Gemini comes to Gmail to summarize, draft emails, and more

Gmail is getting an AI-powered upgrade. At its Google I/O 2024 conference on Tuesday, Google announced that Gmail users will be able to search, summarize, and draft their emails using its Gemini AI technology. It will also be able to take action on emails for more complex tasks, like helping you process an e-commerce return by searching your inbox, finding the receipt, and filling out an online form.

In one demo at I/O, the company showed how a parent who wanted to catch up on what was going on at their child's school could ask Gemini to summarize all the recent emails from the school, Google says. In addition to the body of the emails themselves, the feature will also be able to analyze attachments, like PDFs. The resulting summary will include key points or action items.

In another demo, Google showed off how Gemini in Gmail could help a homeowner doing home renovations compare different quotes from contractors who had sent their bids in via email.

From a sidebar in Gmail, users can ask Gemini to help them organize receipts from their emails and even put them in a Drive folder, or extract the information from the receipts and put them into a spreadsheet. If that's something you do often — for example, as a business traveler tracking expenses — Gemini can also offer to automate the workflow for use in the future.

Whether Gmail users will want to turn AI tech on in their inboxes remains to be seen. Users in the past were uncomfortable with how Google used to scan emails for ad-targeting purposes, even though the system was automated and no humans were involved. Today, there's heightened concern about how AI is being trained and how people's data is being used in that process. Gmail users may be uncomfortable with the idea that an AI is able to "read" their emails for them, despite the advantages and efficiencies such a system brings.

In addition to scanning Gmail, Gemini will be able to draft emails for you, Google said.

Elsewhere in its Workspace suite, Gemini will be able to offer highlights from meetings in Google Meet.

Gemini 1.5 Pro will be available in Workspace Labs as an optional upgrade for those who want to try its capabilities.

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Read more about Google I/O 2024 on TechCrunch
Read more about Google I/O 2024 on TechCrunch