in hybrid work in general, and video conferencing in particular. Molly McHugh-Johnson listed a number of upcoming Workspace features in an official Google blog first announced during I / O:
- Restoration of portraits: Uses Google AI technology to improve video quality in poor lighting, poor Wi-Fi, old camera and more.
- Portrait light: Uses machine learning to simulate studio-quality lighting in the video stream.
- Reverberation: Filters echoes in rooms with hard surfaces to improve the sound quality of meetings.
- Live sharing: Synchronizes content shared in a Google Meet call so participants can manage media.
- Security: Sends many existing security protections in Gmail to Google Slides, Docs, and Sheets.
Google Multisearch dives into AR
Another feature that built on momentum from a previous announcement was “Multisearch Near Me.” Google first introduced more searches in April.
According to Google, the extension of this feature will allow people to combine an image or a screenshot with the text “near me” to receive results for local retailers or restaurants that would like clothes, household items or other items that may be of interest in you. Multisearch Near Me is expected later this year.
The company also announced an ongoing development for multisearch that gives a nod to AR. Upcoming functionality will allow searching across multiple objects.
The current visual search in Google can recognize objects captured in a single image. In the future, with an advancement called “scene exploration” you will be able to use multi-search to scroll the camera to gather information about multiple objects in a larger view.
4. Google’s new AR glasses?
Reports have been circulating for the past few months that Google is developing AR glasses, but nothing has been confirmed – until the I / O conference. The spectacle prototypes were revealed in an advertising video during Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai’s keynote. Pichai told the audience that this was just a foretaste of what was to come.
“Language is so fundamental to connecting with each other. Still, understanding someone who speaks another language or trying to follow a conversation can be a challenge if you are deaf or hard of hearing,” Pichai told the audience.
The video demonstrated practical use cases where AR glasses could help people in the workplace as well as at home, a stark contrast to Google’s first entry into glasses, Google Glass, which fueled concerns about privacy while failing to address practical scenarios, similar to these. Google Glass has had the dubious honor of inspiring a new insult – the Glass Hole.
However inspiring the video may be, Google does not promise that such a product will actually hit the market. The video and the announcement on I / O may have tested the water to measure people’s reactions. However, we find out quickly enough as Google was an early player in the VR area and it is unlikely that it will be bypassed by any of the new or established participants in the space.
5. Protection of personal data
Finally, as part of its ongoing review of its data policies, Google announced two features aimed at giving users more control over their personal information.
In the coming months, Google said it will be easier for people to request removal of search results that contain personal information. Jen Fitzpatrick, senior vice president of Google, wrote about two new tools that will give users more control over their data.
- Results that are relevant to you in the search: With the new tool to accompany the updated removal policies, people can more easily request removal of Google search results that include their contact information, such as phone numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. This functionality is expected in the coming months in the Google application.
- My Ad Center: Towards the end of this year, Google will launch more controls for privacy settings. This will allow brands to see more or less of, and an easier way to choose to customize ads for customers. My Ad Center gives you even more control over the ads you see on YouTube, Search, and your Discover feed, plus the ability to block and report ads.
The company made a number of other security upgrades and releases, but in terms of protecting personal data, these two stood out.