At Google Cloud Next, Google Workspace Unveiled AI-Powered Innovations

April 13, 2024 / Carolina Milanesi

During Google Cloud Next, Google announced a new wave of innovations and enhancements to Google Workspace aimed at revolutionizing the way people work and collaborate. The highlight of this update is the introduction of Google Vids, an AI-powered video creation app that brings real-time collaboration to video storytelling.

Vids, set to be released to Workspace Labs in June, is designed to make video creation accessible to everyone. It serves as a video, writing, production, and editing assistant, generating storyboards, suggesting scenes from stock videos and images, and even providing voiceover options. With Vids, anyone can become a great storyteller at work, regardless of their skill level.

Video storytelling is growing in importance across the board including in the workplace. The shift towards remote work has increased the demand for video content. Video conferencing, virtual events, and recorded presentations have become essential tools for communication and collaboration in distributed teams. Video content is highly engaging and can capture the attention of viewers more effectively than text or static images. It allows for a more immersive and interactive experience.  Video also enables organizations to connect with their audience on an emotional level. It can convey messages, values, and ideas in a way that resonates with viewers, making the content more memorable and impactful. With the proliferation of smartphones and high-speed internet, video content is more accessible than ever. People can watch videos on various devices, making it easier for organizations to reach their target audience. Video can also communicate complex ideas and information more efficiently than text. It can be particularly useful for training, onboarding, and explaining products or services. Video can also be a great addition to text not just for internal communication but also to reach external audiences. The rise of social media platforms has made video content more shareable and viral. Organizations can leverage video storytelling to increase their reach especially into younger age groups.

In addition to Vids, Google is offering two commercial add-ons, each priced at $10 per user, per month. The AI Meetings and Messaging add-on brings AI-powered features like automatic notetaking, real-time translation for captions in 69 languages, and on-demand conversation summaries in Google Chat. These features are already making a significant impact at institutions like Pepperdine University, where they are enabling meetings and learning in multiple languages.

While most organizations have sadly pulled back on remote work, the need to keep employees connected across offices in different locations remains real and one productivity muscle that got stronger during the pandemic growing employee engagement as well as improved productivity by allowing more connections across teams.

On the education front, although the extent of online courses availability varies by institution and program, many colleges and universities have continued to offer a larger number of online courses even after the return to in-person learning. This allows them to cater to a wider range of students, including those who prefer remote learning or have scheduling constraints. Some institutions have adopted hybrid learning models, combining in-person and online instruction. This approach provides students with the benefits of face-to-face interaction while also leveraging the convenience and flexibility of online learning. There is no question that the pandemic has shifted student preferences, with many now more open to online learning. Some students have found that they prefer the flexibility and self-paced nature of online courses, leading to increased demand for these offerings.

As more organizations look at how they can leverage Generative AI to transform their business, enhance their workflows, increase productivity, there is no doubt data privacy and security is top of mind. The new Gemini Security add-on addresses these growing concerns by allowing IT teams to automatically classify and protect sensitive files company-wide in Google Drive using privacy-preserving AI models. Google is also extending DLP controls and classification labels to Gmail in beta and adding experimental support for post-quantum cryptography in client-side encryption.

Google Workspace is also making it easy for organizations to extend the power of their data and custom AI models by using Vertex AI with Workspace as a platform. This integration enables next-generation workflows that are built right into Docs, Gmail, and other Workspace apps. Bristol Myers Squibb, a global biopharmaceutical company, has already transformed its clinical trial documentation process using Vertex AI and Workspace, reducing the time to create Informed Consent Forms from weeks to minutes.

Other improvements coming to Workspace include voice prompting and instant polish in Gmail, new building blocks and notifications in Sheets, tabs and personalization in Docs, and increased member capacity and interoperability in Chat.

In a world where the pace of work is relentless and the demands on our time are ever-increasing, Google Workspace’s AI-powered innovations are not just saving minutes or hours, but transforming the very nature of how we work. These tools are empowering people of all backgrounds and skill levels to tap into their full potential, to outdo themselves in ways they never thought possible.

At Onix, employees are saving the equivalent of an entire day of work every month thanks to Gemini. That’s not just a productivity boost; it’s a game-changer. It means more time for creative problem-solving, more opportunities for collaboration and innovation, and more space for the kind of deep, focused work that moves the needle.

Meanwhile, at Sports Basement, the team has reduced the time it takes to craft responses to customer support requests by an astonishing 30-35%. That’s not just about efficiency; it’s about providing better, faster service to customers, building stronger relationships, and creating a more rewarding work experience for employees.

These time savings are undoubtedly impressive, and they mirror what Microsoft has been claiming with Copilot. But the true power of these AI-powered tools lies not just in their ability to help us work faster, but in their potential to transform the quality of our work and the quality of our lives.

When we talk about saving time, we’re really talking about unlocking human potential. It’s about freeing people up to do the work that matters most, the work that engages and inspires them, the work that makes a real difference in the world. That’s where Google and other Gen AI leaders need to be more vocal. They need to show us how these tools can help us create more fulfilling careers, build stronger teams, and shape a future of work that is more human, more engaging, and more purposeful.

It’s not just about getting employees to work more; it’s about helping them work better, smarter, and happier. It’s about creating a world where technology doesn’t just serve business goals, but human goals – a world where AI is a powerful ally in our quest for meaning, connection, and growth.

As Google continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible with AI in the workplace, it’s clear that the future of work is being redefined. With these new tools and features, Google Workspace is empowering people to collaborate more effectively, tell compelling stories, and focus on higher-value work.

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