Google is looking to up its game in the video conferencing space with the launch of several new AI-powered tools and services.
The company has revealed that Google Meet is getting some new AI boosts, aimed at making it a core part of your everyday working life, but also one that reflects you.
Revealed at Google I/O 2023, the tools use the newly-announced Duet AI for Google Workspace platform to allow users to generate their own customized virtual backgrounds based on text descriptions, opening up a whole world of possibilities.
Google Meet Duet AI
Google had hinted at plans for generative AI backgrounds in Meet earlier this year as part of its big Workspace AI push, but this marks the first time we've seen the technology in action.
In a demo at Google I/O, the company was able to demonstrate how just a few words could generate detailed backgrounds that let users show off a bit more personality whilst on a call. The company also mentioned potential examples such as a salesperson tailoring their background depending on which prospective client they are meeting with, or a manager celebrating the employee of the month with a personalized background of their favorite things in a team call.
“It's a subtle, personal touch to show you care about the people you're connecting with and what's important to them,” a Google blog post announcing the changes noted.
Duet AI is already a central background presence across Google Workspace, working in the background to assist on tasks such as writing Gmail messages or giving you prompts in Google Docs.
Along with Meet, the system is also be geared up for use across other key Google Workspace services such as Slides and Sheets as the company looks to make all your working tools smarter and more intuitive.
Opinion – enough to triumph over Microsoft Teams?
AI is everywhere in the software world right now, as companies of all sizes scramble to include the technology in their processes and platforms.
Video conferencing should be an ideal place for AI to make a real impact, boosting signal strength and call quality. But personalization is also another way for this new era of technology to make a difference. Now we're all used to video calls, making them more bearable is the next step, and customized backgrounds could be a small step towards that.
Just days after Microsoft Teams announced a whole host of new virtual backgrounds aimed at enhancing collaboration and productivity, including collections aimed at boosting mental health, Google Meet will be hoping its generative AI offering will be enough to capture user's attention.
In the end, it remains to be seen – do you want your workplace calls to be unique, special and customized – or keeping to some veneer of professionalism?
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