Google is putting its AI to work to make you a better writer.
The company is finally adding a grammar check feature to Google Docs — one that will be able to address even complicated grammatical errors. The new feature was announced Tuesday at the Google Cloud Next conference, alongside updates to its automated email-writing features.
With the new feature, which is available to businesses as part of its early adopter program, Google Docs will use the same AI tech that powers its translation features to detect grammatical errors and suggest corrections.
Surprisingly, Google Docs hasn’t had a built-in grammar check up until now. But the company says its new grammar suggestions go a step beyond the basic grammatical corrections you might expect.
“Our AI can catch several different types of corrections, from simple grammatical rules like how to use articles in a sentence (like “a” versus “an”), to more complicated grammatical concepts such as how to use subordinate clauses correctly. Machine learning will help improve this capability over time to detect trickier grammar issues,” Google wrote in a blog post.
Though the feature will only be available to businesses at launch, Google says it does plan to roll it out more broadly in the future.
The company is also ramping up its automated email-writing software. Smart Reply, Google’s feature that predicts how you want to respond to incoming messages, is now rolling out to Hangouts Chat, Google’s Slack-like messaging service.
Like Smart Replies in Gmail and Inbox, the feature will kick in automatically when Google detects messages “most likely need responses,” and will give three suggested replies based on your habits. Available to G Suite subscribers “in the coming weeks.”
Google also announced that it will now make yet another email predicting feature available to G Suite users: Smart Compose, a feature that was announced earlier this year at Google I/O. Similar to Smart Reply, Smart Compose predicts email text as you’re composing a message.
“In addition to autocompleting common phrases, Smart Compose can insert personalized information like your office or home address, so you don’t need to spend time in repetitive tasks.” Google writes. “And best of all, it will get smarter with time—for example, learning how you prefer to greet certain people in emails to ensure that when you use Smart Compose you sound like yourself.”
For Google, these updates are all part of the company’s ongoing bid to hook users on its increasingly AI-centric services. Just as the company is emphasizing its AI prowess more and more in its consumer products, it’s equally important for the company to make AI front and center in its business offerings.
Business-friendly software is an area where Google has typically lagged behind competitors like Microsoft, which have a years-long head start in the space. But features like these, which claim to help you spend less time on the “mundane” tasks you do every day, could help Google differentiate its offerings even more.