Duet AI for Google Workspace - What You Need To Know

By Darrell Raynard
July 21, 2023
Google Duet AI within Google Workspace UI

If you’ve seen any of our previous articles, you may have seen us cover Google’s introduction of generative AI within Google Workspace, as well as our comprehensive guide to Google Bard.

If you didn’t see those articles, here’s the crux of it. By making use of AI, you can now give some of your most mundane tasks, such as composing emails or setting up tasks, to computers.

While platforms like ChatGPT excel in textual generation, they don’t currently integrate with popular text editors or email applications.

But this landscape is set to transform. Recently, Google unveiled a promising innovation named Duet AI for Workspace.

Duet AI integrates with the Google applications you use daily. You can expect features that will allow you to create, condense, and rephrase content within platforms like Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Meet.

If you don’t know what Duet AI is, or if you’ve never even encountered Google Workspace before, this is the article to get you up to speed.

What is Google Workspace?

Google Workspace is a suite of tools designed to bring teams closer, no matter where they are in the world. Its foundation was laid on the principles of real-time collaboration, ensuring individuals and teams could work synchronously, sharing ideas, feedback, and updates without the bounds of time zones or geography.

It’s available to individuals, businesses, and education with pricing plans to suit everyone. Google Workspace transforms the way users experience the virtual office. It enables efficient communication, and teams, and amplifies the Google tools that are integral to your processes.

Apps in Google Workspace

Google Workspace presents an array of productivity and communication tools tailored for startups, enterprises, individuals, educational institutions, and nonprofits.

Google Workspace includes several productivity applications including:

  • Gmail: The globally recognised email platform
  • Google Calendar: A comprehensive calendar tool with scheduling capabilities
  • Google Meet: Endless group video conferencing
  • Google Chat/Spaces: A platform for team synergy and expert project handling
  • Google Drive: Cloud-based storage for file sharing
  • Google Docs: Software for crafting documents
  • Google Sheets: Spreadsheet creation tool
  • Google Slides: Software for designing presentations
  • Forms: Tool for crafting forms, polls, and quizzes
  • Sites: Website creation utility
  • Keep: A space for capturing and sharing ideas
  • Jamboard: Your digital whiteboard experience

If you’re keen to learn more about Google Workspace take a look at Everything You Need To Know About Google Workspace for Business or Why you should be using Google Workspace for Education before you continue reading about Google’s latest Workspace productivity booster.

What is Duet AI for Google Workspace?

Duet AI for Google Workspace, Google's latest brainchild. This integration is more than an upgrade; it's a game-changer. By embedding generative AI across all Workspace apps, Google aims to revolutionise how we interact with our digital tools.

From refining drafts in Gmail to automating data classification in Sheets. Duet AI promises a future where your digital workspace is not a tool, but an intelligent assistant.

Google is introducing a significant update with Duet AI for Workspace, enhancing their suite of apps with advanced AI capabilities such as concise text summaries and image creation. While Duet AI is currently undergoing beta testing, it is available to pre-order for enterprises.

Duet AI available in 180+ countries
Source: Google

Although the term "Workspace" has been associated with Duet AI by Google, its functionalities seem apt for scenarios beyond professional ones. For instance, the "Help me Write" feature drafts emails to any contact. We utilised it to test some email scenarios where we were writing to retailers to complain. Both instances delivered drafts that were impressively coherent.

During Duet's initial roll-out, users can use the AI to frame emails in the Gmail web version and produce full-fledged documents in Docs. Options to refine the verbiage, extent, and sentiment of the content are available.

It's important to mention that Duet is not positioned as a chatbot. Don't expect conversational assistant-like feedback. Such interactions remain the domain of Bard, another of Google's AI initiatives.

Duet AI aims to craft comprehensive presentations in Google Slides, produce meeting summaries in Meet, and condense lengthy email conversations in Gmail.

An insider from the company shared with media that Duet AI will undergo regular updates. Initial access, though, will be granted only to select testers.

The Importance of AI in Real-Time Collaboration

The speed and efficiency with which we communicate and collaborate have become vital.

The evolution of work dynamics, amplified by remote work cultures and global teams, has made real-time collaboration a necessity.

The Benefits of Real-time Collaboration

  • Instantaneous Feedback: Real-time collaboration eliminates the traditional waiting game. Whether you're co-editing a document or brainstorming in a digital meeting room, instantaneous feedback ensures ideas are refined on the go, leading to more polished outcomes.
  • Strengthened Team Dynamics: Working synchronously helps build stronger relationships among team members. It fosters trust, as teammates can witness first-hand the contributions and dedication of their peers.
  • Enhanced Decision-making: Delayed decisions can lead to missed opportunities in the fast-paced business world. Real-time collaboration ensures that decisions are made, with all stakeholders having a say, leading to more holistic and informed choices.
  • Reduced Misunderstandings: When teams collaborate in real-time, there's less room for ambiguity. Misunderstandings can be immediately addressed, ensuring the team remains on the same page.

How AI Will Improve Collaboration

  • Intelligent Assistance: With AI, collaboration goes beyond human interactions. AI can provide smart suggestions, automate repetitive tasks, and even generate content, allowing humans to focus on strategic and creative tasks.
  • Data-driven Insights: AI can instantly analyse vast amounts of data, offering insights that humans might overlook. This facilitates more informed discussions and decisions during real-time collaborations.
  • Personalised Experiences: AI understands individual preferences and working styles. It can tailor collaborative tools to each user's needs, making real-time interactions more efficient and enjoyable.
  • Bridging Communication Gaps: AI ensures that communication remains clear and inclusive in diverse teams, whether it's language translation or tone analysis. It breaks down barriers, making collaboration smooth and effective.

Each amplifies the other's strengths as we continue to navigate the complexities of our new world. This harmonious blend of real-time collaboration and AI will lead the way, for now at least.

Key Features of Duet AI in Google Workspace

Tools that simplify tasks and promote efficiency are more valuable than ever. With the introduction of Duet AI into Google Workspace, users are set to experience a new era of productivity, creativity, and ease.

Let's delve into some of the standout features that this AI integration brings to the table.

Advanced Writing Assistance in Gmail and Docs

  • Efficient Drafting: Duet AI works seamlessly on mobile or desktop to help users refine their content, from emails in Gmail to extensive documents in Google Docs. A few word prompts can lead to complete, coherent responses.
  • Contextual Assistance: Say goodbye to generic replies. Duet AI ensures that responses are contextually apt, filling in names and other relevant information to tailor communications specifically for the recipient.

Dynamic Image Generation in Google Slides

  • From Text to Visuals: The age-old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words," gets a technological twist. With Duet AI, users can generate unique visuals directly from textual prompts, eliminating the need for manual graphic design.
  • Tailored Creativity: Whether brainstorming for an ad campaign or conveying a complex idea, this feature enables users to create bespoke images that align perfectly with their vision.
Generating an image within Google Slides using Duet AI image generator
Source: Google

Intelligent Data Handling in Google Sheets

  • Automated Data Classification: Duet AI can discern the context of data and automatically label it, mitigating the tedious task of manual data entry.
  • Custom Plan Generation: Users can now get custom, organized plans by merely describing an objective. From event planning to project management, Duet AI ensures that you kickstart your tasks with a robust strategy.

Enhanced Engagement in Google Meet

  • Custom Backgrounds: Move over standard virtual backgrounds! Duet AI allows users to craft unique backgrounds for their video calls, adding a touch of personalization and fun to meetings.
  • Deepening Connections: These AI-generated visuals not only enhance the aesthetics of a call but also foster a deeper connection among participants, as they can share aspects of their personality or cater backgrounds to the theme of discussions.

Smart Canvas and Assisted Writing in Docs

  • Focused Collaboration: The new assisted writing experience ensures that teams stay on track. With features like smart chips for location, status, and company-specific variables, drafting documents becomes a unified effort.
  • Upgraded Neural Models: Duet AI is currently limited to English.

Duet AI in Google Workspace is more than just a tool; it's a transformative assistant that understands, predicts, and caters to the needs of modern-day users.

How Leading Companies Are Leveraging Duet AI

Companies are searching for tools that give them an edge. Technologies that enhance user experience, streamline operations, and foster innovation are invaluable. Among the early adopters benefiting from Duet AI's capabilities in Google Workspace, Lyft's experience particularly shines.

At Lyft, the introduction of Duet AI has revolutionised how they approach campaign planning. From the initial stages of brainstorming to the final touches, Duet AI's generative abilities have been pivotal in crafting compelling narratives and ensuring every idea is presented.

Communication, a vital element for a brand like Lyft with its vast network of drivers, has been enhanced.

With Duet AI's advanced writing assistance in Gmail, Lyft ensures every email is not just well-structured but also contextually resonant with its intended audience.

Productivity, especially in a company like Lyft, is paramount. With features like automated data classification and custom plan generation in Google Sheets, tasks that used to take hours are now streamlined.

The Lyft team operates at an accelerated pace. As a diverse team spread across different locales, the unique background generation for Google Meet provided by Duet AI has added a touch of personal expression to every discussion, further solidifying team unity.

Lyft's embrace of Duet AI showcases the profound impact such technology can have. It underscores that the future of business isn't just about automation or cutting-edge features, but about harnessing tools like AI to foster innovation, collaboration, and efficiency.

As more enterprises discover the potential of Duet AI in Google Workspace, we stand at the threshold of a transformative era in business operations and creativity.

The Ethics of AI

Advancements in AI continue to permeate everyday applications. The questions of ethics, control, and trust have never been more pressing.

It's not just about what technology can do, but also about ensuring that it does so responsibly, upholding the values and principles that matter most to users.

User Control in the Forefront: Google’s Duet AI is designed with the user in mind. Recognising that AI is no substitute for human ingenuity and creativity, Duet AI is built to offer suggestions rather than deterministic outcomes.

Whether drafting an email, generating a presentation image, or analysing data, users always have the final say. This philosophy ensures that while AI can be a powerful tool for efficiency and innovation, it never overshadows the unique human touch.

Google's AI Principles: Consistency in ethical AI applications is crucial, and Google’s AI Principles serve as a foundational blueprint. These principles emphasise the importance of creating AI that benefits everyone, avoids biases, and upholds safety and security standards.

As Duet AI becomes an integral part of Google Workspace, these principles ensure that the technology is used ethically.

Administrative Control for Organisations: Beyond individual users, organisations need to have oversight over how AI functions within their systems. Google Workspace provides corresponding administrative controls, allowing IT departments to configure and set the right policies for their organisation. This level of granularity ensures that AI’s integration aligns with an organization's goals, ethos, and compliance requirements.

As AI's role in our interactions grows, the approach to its design and deployment becomes paramount. Google's Duet AI in Workspace is more than a set of innovative features; it represents a commitment to responsible AI use.

It's a reminder that while the possibilities with AI are vast, they must always be balanced with ethical considerations, user control, and trust.


The integration of AI into platforms like Google Workspace signifies not just innovation but a paradigm shift in how we approach tasks, collaboration, and creativity. Duet AI showcases the vast potential of AI to enhance productivity, streamline processes, and foster real-time collaboration. Companies like Lyft exemplify the transformative impact such advancements can have on operational efficiency and communication dynamics.

However, as we lean into this new culture, the emphasis on responsible AI integration remains paramount. It's heartening to see a concerted effort towards ensuring that AI is designed and deployed with ethics, user control, and administrative oversight in mind. Such considerations don't just enhance the user experience but build trust, which is indispensable in the digital age.

Duet AI in Google Workspace isn't merely a technological evolution; it's a testament to what the future of work can look like when innovation is balanced with responsibility.

Darrell Raynard