5 New AI Tools For Google Workspace Users To Check Out

Gene Marks
4 min readApr 11, 2024

How to boost your productivity with Google Workspace’s AI features

(This column originally appeared in Forbes)

This past week JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said that AI could be “as transformative as the Internet or electricity” and Elon Musk said that AI would “be smarter than the smartest humans next year.” Wow.

That’s all fine, but “transformative” and “smarter than humans” aside, how can all these great and glorious AI tools provide someone running a business with value right now?

As I write this, countless software companies — big and small — are working on adding AI-driven features to their business applications. One of those companies, of course, is Google, which last year offered Gemini, it’s AI Assistant for Workspace that aims to automate many functions from document creation to writing emails.

Gemini costs $20–30 per month per user depending on the size of your organization. But if you don’t want to jump in so quickly you can now test the waters with a less expensive version ($10 per month per user) that offers at least five new AI tools that can benefit your business.

1. Notes in Meet (available now in preview)

A new AI function in Google Meet will, according to the company, “let you drop the pen and lean into the conversation instead of taking notes.” By turning on this option you’ll get a full transcript and summary of your Google Meet meetings. This function already exists in competitors like Zoom and is offered by countless startups like Otter and Fathom so Google is catching up. But I’m glad to see them joining the party.

2. Translate For Me (coming in June)

According to Google, this new AI feature “will automatically detect and translate captions in Meet with support for 69 languages, helping people feel more confident and connected to their colleagues, regardless of language.” I’m guessing you’ll need to have captions on during these conversations so that the tool can do its job. I’m expecting future versions of this potentially amazing tool to literally translate spoken conversations on the fly. But for now, this is super-powerful, particularly at a time when many of us are looking to do more business with overseas customers and suppliers.

3. Chat Translations (later this year)

The company promises to deliver automatic translations of messages and on-demand conversation summaries in Google Chat. I imagine it will be like the Google Translate app (which is excellent) on steroids and save me time from copying and pasting chat messages into a translator. Like the Translate feature above, this will also be a powerful help to those of us working with customers and suppliers native in different languages.

4. Security (available now)

This AI tool is more geared for your IT team so you want to make sure they’re aware. It’s also an additional $10 per user per month. Google says it will allow “IT teams to automatically classify and protect sensitive files company-wide in Google Drive.” Its AI models can be trained to take data that’s unique and sensitive to your organization and add additional protections.

Honestly, I’m not really sure what that really means and how it works and whether or not it really does provide more security. Also, if you have 10 employees in your company that’s $1,200 a year so more investigation should be done by your IT team to assess its value.

5 — Vids (available in June)

This is another AI tool that, to me, has dubious value right now. It’s an “AI-powered video creation app,” according to Google that can “generate a storyboard that you can easily edit, and after choosing a style, it pieces together your first draft with suggested scenes from stock videos, images, and background music. It can also help you land your message with the right voiceover — either choosing from one of our preset voiceovers or using your own.”

My experience with AI image generators — and mind you, these are just photos not videos — has been underwhelming at best and I’m betting that the AI tools like Vids will be equally not-ready-for-prime time. I’m also betting that it will take employees more time than using a decent, already-established editing application. But the kinks will ultimately get worked out and I’m sure this app will mature into a powerful video design marketing tool but I’m betting it’s going to take a couple of years. Or it could wind up in the Graveyard. We’ll see.

A few friendly words of warning:

-Whenever a software company tags a new product as “preview” it basically means it doesn’t work completely and the company is taking no responsibility for its errors — sorry — “hallucinations.” So buyer beware.

-In the same vein, be wary when you see that products — like Vids — are being released to “Workspace Labs.” That’s another way of saying a product isn’t ready for prime time and use with caution.

-Companies like Google are feeling the pressure to deliver more AI news frequently and in turn that means releasing products too early. But that shouldn’t scare you away, as the sooner you get familiar with these products the better you’ll be able to take advantage as they get better.

Originally published at https://www.forbes.com.

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Gene Marks

Columnist on smallbiz, economy, public policy, tech for The Guardian, The Hill, Philly Inquirer, Wash Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur. Small Business owner and CPA