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Google Chat gets revamped to compete with Microsoft Teams and Slack with Duet AI support

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The chat and collaboration services Microsoft Teams and Slack have been busy rolling out new features and, in Teams’ case, an all-new Windows client in 2023. Now, it’s time for Google to show off what it can do with a newly announced version of its Chat service.

In a blog post, Google says the biggest new feature it is introducing today is its Duet AI option. Google says:

With Duet AI in Chat as a real-time collaboration partner, you can get updates, insights, and proactive suggestions across your Google Workspace apps. We plan for Duet AI to answer complex queries by searching across your messages and files in Gmail and Drive, summarize documents shared in a space, and provide a recap of missed conversations.

Other new features that are being added to Google Chat include plans to increase the membership limit in its Spaces section from 50,000 to a whopping 500,000 members. That increase will be added in a private preview version first by the end of 2023.

Chat has also received a user design refresh based on Google’s Material 3 asthetics, with “updated color palette, typography, and visual styling”. Chat is also adding an autocorrect feature for text messages, and its search features will get a new look with features like “suggested queries, autocomplete, “did-you-mean” suggestions, and AI-based relevance ranking of results.”

Google also plans another big Chat addition in early 2024 with a home page design that it says will offer “intelligent prioritization of your messages.”

In a separate blog post, Google announced that Duet AI is now available for its business Workspace subscribers. It will offer those subscribers a number of generative AI features. The blog post offers an example of how Duet AI can help users who attend online meetings:

Duet AI can capture notes, action items, and video snippets in real time with the new “take notes for me” feature and it will send a summary to attendees after the meeting. It can even help get latecomers up to speed with “summary so far,” which gives a quick snapshot of everything they’ve missed. But what if you can’t make the meeting and have some input to share? With “attend for me” Duet AI will be able to join the meeting on your behalf, delivering your message and ensuring you get the recap.

Businesses who want to access Duet AI can sign up for a free trial. The company has not announced a price for adding Duet AI for Workspace users.

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