Google is bringing Gmail’s Smart Compose tool to Google Docs. Initially available in beta to the company’s G Suite customers, the Smart Compose feature uses AI to predict what users wish to type next.
Now in Google Docs on the web, those with access to the feature in beta, will see the next few words appear shaded within the display. Users can choose to accept the suggestions or continue typing.
If it works as hoped, it will save users time and reduce the amount of keystrokes required when typing out documents. You can see an example in the GIF below.
Here’s what Google has to say about it on its G Suite blog: “Smart Compose helps you compose high-quality content in Google Docs faster and more easily. It saves you time by cutting back on repetitive writing, helps reduce the chance of spelling and grammatical errors, and can suggest relevant contextual phrases.”
The company did not reveal how long it’ll be before the feature launches in full within G Suite, nor when/whether it will roll out to everyday users of the Google Docs platform.
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The Smart Compose and Smart Reply features – the latter of which predicts who you’d like to answer an email – have been made available to Gmail users on multiple platforms gradually over the last 18 months, so it might be a while before every Google Docs user gains access.
Regardless of the usefulness of the feature, many users have expressed concern over the privacy implications of Google analysing users’ every keystroke in order to predict what they wish to type next.
In Gmail, Google gives users the opportunity to turn off the AI-based features, so it is likely to afford Google Docs users the same privilege. We’ll let you know when the company rolls out the feature to all users.