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AI Writing Tools Could Come to Chromebooks After Bing and Google

Possible Text Rewriting Feature Coming to ChromeOS

Google Offices (Image: Shutterstock)

Google might introduce an AI-powered tool to aid users in writing, rewriting, and editing text. This tool could potentially arrive on Chromebooks.

Efforts in this direction are notable as Google announced Project IDX during its recent I/O conference. Currently, in preview, Project IDX utilizes AI to assist developers in various tasks, including code development and cross-platform project previewing.

Artificial intelligence integration was a key focus throughout Google’s I/O 2023, highlighting its upcoming incorporation into products and services.

Google’s AI Writing Tools and Rumored Features

Within various Google products, a range of AI-driven writing features have been integrated.

For instance, in Gmail and Google Docs, you might have encountered prompts like ‘Write for me’ or ‘Help me write,’ providing ideas for professional writing. On mobile devices, Google introduced ‘Magic Compose’ in Google Messages, offering to revise your reply or draft one based on ongoing conversations.

Google's AI Writing Tools and Rumored Features
(Image credit: Google)

Recent rumblings suggest Google’s new developments. 9to5Google mentions five codenames: ‘Orca,’ ‘Mako,’ and ‘Manta.’ ‘Orca’ is expected to appear in the ChromeOS right-click menu for text editing. Choosing ‘Orca’ prompts the ‘Mako’ UI to appear in a ‘bubble.’

The ‘Mako’ feature provides three choices for text manipulation, according to code inspection. Firstly, you can ‘request rewrites,’ potentially receiving AI-generated options. Secondly, you can select from ‘preset text queries,’ suggesting styles for rewriting. Lastly, ‘Mako’ can replace your text with a suggested version for various applications.

Upon requesting a Mako suggestion bubble, the ‘Manta’ UI sends your text to Google’s servers and presents the generated suggestion.

Google's AI Writing Tools and Rumored Features
(Image credit: Future)

Notably, the reworking process occurs on Google’s servers, requiring your consent. Similar to the Magic Compose feature, your text may be sent to Google’s servers for processing.

These mechanisms seem embedded in an upcoming ChromeOS version, possibly arriving in an update like the 118 ChromeOS update, expected around mid-October. Stay tuned for more information from Google.

Possible Chromebook X Exclusivity?

Hints suggest that Orca/Mako/Manta might be reserved for Chromebook X devices. Chromebook X, a lineup of high-end laptops and tablets reported earlier this year, is expected to have elevated specifications compared to existing Chromebooks. Consequently, when this feature launches, it might not extend to all existing ChromeOS devices.

While this prospect is regrettable and potentially a missed chance, I hope for a different outcome. Microsoft recently introduced an AI writing assistant for its Bing AI chatbot in the Edge browser, which doesn’t seem to demand specific hardware beyond what’s required for Windows 11 and Edge.

Drawing from my experience with Bard, it still has progress to make to match ChatGPT (another AI tool underlying Microsoft’s Bing AI) in terms of writing and rewriting proficiency. The availability of this AI-assisted tool remains to be seen, but broader access could lead to more significant enhancements.

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