Google Cloud makes generative AI announcements at Next 2023

Google Cloud made a number of generative AI and cloud announcements at Next 2023
Google Cloud announces new ways it is helping every business, government, and user benefit from generative AI and leading cloud technologies

Google Cloud has announced a series of new customers, partners, and product innovations to help every business, government, and user benefit from generative AI and leading cloud technologies at its annual Next conference.

In a major set of announcements, the company revealed new infrastructure and tools to help customers, improvements to its Vertex AI platform and the introduction of its Duet AI platform in Workspace and Google Cloud.

“We are in an entirely new era of cloud, fuelled by generative AI,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. “Our focus is on putting gen AI tools into the hands of everyone across the organisation—from IT, to operations, to security, to the board room. As the industry’s most open cloud, our goal is to help companies use AI and other cloud technologies to streamline their operations, increase productivity, and create entirely new lines of business.”

Duet AI gen AI tool embedded in Workspace and Google Cloud

Google Cloud unveiled Duet AI at I/O in May, introducing powerful new features across Workspace and showcasing developer features such as code and chat assistance in Google Cloud. At Next, Google Cloud said it is making Duet AI in Google Workspace generally available, while expanding the preview capabilities of Duet AI in Google Cloud, with general availability coming later this year. 

Workspace is the world’s most popular productivity tool, with more than three billion users and more than 10 million paying customers who rely on it every day to get things done. With the introduction of Duet AI just a few months ago, Workspace delivered a number of features to make users more productive, like helping write and refine content in Gmail and Google Docs, create original images in Google Slides, turn ideas into action and data into insights with Google Sheets, foster more meaningful connections in Google Meet, and more. 

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Beyond Workspace, Duet AI can now provide AI assistance across a wide range of Google Cloud products and services — as a coding assistant to help developers code faster, as an expert adviser to help operators quickly troubleshoot application and infrastructure issues, as a data analyst to provide quick and better insights, and as a security adviser to recommend best practices to help prevent cyber threats.

Duet AI was designed using Google’s comprehensive approach to help protect customers' security and privacy, as well as Google’s AI principles. With Duet AI, your data is your data. User code, user inputs to Duet AI, and recommendations generated by Duet AI will not be used to train any shared models nor used to develop any products.

“Since its launch, thousands of companies and more than a million trusted testers have used Duet AI as a powerful collaboration partner that can act as a coach, source of inspiration, and productivity booster — all while ensuring every user and organisation has control over their data,” wrote Aparna Pappu, GM and Vice President, Google Workspace, in an announcement blog post.

“Google has been responsibly bringing AI to life for over a decade in ways that delight and help our users. With Duet AI, we’re now helping people get back to the best parts of their jobs, to the parts that rely on human creativity, ingenuity, and expertise.”

Improvements to Vertex AI platform

On top of Google Cloud’s world-class infrastructure, the company delivers a comprehensive AI platform - Vertex AI - which enables customers to build, deploy, and scale machine learning models. Customers have access to more than 100 foundation models, including third-party and popular open-source versions, as well as industry specific models like Sec-PaLM 2 for cybersecurity and Med-PaLM 2 for healthcare and life sciences.

At Next, the company announced a number of new features including:

  • Vertex AI Search and Conversation: Now generally available, the tools enable organisations to create Search and Chat applications using their data in just minutes, with minimal coding and enterprise-grade management and security built in.
  • PaLM 2, Imagen and Codey Upgrades: This includes updating PaLM 2 to 32k context windows so enterprises can easily process longer form documents like research papers and books. 
  • Tools for tuning: For PaLM 2 and Codey, Google Cloud is making adapter tuning generally available, and introducing a new method for Imagen, called Style Tuning, so enterprises can create images aligned to brand guidelines with a small amount of reference images.
  • New models: Llama 2 from Meta, and Technology Innovative Institute’s Falcon LLM, a popular open-source model, are now available, and Google Cloud is pre-announcing Claude 2 from Anthropic. Google Cloud will be the only cloud provider offering both adapter tuning and RLHF for LLama 2.
  • Digital Watermarking on Vertex AI: Powered by Google DeepMind SynthID, this offers a state-of-the art technology that embeds the watermark directly into the image of pixels, making it invisible to the human eye and difficult to tamper with. 

From the beginning, Google Cloud designed Vertex AI to give users full control and segregation of their data, code and IP. The company says user prompts and data, as well as user inputs at inference time, are not used to improve its models and are not accessible to other customers.

“We are in an entirely new era of digital transformation, fueled by gen AI,” says Kurian. “This technology is already improving how businesses operate and how humans interact with one another. It’s changing the way doctors care for patients, the way people communicate, and even the way workers are kept safe on the job. And this is just the beginning.

“Together, we are creating a new way to cloud. We are grateful for the opportunity to be on this journey with our customers.”

For more on Google Cloud announcements during Next, visit the Google Cloud blog.

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