Now Google injects its answer to ChatGPT into Gmail, Docs, APIs, and more

Google is offering API-level access to its large language model PaLM so that developers can build it into their apps and workflows, and thus make the text-emitting tech available to world-plus-dog.

The web giant is also baking the model's content-generating capabilities into Google Docs, Gmail, and more.

The generative AI hype is stirring the technology industry into a frenzy. Investors are throwing cash at startups, while Big Tech scrambles to roll out products and services powered by these models. Microsoft kicked off a fierce competition with Google when it decided to revamp Bing to include a web-based chatbot, and now the Gmail giant is fighting back - or playing catch up, depending on how you look at it.

On Tuesday, Google unveiled its PaLM API, opening up its text-generating large language model to developers looking to boost their applications with auto-generated machine-made writing and other stuff. It's capable of summarizing and classifying text, acting as a support chat bot that interacts with users and customers on behalf of your organization, and other things, just like the other APIs out there from OpenAI, Cohere, and AI21 Labs.

"As we've experimented with generative AI ourselves, one thing is clear: AI is no replacement for the ingenuity, creativity, and smarts of real people," said Johanna Voolich Wright, veep of product at Google Workspace, today.

"Sometimes the AI gets things wrong, sometimes it delights you with something offbeat, and oftentimes it requires guidance."

PaLM API also comes with MakerSuite, a tool that allows developers to experiment with the model by trying different prompts to fine-tune the model's output. These software and services are only available to a select few, however, for the moment: Google is gradually rolling them out.

The internet goliath promises that general users can look forward to eventually being able to automatically generate email drafts and replies, as well as summarize text. Images, audio, and video created using the AI engine will be available to add to Slides, whilst better autocomplete is coming to Sheets. New backgrounds and note-generating features are also coming to Meet.

Although Google was at the forefront of AI research, it has been criticized for being slow at commercializing its models for developers and netizens to generally use. On the other hand, Microsoft, backed by OpenAI's technology, is rushing to integrate next-level machine-learning code into its products - such as the super-hyped ChatGPT via Azure, or the Bing chat bot - even if they don't always work as intended or get details disastrously wrong.

Microsoft has been steadily deploying AI-powered features for its Office 365 products, and is set to announce new capabilities for its workspace messaging software Teams, Word, and email Outlook this week in an upcoming event titled "the future of work with AI." More on that later today.

Millions of people now have access to the new AI Bing, for example, even though Microsoft continues to tinker with the model and adjust limits on how effectively users can interact with the chatbot.

Google's upcoming rival Bard model is still under wraps for now. If Microsoft does make its upcoming AI-writing tools for Word or Outlook available for general use, Google will be one step behind yet again. On the one hand, Google is being quite cautious, on the other hand, we might feel some relief that it's going slow with this unpredictable technology. ®

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