We put Google’s new AI writing assistant to the test

But his work began to get neglected on more specific requests. When asked to write a memo on consumer preferences in Paraguay compared to Uruguay, the system incorrectly described Paraguay as less populated. He hallucinated, or made up, the meaning behind a song from a 1960s Hindi movie at my pre-wedding welcome event.

Most ironically, when asked about the benefits of Duet AI, the system described Duet AI as a startup founded by two former Google employees to develop AI for the music industry with over $10 million in funding. from investors like Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator. It seems that there is no such company. Google encourages users to report inaccuracies via a thumbs-down button below AI-generated responses.

Behr says that Google looks at topics, keywords, and other content clues to avoid responses that are offensive or unfairly target people, especially based on their demographics or political or religious beliefs. He acknowledged that the system makes mistakes, but said feedback from public tests is vital to countering the tendency of AI systems to reflect observed biases in their training data or pass on made-up information. “AI is going to be a project forever,” she says.

Still, Behr says early adopters, such as employees at Instacart and Victoria’s Secret underwear brand Adore Me, have been positive about the technology. Instacart spokeswoman Lauren Svensson says, in a handwritten email, that the company is excited to test Google’s artificial intelligence features, but isn’t ready to share information.

My testing left me concerned that AI writing aids could extinguish originality, to the detriment of the humans on the receiving end of AI-crafted text. I imagine readers looking at outdated emails and documents as they would if forced to read Google’s nearly 6,000-word privacy policy. It’s unclear how much individual personality Google’s tools can absorb and whether they will come to help us or replace us.

Behr says that in Google’s internal tests, emails from colleagues have not gone “vanilla” or “generic” thus far. Tools have boosted human ingenuity and creativity, not suppressed it, she says. Behr would also love an AI model that mimics her style, but she says “those are the kinds of things we’re still evaluating.”

Despite its disappointments and limitations, Duet’s features in Docs and Gmail are likely to appeal to some users who have come to rely on ChatGPT or rival AI writing software. Google goes beyond what most other options can match, and what we’re seeing today is just a preview of what’s to come.

When, or if, Duet transitions from an up-and-coming copywriter to an unbiased expert document finisher, its use will be unstoppable. Until then, when it comes to writing those heartfelt vows and speeches, that’s a blank screen left entirely up to me.


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