In brief: If you’re a fan of Google’s handy machine-learning powered ‘Smart Compose’ feature (used for auto-completing words and phrases in Gmail) you may be pleased to hear that it’s making its way to Google Docs in the near future.
Indeed, the AI-powered feature is already available to test if you’re a “domain administrator.” You can sign up for the beta on Google’s official Test Application page, though it’s limited to English writers at the moment.
To give a bit more background on Smart Compose for those who haven’t used it before, the tool uses AI to learn from your writing habits and subsequently offer personalized, contextual suggestions as you type. You can, of course, turn this feature off if you’d prefer to do all of your emailing manually, but it can be handy for avoiding spelling and grammar mistakes in a more casual context.
In professional settings, where you might sift through dozens of emails a day, Smart Compose is even more useful. It allows you to spend less time typing the same words and phrases over and over again, and although it’s not always right (I’ve received some pretty bizarre suggestions in the past), it’s reliable most of the time.
It remains to be seen how well Smart Compose will translate to Docs, though. The average Google Doc is probably significantly longer than the average email, with much more variation in terms of language and themes. One person can create two Docs with completely different audiences and writing styles, which could make it tricky for Smart Compose to develop accurate personalized advice.
Still, we’ll reserve any final judgments until we’ve seen the tool in action. The testing pool is obviously quite limited at the moment, but we’ll let you know when (or indeed if) Smart Compose’s beta rolls out to more users.
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