How is AI going to change your workspace? 💻

March 26, 2023

The AI race between Microsoft and Google is getting exciting day by day. Both are shipping features at an extraordinary pace and trying to capture new markets as well as retain their existing customers. I will recap some of the exciting developments over the last week and their implications.

The big event: Microsoft and Google are all set to disrupt thousands of small startups. It will change how we work as AI enters our digital workspace - Email, Docs and Sheets. 

Google announced that it’d use generative AI in its product, including docs, sheets, meet, Gmail, slides, etc. Microsoft did a demo of Copilot, which enables the use of AI in its Microsoft suite of tools, including excel, word, outlook, etc.

😃 AI magic enters your Google workspace

Google uses generative AI in its suite of tools, which means you can generate text automatically using AI in Google docs, sheets, slides, etc. Imagine directly generating written content in Google docs by telling them what you want it to write. You'll be able to tell Gmail things like "Catch me up on this email conversation" and Gmail will scan the entire conversation and summarize it for you.

It can automatically write email replies for you in your style of writing 😅You can build presentations on Google slides where you just have to give an idea for the presentation. How crazy and powerful is that?? 

In Google Meets, AI will take notes for you throughout the meeting, summarize the notes for you, and even make a slide presentation. So no more, selecting people to write minutes of every meeting. 😃

Google Sheets is also set to benefit massively from this integration. As AI will be able to auto-complete information from cells, create new formulas automatically and even categorize data, it will make working with spreadsheets much more efficient. To top it off, it can analyze the data and create graphs to visualize it, making it much easier to interpret.

👇  Microsoft's AI push into Office 

With Copilot, Microsoft is going to do the same thing as Google by bringing AI to its Office suite (now called Microsoft 365).

Microsoft Business Chat, which is a chatbot plugin, is where things will get interesting. You can feed it all your Word documents, Excel documents, PowerPoint presentations, and Outlook email data, and it will process all of that data and will chat with your customers on your behalf.

Just try to imagine that! Highly personalized, ever updated, chatbot with the potential to outperform any customer support team out there! Also, Github has announced its Copilot X, a more powerful chatbot that can aid the developers in their coding journey. It can explain a piece of code or generate unit tests automatically. 

👊🏻 Google vs Microsoft - who is winning

Too early to say, but in the short term, Microsoft/OpenAI has the upper hand. With the amount of buzz that they have been able to generate, Google is far behind.

In terms of technology, Google is ahead of Microsoft. The original technology behind GPT-4 i.e transformers was actually introduced by Google’s research team in 2017. Bard has just launched (not in India yet) and the early impressions from the first users are mixed. 

OpenAI has now introduced plugins, which will open up a lot of use cases already. The first set of plugins has use cases like travel, grocery shopping and integration of tools with Zapier. The most exciting use cases from OpenAI’s native plugins are web browser (this means ChatGPT is not restricted by data before 2021, and they can incorporate updated data) and code interpreters. Microsoft has also announced the launch of Loop which is a Notion-like tool that can work seemlessly with other Microsoft tools and is powered by the copilot.

Currently, Microsoft/OpenAI are definitely in the lead. But it is too early to call the race. 

💣  Why is this disruptive?

Almost everyone uses either Google or Microsoft tools for their work. And since all these AI features will come baked in for free, many external tools will see massive user churn.

There are 1000s of AI copywriting tools, including Jasper which already has billion-dollar valuations. There are 100s of tools generating meeting summaries. There are lots of chrome extensions which generate replies on emails & social media. Hundreds of add-ons work on Sheets, slides etc., which automate your workflows.

They will most likely die unless these tools bring something unique that Microsoft or Google can't do. So the best thing for these AI startups is to figure out and open more use cases. 

🦾 AI's strides in Image and Video

  • Adobe has announced Firefly, their AI-powered suite to generate images from text and do video edits like changing backgrounds based on your prompts. 
  • Canva has just dropped a new suite of AI-powered tools - the prominent being, Magic Design (upload images and generate templates), Magic Erase (replace an object with another object through text prompts) and many more. 
  • Runway ML has launched the first publicly available text-to-video generation tool. It can generate videos based on the prompts you feed into the system. While still at the nascent stage, it is an excellent first step in the next direction of disruption in the AI space. 
  • Midjourney v5 launched that can do text-to-image generation. You will have to be a part of their discord to try it out for free (with limited generations), but so far, it is good. 

Tool of the Day

Image Creator

Bing (from Microsoft) has shipped an image creator. Give a prompt on what type of image you would like, and Bing would generate the image. It is pretty cool for a free tool.

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