Google announces AI-powered document summaries in Google Docs

And it’s coming soon to other Google Workspace products

We’ve all been there — you have to read a document that could be published as a very boring novella, but time is short. Google has a solution, which it just unveiled at Google I / O. The new automated summarization feature is rolling out in Google Docs, giving you a handy tl; dr for any document.

According to Google CEO Sundar Pachai, this is a major advancement for natural language processing, information compression, and language generation. Docs will be able to parse your documents, pulling out the most important tidbits and building a (supposedly) coherent summary at the top. This could save you from reading certain documents, or at least give you the gist to help you decide if you need to read the whole thing.

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Docs is just the first Google Workspace product to get this feature. Summarization will come to more of Google’s services down the line, including Google Chat in the next few months. That means you’ll be able to open Chat and get a quick summary of everything you’ve missed (see above). There are also plans to add this feature to Google Meet. The usefulness of these summaries, be they in Docs, Chat, or something else, will depend on how good Google’s AI is at identifying relevant details. If any company can do it, it’s probably Google.


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