Google unveils AI-assisted Gmail features — see all the new additions

The future of Google is bright — with the help of smart technology.

After launching its generative AI feature in the popular search engine, Google unveiled the tech-savvy changes coming to its email service during the Google I/O keynote on Tuesday.

Gmail, which has approximately 1.8 billion users around the globe, will soon feature new tools fueled by artificial intelligence, such as summarizing emails or suggesting responses, said the vice president of Google Workspace, Aparna Pappu.

The Side Panel Assistant, she revealed, will be able to digest emails and regurgitate a summarized version — thread replies and all — to save users time that would have been spent scrolling.

Google unveiled a batch of innovative AI integrations into the company’s services at the annual Google I/O conference. AFP via Getty Images
Gmail’s smart assistant will be able to summarize emails and suggest responses.

Next, the tech giant will also introduce a smart response function that offers customized suggestions to rely specific messages after the AI assistant combs through the thread.

There will also be a Q&A tool, which allows users to ask questions that Gemini will answer based on the user’s emails. So, when you’re looking for when your shopping haul will arrive on your doorstep, you can simply ask the smart assistant to dig through your email and find it instead.

Pappu, demonstrating the cutting-edge technology, showed audiences how the futuristic Gmail can be integrated across Google services, like gathering receipts and organizing them into a spreadsheet on Google Sheets or into a folder on Google Drive, effectively slashing hours of tedious labor.

Gemini, she illustrated, can successfully find and categorize data, documents and information in mere seconds.

The tech giant also launched a generative AI feature in its search engine this week. AP
The AI integrations on the company’s Gmail platform are billed as more efficient. PA Images via Getty Images

Google also unveiled the introduction of a “virtual teammate,” powered by AI, which can be named and even has its own profile.

Users can assign the AI teammate, named Chip in the company’s demo, a description and actionable items to execute, such as monitoring and tracking projects, analyzing data for trends and organizing information on a project.

The announcement of Google’s latest innovations, which are slated to be integrated into its platforms later this year, coincides with the launch of the search engine’s AI Overview, which uses generative AI to comb search results and present a concise answer to users’ online queries based on multiple articles.

The new feature is billed as a more efficient alternative to scrolling through various websites when surfing the web, but concerns have been raised about its effects on media that rely on revenue from site traffic.

“Some people are going to just get bludgeoned,” Siege Media CEO Ross Hudgens told The Washington Post, adding that some publishers could lose more than 20% of their search traffic as a result of the progressive tech.

The Side Panel Assistant has yet to launch, but is anticipated to be introduced in Workspace Labs soon. Diego – stock.adobe.com

Past reports suggest that the introduction of AI Overview could also result in an annual loss of over $2 billion for some publishers.

Raptive’s Chief Innovation Officer, Marc McCollum, previously told The Post that the AI-powered tech is expected to “significantly reduce creator traffic.”

“Google AI Overviews still uses copyrighted content without consent or compensation— competing directly with independent content creators,” McCollum said. “This is yet another example of Big Tech making moves that devastate successful small businesses.”

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