Google's AI ‘Help Me Write’ Feature Wants to Do the Writing for You

Google’s AI ‘Help Me Write’ Feature Wants to Do the Writing for You

Google's ready to help you write but it would rather write for you. This week at Google I/O, the search giant announced that it was adding new generative AI features to its Workspace tools, including Docs, Gmail, Sheets and Slides. I signed up for Google Workspace Labs (as the beta is called) and today I got off of the waitlist – it must have been my SAT score – and had a chance to peruse the main tool right now, a “Help Me Write” button that can generate text from scratch or completely rewrite your copy in its own voice. In its keynote and subsequent blog post , Google talked adding image creation to Slides and data insights to Sheets, but the only feature I see available right now is the “Help me Write” button in Docs and Gmail. The feature, as it stands, has some utility for folks who are poor wordsmiths or are just too lazy to string a few sentences together on their own, but like other AI tools it can either “hallucinate” details or leave you with text that's so generic that it's useless. Unfortunately, it's a perfect tool for students who want to fake their book reports or writers who want to plagiarize someone else's work. And worst of all, it doesn't live up to its name because, instead of helping you improve your , it silences your voice and replaces your work with its own. The “Help me write” button appears as a floating pen icon in the left rail of Gdocs and at the bottom of the compose window in Gmail. Primarily, I tested it in Gdocs but it works the same way in the email compose window. If you click on the button, there's a bluish-purple dialog box that appears, allowing you to create a writing prompt for brand-new text. You enter your prompt and click “Create.” Then the system presents you with its text and you can either click “Insert” to put it into the article, Refine to have the AI change it slightly, or Recreate. […]

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